The details of Fabian Nunez's transportation plan
are emerging, and Republicans are crying foul. The plan would lower gasoline sales taxes by about 11 cents per gallon
, at the same time increase sales tax by one quarter of a cent
, and then restore the tax on gas as an excise tax in stages of 4 cents a gallon
. This would be used to retire the debt on a $10 billion transportation bond.
"'This looks to me like, 'Let's put a new tax under a cup, move three or four cups around and then see what comes out,'' said Assembly Transportation Committee Vice Chairman John Benoit
(R-Palm Desert), tells the Los Angeles Times. 'The gas taxes people pay at the pump should be what goes to roads.'"
Add the Chronicle's editorial board to the list of the unimpressed.
"As usual, when Sacramento politicians start talking about a complex "out of the box" financing scheme, hold onto your wallets. This one is a doozy."
Dan Walters points out that the plan panders to the middle class, and cautions that it would hit the poor the hardest
: "There is also an intriguing socioeconomic aspect. The chief beneficiaries of eliminating sales taxes on gasoline would be those who drive gas-guzzling vehicles, such as Schwarzenegger's Hummer
. But raising general sales taxes would have its greatest impact on the poor
, who spend relatively more of their incomes on taxable goods, and are less likely to drive - an interesting posture for those who profess to protect those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder."
Labor turned out in force in a noisy protest against the governor
at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco, although the estimated crowd of 2,000 was far below their pledge of 5-10,000.
While the polling results and negotiations ongoing inside the horseshoe indicate that the administration is feeling the heat from the protests, the governor's spokesman Rob Stutzman
is still spinning sunshine
"There is not a growing unhappiness anywhere
that we can determine except amongst those constituencies that fought to keep this governor out of office."
Apparently, Mr. Stutzman didn't read Monday's Roundup
Meanwhile, John Burton
shared his ideas about the governor's decision to take on the nurses with a local TV station. "He's getting bad advice and following it. You know, taking on the nurses -- talking about kicking their butt. I mean, who's ever mad at a nurse unless, you know, they've given you an enema or something?"
Sen. Debra Bowen
wants clearer labeling for ballot initiatives
as they are circulated for the ballot. "Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Redondo Beach, is carrying a bill that would require every initiative petition to be emblazoned with a notice in large type disclosing whether it is being carried by a "volunteer circulator" or a "paid circulator." SB 469
, which gets its first hearing today, also calls for petitions to list the top five donors pushing each initiative.
Bowen gets some backing from the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
"Like migrant workers who follow various harvests, signature gatherers work during the political season, collecting $1.25 for each name they reap ... the process of hiring people to gather names has a manipulative feel to it.
For example, one of these gatherers at a recent farmers' market identified himself as an unemployed man who lives in Lake County, Fla. He said he was given a round-trip ticket to California, assigned to San Luis Obispo County -- where, he was told, people will sign anything -- and put up in a motel."
Why not just make all signature gatherers wear silly white hats?
Sen. Joe Dunn,
who had been expected to run for Attorney General, has decided to run for state treasurer.
Apparently, Dunn didn't like his chances of taking out Jerry Brown
in a Democratic primary. Dunn will face Assemblyman Dario Frommer
and Board of Equalization member John Chiang
in the primary. The Democrats' AG race now becomes a head-to-head battle between Brown and Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo