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Phil Matier: Gov. Jerry Brown Spending Little Of His $23M War Chest In Re-Election Bid

SACRAMENTO (KCBS)— With little over two weeks to go until the upcoming election, Governor Jerry Brown appears to be doing very little to put much of a dent into the $23 million he's raised to campaign for re-election.

Governor Brown has a large lead in the polls in the governor's race and isn't really even campaigning. He is using some of his campaign money to push for propositions instead, including Propositions 1 and 2. Even with the non-campaign- campaign of the governor, it looks as though he will glide to victory and have a lot of campaign finances left over after the fact.

Phil Matier: 'Gov. Jerry Brown Is Notoriously Cheap'

Proposition 1 is the $7 billion-plus water bond that he feels is essential to get Californians through further droughts. Proposition 2 is the rainy-day fund where he wants the state to set aside money so that in lean times we're doing okay rather than doing the roller-coaster budget.
Another reason why Gov. Brown isn't spending is simply because he's notoriously cheap. If he doesn't have to spend money to get re-elected he's not going to spend it. He's going to have his own rainy-day fund for his second turn.

Let's say he's re-elected as governor. What can he do with all that money in the pot? You're talking about a guy that's been in politics longer than some of your listeners have even been alive. He's been doing this for about 40 years in some form or another. This is his fourth time as governor and he knows that the minute he gets re-elected he becomes an instant lame duck.

A lot of the force of the governor and the threat of the governor goes away in this case, because other politicians are already looking at who's next. Is it going to be Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris? Do the Republicans have somebody lined up? Raising money is kind of tough under those circumstances. If he's got $17 million in the bank that means he can go back to the voters or he can launch his own public awareness campaign. He can buy ads for whatever cause he wants.

So the governor is sitting back, spending little, but hoping to reap big rewards in the next couple of weeks.

[Full disclosure: KCBS is airing ads for Propositions 1 and 2, which are paid for by the governor's campaign].

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