It has been rumored for months that Charles T. Munger Jr. — one of California’s most influential Republican donors — would weigh in financially on Fresno’s Measure G campaign.
On Tuesday, the money came: $150,000.
But the cash went to the Fresno County Republican Central Committee, and not to Measure G.
The question is, will the money benefit the June 4 special election, in which Fresno voters will be asked whether the city should privatize its residential trash pickup?
Measure G certainly seems like an idea Munger would support.
Last year, he gave $35 million to support Proposition 32, which would have banned payroll-deducted money from state and local politicking, and to oppose Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax initiative.
Tim Clark, the lead consultant for the Yes on G campaign, and a person who also has a contract with the Fresno County Republican Central Committee that runs through June 15 for various party activities, said that some of the cash could possibly help the Measure G campaign, but it would not be directly. Any help would be indirect, though campaign work done by the Fresno County GOP.
But, he said, none of Munger’s money is specifically earmarked for any Measure G activities. And Clark also pointed out that Munger has given to other county Republican Party organizations.
“It’s about getting the party healthy and ready for battle,” Clark said of the contribution, which showed up Tuesday on the Secretary of State’s website as a late contribution report from Munger.
“It’s for the Fresno County Republican Party. Charles likes to invest in the party structure.”
As part of that, Clark said, Fresno County is ground zero for several competitive elections. Among them are the July 23 special election runoff in the 16th Senate District between Republican Andy Vidak and Democrat Leticia Perez, and an expected tough congressional re-election battle next year for Hanford Republican David Valadao.
But the Fresno County GOP also unanimously supported Measure G this year, and it will do get-out-the-vote work on that June 4 election. Some of Munger’s cash infusion might help that effort, Clark said.