"Tomorrow's Vote In California Might Be A Big Deal"
That's what Jim Geraghty is predicting, over at NRO's Campaign blog:
Tomorrow is an election day in California; voters will go to the polls to consider six state propositions. Most notable to those of us outside of the Golden State is Proposition 1A, which would extend $10 billion in "temporary" sales, use, income, and vehicle taxes imposed as part of the 2009-2010 budget agreement for at least one year, and in some cases two years.
The ad spending to persuade the public has been one-sided; the San Francisco Chronicle noted: "Groups backing Props 1A to 1F raising a combined $25.5 million, compared with about $3.1 million for the opposition."
And yet, every poll shows 1A going down and going down pretty hard. The only measure that will pass, if current polling is accurate, is 1F, which would "prohibit the state commission that sets salary levels for the governor, other top state officials, and members of the California State Legislature (both the state senate and the state assembly) from increasing those salaries if the state General Fund is expected to end the year with a deficit."
If, as expected, the first five referenda go down in flames, you'll hear a lot of chatter about what it all means: the use of referenda to express populist rage, the populace's demand for ever-more government programs without a willingness to pay for it, Governor Schwarzenegger's unpopularity, lawmakers' unwillingness to set priorities in the budget, etc. But at least one inescapable fact will be clear: Even in deep-blue California, where Obama won 61 percent to 37 percent, voters chose steep service cuts over tax increases.
Update: The L.A.-based Dana Report blog concurs with the "vote no six times" thesis.
More: "California: The poster child for dysfunction," Michelle Malkin writes. It would be nice to see the state's never-ending cyle of rinse, lather, soak the taxpayers, repeat end in my lifetime, but I'm not holding my breath.