Taking hits

Nov 1, 2012

Gov. Brown, his tax initiative in a close call in next week's election, seems to be taking hits from just about everybody, including fellow Democrat, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.


From the Bee's Kevin Yamamura: "Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom two weeks ago criticized Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative approach, suggesting to KGO Radio in San Francisco that the governor was slow to hit the campaign trail and that he was telling college students "something that's not true."


"Newsom spoke to KGO on Oct. 17, a day after Brown appeared at UCLA in the first of several appearances at state colleges and universities. But the interview got little statewide notice until Bee columnist Dan Morain referenced Newsom's caustic words for Brown in today's Bee. Though both Democrats who support Proposition 30, Newsom and Brown have endured a difficult relationship."


"Newsom, who sits on the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees, emphasized several times in a four-minute interview that Brown was misleading college students by suggesting Prop. 30 would avert tuition increases. That has since become a central part of Brown's campaign message."


Meanwhile, Brown's message to woo voters also is under fire.


From LAT columnist George Skelton: "But for the life of me — and I'm echoing the sentiments of innumerable pundits and pols, Democrats and Republicans — I couldn't begin to cite much that Brown & Co. have done to sell Prop. 30."


"There hasn't been a consistent, coherent message to voters about why they should back the measure, which would temporarily boost income taxes for single-filers earning more than $250,000 and couples making more than $500,000. There'd also be a tiny quarter-cent sales tax hike."


"Start with those details, which were designed to provide the campaign with a populist "soak the rich" argument it has failed to really use."


As Brown continued to campaign for Proposition 30, a Sacramento judge ruled that an Arizona group that dumped $11 million into the opposition campaign, has to turn over records to California's political watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission.


From the Mercury News' Steve Harmon: "Two hours after listening to arguments from both sides, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang affirmed what she'd tentatively decided a day earlier: to require Americans for Responsible Leadership to comply with the Fair Political Practices Commission's request to audit all emails and other communications related to the group's donation to the Small Business Action Committee."


"Chang ordered the group to turn over the documents to the FPPC by Thursday at 5 p.m., but attorneys for the group said they would appeal the decision."


"The Court finds that irreparable harm has occurred and continues to occur as each day passes, and voters continue to cast their votes without information that may influence their votes," Chang wrote.


Down in the huge L.A. Unified, the nation's second-largest school district, officials are making contingency plans if Proposition 30 goes down. It's not pretty. The LA Daily News' Barbara Jones tells the tale.


"If forced to slash $255 million from its 2012-13 budget of $6 billion, LAUSD would end its school year on May 10 rather than the scheduled date of May 31. Officials estimate LAUSD's deficit for 2013-14 would swell to $650million, forcing them to cut up to 10 more days from the school calendar."


"Education leaders are deeply worried about the loss of instructional time and how that would affect student test scores, high school graduation rates and highly competitive college admissions."


"There are also concerns about how a truncated school year would affect the state's standardized tests, which are supposed to be given when 85 percent of the material is covered - typically in late April or early May."


It could be a long election night, too: So many people are using mail-in ballots that the count could be delayed.


From the AP's Hannah Dreier: "The number of California voters casting mail-in ballots this year is expected to surpass 2008, when about 42 percent of the 13.7 million ballots cast in the presidential election were sent by mail. By comparison, 25 percent voted by mail in 2000."


"The state distributed 8.9 million mail-in ballots this election cycle, about 20 percent more than were requested in 2008."


"The rise in mail-in voting means that some of the highest-profile contests, from a statewide tax initiative to nationally watched congressional races, might not be decided by the time voters go to bed on Election Day if enough of those voters wait until the last minute to turn in their ballots."





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