Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnist
Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown’s oft-repeated claim that having voters choose among three competing tax measures will spell doom for all of them in November may be more rhetoric than reality.

When the Field Poll tested Brown’s proposal to raise income taxes for the wealthy and sales taxes for everyone last month, it split the survey sample – with half the 1,000 respondents asked only about the governor’s plan and half asked about the Brown measure and its two potential competitors.

One of those proposals would raise everyone’s income taxes, and the other would raise taxes on income of more than $1 million a year.

“There was basically no difference,” said pollster Mark DiCamillo.

In both tests, Brown’s plan scored about 58 percent.

“I was expecting to see a drop, but it didn’t happen,” DiCamillo said.

The real trouble for Brown is that the “millionaires tax” put forward by a coalition of labor and civil rights groups outpolled his plan by four points.

And that spells a big problem for Brown, because the bulk of the millionaires tax could be used only for education and social programs. That would still leave the state in a lurch for public safety and other, less popular programs.

Brown has been working overtime to try to dry up campaign contributions to the millionaires measure in hopes its backers will go away. So far, however, they haven’t.

Fighting back: The lawyer for Stephen Chikhani, the 35-year-old love interest investigated for possibly assaulting Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer at a Newark hotel, has turned over evidence to the state attorney general that she says should clear her client.

Adrienne Dell of San Jose declined to be specific, though it’s believed she included text messages between Lockyer and Chikhani the night of the incident last month.

Both Lockyer – the wife of state Treasurer and former Attorney General Bill Lockyer – and Chikhani have since entered substance abuse treatment programs.

Bill Lockyer has alternately described Chikhani as being a stalker or suicidal and in need of help.

Lockyer was sent a sex tape of his wife with Chikhani some weeks before the hotel incident. He concluded he was being blackmailed to allow their relationship to continue and went to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, a friend, to try to get a stay-away order imposed.

O’Malley’s office declined, and after the Newark incident went public, she kicked the Lockyer affair over to the state AG.

Occupational hazard: Occupy Oakland protester Cesar Aguirre was “pretty surprised” to learn he was being sued by the city of Oakland for $6,654 after allegedly using a folding chair to smash the windows of a police building near City Hall.

“I understand they are looking for someone to pay for the damages,” said Aguirre, 24, who lives with his parents in the Sacramento suburb of Elk Grove.

“I definitely think they should find the person who did it, and if I could help them with that, I would,” he said.

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