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Campaign for Prop. 19 launches first TV ad

The campaign supporting Proposition 19, the ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana use, launched its first television ad today, featuring Hoover Institution research fellow and former San Jose police chief Joseph McNamara making a case for ending the current prohibition laws:

“The buy is several hundred thousand dollars and we’re starting off in the L.A. market for now,” Yes on 19 spokesman Tom Angell said today; the campaign’s website is soliciting donations to keep the ad on the air through Election Day.

Meanwhile, neither the campaign for the measure nor the one against it has been rolling in dough: Reports filed Thursday showed Yes on 19 had $225,690.17 in the bank as of Oct. 16, while No on 19 had $47,242.12.

It looks as if Yes on 19 has raised about $160,000 since Oct. 16, most notably including $70,000 from Clarium Capital President Peter Thiel of San Francisco; $50,000 from George Zimmer, CEO of Fremont-based Men’s Wearhouse; and $10,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers Issue Education Fund.

And No on 19 has raised about $93,000 since the Oct. 16 report, of which $50,000 came Saturday from Julie F. Schauer of Vienna, Va., who identifies herself as a teacher at Northern Virginia Community College. Schauer has been a relatively prolific donor on both sides of the political aisle; I’ve tried to get in touch with her to see what motivated her to make so generous a donation to No on 19 from all the way back there in Virginia, but I haven’t heard back from her yet.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.