With less than four weeks until Election Day, California Governor Jerry Brown has released his first campaign ads. But they might not be what you expect.
In one of the ads Brown looks into the camera and talks about his decades of experience in California. But it quickly becomes clear he’s not asking you to vote for him.
"Propositions 1 and 2 will even out the boom and the bust," he says. "Prop 1 saves water, to prepare us for droughts. Prop 2 sets aside money to prepare us for economic storms."
Sacramento State Government Professor Kim Nalder directs the Project for an Informed Electorate. She says Brown clearly isn’t worried about his own reelection. But he may be concerned about the propositions. Nalder says Brown is combining the items in hopes they’ll both pass.
“If you look at the most recent polling date from PPIC, it looks like Prop 1, which is the water bond, is very likely to pass among likely voters," she says. "But Prop 2, which is the rainy day fund, looks less certain. So if he can tie the two together and we can think of them both as a package of savings measures, he may be more successful."
The Public Policy Institute of California poll shows 58 percent of likely voters support Prop 1, while just 43 percent support Prop 2. But Nalder says Brown’s popularity may give the propositions a boost.
"Politicians in general are not popular right now. But he’s one of the few exceptions, frankly, in the country," she says. "So it’s very smart to have a visible name representing these two initiatives."
Brown’s campaign committee paid for the ads. Recent disclosures show he’s raised over $23 million for his reelection campaign.