By Steven Harmon Bay Area News Group
SACRAMENTO -- Early contributions to Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-hike initiative show a wide span of interests are beginning to line up behind it.
In the past two weeks, two business groups -- the Occidental Petroleum Corporation and the American Beverage Association -- pitched in $250,000 apiece to his ballot committee, Californians to Protect Schools, Universities and Public Safety.
The governor has raised $1.7 million as his campaign begins to collect signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot, according to campaign finance reports released Tuesday. No committee has yet been formed to oppose the tax measure.
Gaining the support of business alongside Democrats' traditional labor allies appears to be a key to the governor's strategy, analysts say. The measure would raise about $7 billion by increasing the sales tax by a half-cent and income tax on individuals who make $250,000 or more a year.
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