The thicket of obstacles Governor Brown and his allies have run into in trying to convince voters to approve his initiative to raise funds for schools and the state budget underscores the extreme hazards of trying to convince California voters to raise taxes, even for a cause they’re predisposed to support.
A combination of an unexpected and bitter rivalry among pro-education forces that should have been allies, greater than expected and deeper-pocketed opposition to the Brown initiative, and voters still struggling to cope with the enduring economic downturn in a state that reflexively votes against tax increases have all conspired to make it impossible to predict victory on November 6.
Instead, school officials and other education advocates are filled with a sense of dread that neither Prop. 30 nor Prop. 38, the rival initiative sponsored by civil rights attorney Molly Munger, will get the simple majority they need on November 6, resulting in an automatic $5.4 billion in “trigger cuts” to schools and community colleges.