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Skelton: Jerry Brown's legacy hinges on tax question

September 17, 2012 |  8:29 am

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When Californians decide whether to support higher taxes in November, they're also make a decision on Gov. Jerry Brown's legacy.

In Monday's column, George Skelton writes that the tax campaign is something of a referendum on Brown's second tour of duty in the governor's office. 

Skelton says a collection of missteps has brought Brown to this point. During the campaign, when he sold himself as the only candidate with the experience necessary, he promised not to raise taxes without voter approval, restricting his ability to govern. Then he threatened to cut billions from schools if the taxes aren't approved. 

"So the governor who promised prowess would be presiding over the further devastation of California's once-envied public school system," Skelton says. "That would not fly with most Californians, I suspect. But the governor seems intent on pulling the trigger if voters kill his tax measure."

If the taxes pass, Brown could be seen as the "astute old pro we'd hoped for, the rescuer," Skelton says. Otherwise, it would be a crippling setback two years before he's expected to seek reelection.

All of Skelton's columns are here

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, turn in boxes of petititions for his tax initiative. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

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