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Jerry Brown finds GOP support for budget plan hard to come by

March 7, 2011 |  1:18 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown conceded Monday that he has yet to win a single Republican vote for his budget plan.

As a result, he said, he probably won't make a self-imposed deadline for a legislative vote Thursday on a key element: a June special election to extend billions of dollars in taxes.

Turning a meeting of community college leaders into a gubernatorial news conference, Brown quoted Jesuit philosophy and his former political-theory professor, and made a direct appeal to those hesitant Republicans.

"We're not asking for the moon here. We're asking for common sense," he said.

Brown said many Republicans were afraid of retribution from conservative activists if they go along with the governor's proposal.

"They believe that their heads will be on a stick," Brown said Monday. The comment was a reference to the hosts of KFI-AM's "John and Ken Show," who call out Republicans for showing a willingness to compromise on taxes.

"There is a lot of fear that the entire machinery of the more conservative elements will be turned against anyone who votes to put this on the ballot," Brown said.

The governor said he hopes to be able to provide political cover for Republicans who vote for a deal. "I'm thinking about what I should tell them," he said. "I'm reaching into my box of great ideas to find something."

Brown had hoped to get lawmakers to decide on the special election this week, but now says he needs a few more days to get the votes.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento