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Jerry Brown launches final push for Proposition 30

Gov. Jerry Brown embarked Monday on a five-city swing across California in a last-ditch effort to persuade voters to support Proposition 30, the temporary tax-hike plan that he says will help balance the state's books and prevent billions of dollars in cuts to public schools and universities.

Brown began his day in San Diego with a 7:30 a.m. rally and pep talk in front of Hoover High School, one of the oldest, most racially diverse schools in the city. The tax increases in Proposition 30 -- a quarter-cent sales tax hike for four years and a seven-year surcharge on annual incomes of $250,000 or more -- are small and targeted toward to the wealthy, Brown told a cheering crowd of 100-plus students, teachers and others.

"Do we want our schools to cut $6 billion more or do we ask those who have enjoyed the greatest benefits to give a little more to California in our time of need?" he asked the crowd.

In the final days before Tuesday's vote, Brown has hammered the populist message -- something that has been missing from the campaign's paid advertising.

The proposition has opposition among the rich, he said. "Even people in Arizona are sending secret donations and when we ask 'who are you?' They say 'we don't have to tell you,'" the governor said, referring to an out-of-state group that has anonymously dumped $11 million into a campaign committee opposed to Proposition 30.

Brown was joined on the stump by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assemblyman Marty Block (D-San Diego). He is scheduled to make stops in Burbank, Fresno, Sacramento and San Francisco later Monday.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

 
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