Desperate Governor Turns to Distortions

Steven Greenhut

Greenhut writes for American Spectator, Reason and the Orange County Register.


Crossposted on CalWatchDog

Gov. Jerry Brown has fiddled while Sacramento has burned, squandering his entire governorship on a pointless campaign to massively raise income taxes on the poor, middle class and wealthy Californians through the Prop. 30 sales and income tax hike. Now that the initiative’s support is failing — it’s below 50 percent according to most polls, despite PPIC’s previous poll showing it well ahead — the governor is lashing out. He’s blasting out of state and secret money.

As California Watch reported, “When an obscure Arizona group called Americans for Responsible Leadership gave $11 million to defeat the governor’s tax measure and support an initiative that would weaken the political clout of unions, Brown called it illegal. The state Fair Political Practices Commission filed a lawsuit Thursday under new state rules to force the group to provide records on the mystery donation.”

But Brown is being as cynical and deceptive as usual.

As Aaron Mclear of the anti-30 group points out, the pro-30 campaign is awash in campaign cash from out-of-state unions and is far outspending the “no” campaign:

As the Yes on Prop 30 campaign tries to shift focus away from its “misleading” ads, the Governor has spent every day focused on money given to the Small Business Action Committee (SBAC), which opposes Prop 30 and supports Prop 32. It is important to report this in the context of overall money in this race and the money Prop 30 has received from the SBAC. A couple of points:

1) Yes on Prop 30 committees have raised more than four times as much money as the No on Prop 30 campaign, including millions from out-of-state unions, and even a Texas oil company.

2) The SBAC money has gone to both No on Prop 30 and Yes on Prop 32. Despite media reports and the Governor confusing this issue, only about a quarter of that money has gone to No on Prop 30.

Here are the Prop 30 numbers as of this morning:

Yes on Prop 30 committees: $53,447,996.40

No on Prop 30 committee:  $12,957,151.00

It seems typical of the union side to scream about corporate donations just as they gear up their spending machine — a machine greased by donations taken by force from members, whereas the non-union side must raise its money voluntarily.

Even if Prop. 30 passes, the Legislature will squander the new dollars so fast that the governor and Legislature will quickly return to the table asking for more money.

Gov. Brown promised that he would stand up to special interests now that he has no more offices to seek in his late years, but instead he has turned out to be a one-trick pony who is always seeking more tax dollars and who basically does the bidding of the unions who have elected him.

Win or lose on Prop. 30, at least we know his sorry legacy.

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