Supporters of the still-messy Brainpower Initiative, looking ahead to a likely sales-tax election in November, are assembling the fundraising machine. We hear they've filed a campaign treasurer's report for a political action committee that'll pay for the electioneering, and that Mike Beldon – roofing contractor and occasional go-between for Mayor Julian Castro's office and business leaders – is the marquee name for treasurer. The PAC currently has only a placeholder name, but look for something catchy soon, like "Pre-K for SA."
Or maybe "Pre-K for SA Now." Like "Build SA Now," which bankrolled the recent, successful campaign for the City's $596-million bond package. That PAC raised $410,100 and spent $382,400. But packed with goodies for almost everyone and without much in the way of controversy or drama, the bond election was an easy sell. The Brainpower Initiative won't be. There's a lot to explain – building two centers of excellence for pre-K instruction, creating a municipal development corporation to do it, etc. – and this is clearly a tax increase. Where City officials sold the bond in part by pledging that it wouldn't result in a property-tax increase, there's no getting around a vote on imposing the last 1/8-cent sales tax increment available to the City.