Calbuzz at Two: Wild Parties, Lady Gaga & a Field Poll

Mar16

From Sydney Harbor to the Taj Mahal and Tiananmen Square, from  Big Ben to the Eiffel Tower and the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, raucous crowds numbered in the tens of millions gathered Wednesday amid pomp, pageantry and majestic bombardments of M80s and Megabangers to wildly cheer and celebrate the Second Anniversary of Calbuzz.

“Ich kann es nicht glauben,” murmured staff psychiatrist Dr. P.J. Hackenflack, weeping openly as he listened to reports of the global revelry on a transistor radio in his mom’s basement. “When we started this brave journey, there was no one who believed Calbuzz would still be around two years later, least of all me.”

There were no injuries.

As Tom Meyer released a limited edition cartoon commemorating the founders of Calbuzz celebrating the great day, the site’s Department of Archival Inquiry and Dewey Decimal System Research reported that the must-read web site has soared to Number 1,074,351 among the list of all the blogs in the world (you could look it up).

More: Amid reams of deep-think policy reporting on such fascinating subjects as the Sinclair Paint decision, the Parsky Tax Reform Commission and the Tranquillon Ridge offshore oil drilling project, Dr. H is pleased to  report that our all-time, nothing- else is-even-close,  first place most hits ever, popular post was the one and only piece that carried a headline that included Lady Gaga (you could look it up).

God, we love us some internets.

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.Note to Neanderthals: the most important finding in the Field/UC Berkeley poll out today is that six in 10 voters – including more than half of Republicans — support Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a special election on tax and fee extensions to close about half the state’s $26 billion deficit.

And providing evidence for why the anti-tax jihadists are so adamant about NOT allowing Brown’s plan to reach the ballot, 58% of voters – 69% of Democrats and 66% of independents but just 35% of Republicans – say they’d vote to approve those extensions.

These are some of the findings from a survey in English and Spanish by the Field Poll and UC Berkeley of 898 registered voters Feb. 28-March 14.

Only a handful of voters – 11% — prefer to deal with the state’s deficit mostly through raising taxes and just 32% prefer using mostly spending cuts. Rather, the favored approach – by 52% — is a mix of budget cuts and increased tax revenues.

Moreover, as Mark DiCamillo of the Field Poll put it: “By a 55% to 43% margin, Californians say they are not willing to pay higher taxes for the purpose of helping the state balance its budget. However, by a 61% to 37% margin, voters agree with the statement, ‘I would be willing to extend temporary tax increases enacted several years ago to help the state balance its budget.”

Grover Norquist, Jon Fleischman, Jon Coupal, John and Ken take note: California voters would rather extend some minor tax and fee hikes and cut spending by about $12 billion than slice, dice and decimate schools or health care for the poor, elderly and disabled. You may have no heart but the voters of California do.

Of 14 areas suggested for budget cutbacks, only two – courts and prisons – receive majority support. And voters are vehemently opposed to cutbacks in some areas that would almost surely have to be slashed if tax extensions are not placed on the ballot and approved, including public schools, law enforcement and police, health programs for  low-income and disabled Californians, higher education, child care and mental health programs.

By far, the most contentious issue in Sacramento right now is whether the Legislature should place a special election on the June ballot. This requires a 2/3 vote which means Brown and the Democrats need two Republicans each from the Assembly and Senate to agree to the special election.

The most conservative voices in the GOP are threatening legislators with expulsion from the Republican Party and fevered opposition if they even vote to place Brown’s plan on the ballot. Yet the Field Poll/UC Berkeley study finds that registered Republicans – a more diverse group than the anti-tax crusaders – would prefer that approach as seen in the chart above.

As your Calbuzzers told you back in January, the whole battle is about whether Brown’s proposal is seen as extending or increasing taxes.

[Calbuzz gets the Field Poll from sources because one of the survey's big subscribers has complained that we should not be allowed to pay for a subscription on our own (which we actually offered to do). Since we don't have the proper link at post time, here's a link to the Field Poll's list of surveys which ought to have this one up by the time you read about it here. Here's the link to the survey]

One-way street: As Jerry Brown’s talks with the GOP 5 teeter, it’s tough to disagree with the sentiments of the Republicans’ top negotiator, Senator Bob Huff, as reported by Steve Harmon:

But Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, the lead GOP budget negotiator who has been aiding the GOP 5, said Republican backlash isn’t a concern. Republican activists would credit them, Huff said, if they forced Democrats to place pension and regulatory reforms, as well as a spending cap, on the ballot.

“They are asking us to cast a vote that separates us from our base,” he said. “So, Republicans would like to see Democrats going to the ballot with something that separates them from their base.”

Faced with the torches and pitchforks of state GOP wingnuts and crazies, the Republican lawmakers who have been hunkered down with Brown are putting it all on the line: at some point, he needs to man up and give something in return.

Budget talks add: Nice work by the Sacbee’s Torey (Don’t call me Tulip) Van Oot in churning out a set of mini-profiles of the GOP 5, about the only thing we’ve seen that tells people who these guys actually are.

Must-see TV:

-UCLA scholar demonstrates why there are so many dumb blonde jokes.

-What Sarkozy’s marital woes and Yeltsin’s tennis shorts have in common.

-How does he get these women to do such things?

-Second greatest buzzer beater of all time.

-Greatest buzzer beater ever.

Happy Anniversary all!


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There are 12 comments for this post

  1. avatar Bob Mulholland says:

    The support is there to extend the Schwarzenegger taxes. Republicans calling for letting the people of Libya having the right to vote should extend that right to the people of California. Maybe, we’ll need to fly in a dozen people from Libya to hold a news conference in the Capitol demanding that Republicans allow Californians to vote.

  2. avatar tonyseton says:

    1 – Happy Anniversary.
    2 – Of course the Dems should step up to the proverbial plate and stop writing blank checks for the unions. Working for the government should be the last resort. It shouldn’t be a golden feed bag for life.
    3 – If, as reported in the LAT, the GOP Five are demanding rollbacks in environmental controls in exchange for the tax extension vote, they should be sent over to Japan to lick the floors at Fukushima Daiichi.

    • avatar ReilleyFam says:

      To say govt work should be a “last resort” is a disgusting insult to all govt workers and inaccurate. It should NOT be a “golden feed bag for life” either. It should be an average job, no better or no worse than a private sector job, chosen out of preference not golddigging. For most rank and file, it’s just that. You confuse high level managers and appointees with $2K/month rank and filers.

  3. avatar ReilleyFam says:

    Happy Anniversary to a great and informative site.

    No deal should be reached. The Dems should not be willing to give away precious long term items in exchange for a vote that has no guarantee of passing. Pass a cuts-heavy 1 year budget with gimmicks and then go gather signatures for a ballot initiative and let the voters feel the reality of these cuts for a year. After a year of the reality of the cuts the public will be frothing to pass the tax increases.

  4. avatar chrisfinnie says:

    Calbuzz may be more well-read than you think. A friend introduced me to someone at the MoveOn rally last night in Santa Cruz. The introducee said, “Oh yes, I read your replies on Calbuzz.” So there you go, famous in the reflection of the Calbuzzards! Good drawing of the two of you too.

  5. avatar tegrat says:

    Happy Anniversary, and many more, to the Buzzards!

  6. avatar Ernie Konnyu says:

    Happy birthday CalBuzz! You make a wonderful target for us on the Right.

    On the Governor Brown tax extention vote cum budget cuts and reforms, glad to see passing poll support. California deserve a balanced fiscal fix.

    I do however caution solution enthusiast about the mighty sword held by taxpayers suffering California’s 12.4% unemployment. The mayor of Miami, Florida, just got recalled yesterday because of the tax increases he championed.

    • avatar chrisfinnie says:

      Oh Ernie! What an old trick. Stop trying to scare Democrats.

      These are extensions of taxes most Californians didn’t even know we were paying. In Miami, one of the most depressed property markets in the country, the mayor raised property taxes. That was a boneheaded move, clearly. But there are lots of revenue sources that voters have indicated they’d welcome in poll after poll. A split roll for property taxes polls well. An oil extraction tax polls even better, as does increased taxes on the rich. And just about nobody would argue that corporations should pay their taxes as the rest of us do. I just paid my corporate taxes yesterday. And my little one-woman business paid more than Bank of America did. More than most giant corporations do. But Republicans just want to keep cutting the taxes they don’t even bother to pay. Taxes that could eliminate the deficit, fully fund education, pay for police and firefighters, and provide services to people who really need them. That bothers a lot of working people. And it should bother a lot more.

      So, if you want to play the fear game, try telling the legislators who keep cutting corporate taxes to start watching their backs. People are beginning to realize that we’re getting shafted. And we’re not happy about it.

  7. avatar SezMe says:

    Calbuzz: the great political buzzer beater. W00t!

  8. avatar patwater says:

    Great two years! One question, though: when am I going to be able to get my t-shirts, coffee cups, and all manner of Calbuzz schwag? Need to be able to represent!

  9. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    As a late arrival to Calbuzz, let me add my congratulations on your two-year anniversary. And being with the Republicans in the rain must be fun. You can’t even go across the street to take a sunny walk in Capitol Park. Are you having fun yet?

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