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Former rivals rally for passage of Jerry Brown's tax measure

August 7, 2012 | 11:52 am

Supporters of Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure rallied on the Capitol steps Tuesday, vowing to attract new voters to the polls to push Proposition 30 to victory this fall.

Recent polls show the initiative, which would raise the state sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years and hike levies on incomes of $250,000 or more by 1 to 3 percentage points, faces a tough road to passage. But a new coalition that once was seen as the measure’s biggest threat is now vowing to make the difference in its passage.

“Without Prop. 30, the downward spiral of funding for our public schools will continue,” said Jeff Freitas, secretary-treasurer of the California Federation of Teachers. “Prop. 30 will begin to turn that around.”

Many of the activists who came to Sacramento Tuesday had, like Freitas, previously backed a rival proposal to Brown’s that would have focused on a higher income tax hike for those making $1 million or more. That proposal was jettisoned in a last-minute deal with Brown, who agreed to rewrite his measure to make it more agreeable to progressive activists.

Meanwhile, Brown continues to raise money for the measure from a variety of business and labor interests. This week, he received $100,000 from Zeinith Insurance and $10,000 from actor and director Rob Reiner.


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-- Anthony York in Sacramento