I've predicted that Prop 30 -- the California initiative to temporarily raise taxes on the rich, along with a quarter-cent sales tax hike, to stave off big education cuts and stabilize the state budget -- will lose. Sometimes I like being wrong. This would definitely be one of those times.
After a mostly sleepy summer and fall, California's initiative campaigns are concluding in a paroxysm of the bizarre. Here's the latest in the wild banana republic-style funding action, and a forecast of the outcomes of the various initiatives on the ballot.
Brown's plans to match his big budget cuts with new revenues were already somewhat complicated by heiress Molly Munger's rival income-tax-hike-for-the-schools initiative. But a much bigger threat emerged in dramatic fashion late last week.
It's been a fairly quiet campaign season so far in California with the exception of Proposition 32, the effort to rein in campaign spending by public employee unions by taking away their ability to have automatic paycheck deductions from union members.
OK, I get it now. Convincing the public to help with economic recovery requires the promise of immediate gratification -- beyond the threat of imminent economic armageddon. This could be huge for worldwide tourism industry.
This month has brought some more progress on the chronic California budget crisis, the beginning of some results for reform efforts, and, as the state Republican Party continues its devolution, telling early returns on the appeal of independents.
Here in Los Angeles, where the price of real estate has driven up the cost of living for everyone, including those who work in our public schools, we face the untenable proposition of paying New York real estate prices with Mississippi-level student funding.
Whatever your feelings on charter schools, simple fairness should cause all of us to worry. When the Legislature can use kids as political pawns to further their narrow political interests, you have to wonder where it will stop.
Supersized tax loopholes coupled with the belief that increasing corporate taxes will jeopardize the economy are costing California. There are wise revenue solutions. Our elected officials just need to be willing to identify them and take a stand.
Most Californians see the stress of the state cuts on UC in the faces of our students and represented on the front page headlines as tuition rises. The deeper story may be a few sections further back in the paper.
Does the air of shock around the latest in California's chronic budget crisis count as a failure of Gov. Brown's communications strategy? Or as a success? A bad shock may be what the electoral doctor ordered for Brown's November revenue initiative.