PPIC Survey: How Gov. Brown Might Save Prop. 30


As Calbuzz predicted and warned, self-anointed school savior Molly Munger (with an assist from her right-wing brother Charles Jr. and the underhanded Joel Fox), has driven Gov. Jerry Brown’s Prop. 30, a measure to bolster the state budget and prevent draconian cuts to the schools, below 50% in the polls.

While it clung to a narrow majority for months, Prop. 30 – after being attacked on TV –has fallen to 48-44% in the latest survey from the Public Policy Institute of California, down from 52-40% last month in the same poll.

Of course, heiress Munger’s own Prop. 38 tax hike for schools, which never had a chance, has also fallen to 39-53%, from 45-45% a month ago. Just as we predicted.

Brown’s Prop. 30 would fund schools by increasing taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and the sales tax by ¼ cent for four years, and would also guarantee public safety realignment funding.

Part of the measure – the tax-the-rich feature – offers its only chance for survival. According to PPIC, of all the tax proposals on the table right now, Prop. 30 contains the most popular feature: “raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians.”

About two-thirds of likely voters – 64% — favor that idea, compared to 59% who support raising corporate taxes (a feature of Prop. 39).

Munger’s Prop. 38 relies on the least favored mechanism – raising the personal income tax across the board – which has support of just 25% of likely voters.

One problem for Brown is that his measure includes a teensy temporary sales tax hike and only 28% of voters like the idea of raising sales taxes.

But with widespread support for soaking the rich – 87% of Democrats, 59% of independents and even 33% of Republicans – Brown has only one option if he wants to get his measure back up over 50%: class warfare.

He should argue on TV that his measure will force the rich to pay their fair share, which is why the phony Small Business Action Committee – funded by secret donations from greedy billionaires who have no interest in California’s school kids – is trying to kill Prop. 30.

Our friend Dan Morain at the Sacramento B-  lays out the case against the loathsome secrecy about the source of funds to Joel Fox’s so-called Small Business Action Committee.

“It’s complete money laundering,” Brown said last weekend. The governor should continue to hammer at this. Too bad there’s no time to call Fox and his contributors before a Legislative investigative committee. We’d sure like to know how much he makes off all this in commissions, referrals or ancillary business. Maybe the FPPC’s Ann Ravel can compel disclosure through the courts.

The LA Times and USC will be coming out with polling data Thursday and we suspect they’ll show the same thing PPIC found — that Prop. 38 is still sinking but now is pulling Prop. 30 under water, too.

How Molly Munger can live with herself — after virtually every independent political analyst in California advised her that she would crush school finances by going ahead with her self-indulgent ballot measure – we have no bloody idea.

Other PPIC results of note:

— Twenty-four percent of likely voters would vote yes on Prop. 31 (changes to the state budget process and state and local government), 48% would vote no, and 28% are unsure.

— Four in 10 likely voters (39%) favor Prop. 32 (prohibiting political contributions by payroll deduction), while 53% would vote no.

— Barack Obama and Joe Biden lead Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan 53-41% in the presidential race. Six in 10 likely voters are more enthusiastic than usual about voting in the November election. Among Latino likely voters, it’s Obama over Romney by a staggering 52 points: 74-22%.

— Likely voters have a positive view of the Democratic Party 53-44% and they have an even stronger negative view of the Republican Party 38-58%. Likely voters also have a highly negative opinion of the Tea Party movement — 32-56%

— Latino likely voters have a 68-28% favorable view of the Democratic Party and a scathing 32-62% unfavorable view of the Republican Party.

PPIC surveyed 2,006 California adult residents on landlines and cell phones Oct. 14-21. The survey identified 993 likely voters. The margin of error for all adults is ±3.2% and for likely voters it is ±4.0 percent.

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There are 17 comments for this post

  1. avatar patwater says:

    The war of all against all seems to be really heating up — should remind us to remember our Steinbeck: “And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”

  2. avatar Sideline says:

    Two thoughts come to mind: The first has to do with the personal nature of our Governor, whom I believe to have a bit of the punitive spirit within his character. If Prop 30 goes down, and if he believes that Munger has contributed to the defeat (“duh”), then I believe that he will be wholly resistant to any Legislative attempt to soften the blow on education by spreading cuts to other human service programs. He’s got a little bit of the “I told you so” in him, don’t you think?

    The second thought has to do with Molly “Ralph Nader” Munger, who has positioned herself as a spoiler whose reputation will never be salvageable. How about a major press conference where she announces that “education is too important to let personal politics get in the way and, as I result, I am asking every California voter to please, please, please vote yes on Proposition 30.”

    Okay, it’s a happy little dream, but it’s my dream.

  3. avatar cheesendorf says:

    So the Mungers are primarily to blame for prop 30’s dropping poll numbers? I think not. How about the fact the the Governor has never made a strong case for his initiative. He has spent so much effort keeping businesses from opposing it and squeezing money out of unions, that he has forgotten that voters vote. His proposal is a lame dog and he hasn’t been able to demonstrate otherwise so he is forced to hold a gun to the head of school children and college students, which, let’s face it, really isnt a winning strategy. Oh and by the way, Prop 30 doesnt solve any of the state’s fundamental fiscal problems and really just “kicks the can down the road”, as every action by Governors and Legislators over the past 5 years has done. Oh and by the other way, what about public safety funding, as in the title of the proposition? Evidently that part of Prop 30 is just an out and out lie.

  4. avatar stevefromsacto says:

    The can will continue to be kicked down the road as long as the Republicans continue to pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist and Jon Coupal instead of to the people of California. Maybe the only thing the governor can do if Prop. 30 goes down is to make the huge budget cuts that are inevitable without needed tax revenue. Maybe it will only be when the people feel the immense pain these cuts will cause that they will rise up against the anti-tax zealots who have tied our state in knots.

    • avatar cheesendorf says:

      Unfortunately the pain is mostly felt by people who are already disinfranchised and left out of political movements/debates.

      As far as Republicans go, yes they have acted like petulant children, but Democratic leaders have acted like spoiled brats. What we need is a leader like Willie Brown was, someone who knows how to get things done in political circles. We thought Jerry Brown was that man, but he has proved himself to be far from it.

  5. avatar sitsitwota says:

    A few thoughts you might have overlooked. More voters now connect tax increases and paying off public employee union demands. Taxpayer no longer see present benefits from present tax increases.

    Now we see tax increases go to pay off past benefits for those not even working today. Tax the rich is never a welcome attack because everyone wants to be rich someday themselves. We see no reason to hate the rich or stick it to them.

    Smacks of class warfare and that is looking more and more distasteful now we realize how much of our tax burden is already being carried by the rich. We need to take care of them, not annihilate or alienate them.

    Just sayin’

  6. avatar sitsitwota says:

    BTW, a young Latino republican running against a long-time Democrat party hack is doing very well locally.

    Latinos are natural Republicans. They are starting to figure this out, like a lot of other former Democrats who have watched their party move away from their ideals and become only the party of public greed.

    Immigrant Latinos live entrepreneurialism and within one generation have boot-strapped themselves into the American dream of home ownership and kids in college. This puts them squarely in to the Republican values camp.

    • avatar pjhackenflack says:

      Poll data and election results simply don’t support the “Latinos are natural Republicans” line that GOP partisans have been arguing in vain for decades. Longtime Calbuzzers know we have explained this repeatedly, including in this piece on the great Republican strategist Stu Spencer’s advice to his own party http://tinyurl.com/9pxev55

  7. avatar sitsitwota says:

    Poll data would have a hard time explaining what we are seeing in our own backyard and front yard signs – Latino neigbhorhoods bristling with a Latino Republican for Congress. Trending.

    Demographics are moving into second generation immigrants now – those children the first generation sent to college who also carry the work ethics of their parents who sacrificed everything to come to the US in the first large waves starting a few decades ago.

    Just sayin’. Latinos are natural Republicans and the younger ones who got to taste of the American Dreams know this.

  8. avatar sitsitwota says:

    Look no further than The Honorable Gloria Romero for the switch in Latino/Latina political sentiments.

    She saw what was happening from the inside and speaks better than anyone about the corrosion of Democrat Party values over the past few decades.

    Jerry Brown One created public employee collective bargaining rights and the takeover of public institutions by public employee unions as is most enduring legacy.

    The Democrat Party in turn became the party of the public employee unions and that is why they are driving voters way in droves. SEIU and AFT et al rapidly moved into California to pick up the tax payer crumbs. And Jerry Brown Two now demands we keep increasing our taxes to pay for the mess he created under Jerry Brown One.

    • avatar chrisfinnie says:

      The correct term is “Democratic Party.” By using the incorrect wording, you betray the origins of your “thinking” and arguments as Faux Noise propaganda.

    • avatar sitsitwota says:

      I like this. Ad homimun is as good of a defense as anything.

    • avatar sitsitwota says:

      Oh drats, now we have to devolve into a spelling-nanny war. Mea culpa.

    • avatar pjhackenflack says:

      According to a survey by Republicans Marty Wilson and Bob Moore, one-third of Latino voters say they would never vote for a Republican and another 30% say they might vote Republican if the GOP moves to the center or nominates less conservative candidates.

    • avatar sitsitwota says:

      Family values, hard working, religious, small business owners, entrepreneurs, importance of education for their children, dignified, grateful — what is not to like about more Latinos in the Republican party?

  9. avatar chuckmcfadden says:

    Sits, poll data would not have a hard time explaining your yard signs, etc. You are mistaking what may be happening in your immediate neighborhood with statewide trends — which polls (accurately) measure. All the available evidence from disinterested researchers say you are talking through your hat.

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