This Just In: Attorney General Jerry Brown is supporting Proposition 1A, the linchpin measure on the May 19 special election ballot to impose a new spending cap on state government and extend $16 billion in tax increases, the former governor said in an interview with calbuzz.
The 2010 contender for governor was tepid in his endorsement of the measure, but credited Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders for their effort in crafting a compromise: “The budget thing is complicated and it is daunting,” he said. “They tried . . . and did the best they could to come up with something.”
“You can’t make the perfect the enemy of the possible,” Brown told calbuzz.
Brown is the final major candidate in the early gubernatorial field to take a public stand on Prop. 1A. His position aligns with that taken by two Democratic rivals, mayors Gavin Newsom of San Francisco and Antonio Villargairosa of Los Angeles. Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, also a Democrat, opposes the measure. On the Republican side, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman oppose Prop. 1A, while moderate former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell supports it.
The measure is one of five initiatives the governor and Legislature placed on the ballot to enact a February budget deal that purports to close a $42 billion projected deficit for the current and next fiscal years. Without passage of the measures, that deal falls apart and Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders will be forced into further negotiations over the deficit. A statewide survey released late last month by the Public Policy Institute of California showed the initiative losing.
In the interview with calbuzz, Brown declined to take positions on the other ballot measures yet: “I have to read them” he said.
Tomorrow: check back for more calbuzz on Brown’s first extensive interview about the 2010 governor’s race.