The latest on California politics and government
September 6, 2012
Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed notions today that he can go back to GOP lawmakers for higher taxes if his November initiative fails, saying “there is fear in the eyes of Republicans when the tax word is uttered in their presence.”
To make his point, the Democratic governor recounted a tale from the final week of session (watch the video here) when he lobbied Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, for a 1 percent lumber tax during a chance encounter in the Capitol basement garage. LaMalfa has since resigned his post for the remainder of the year as he runs for Congress, but until last week he represented wide swaths of forest in the north state.
“He kind of got into a little fetal position and started shaking, he literally was shaking,” Brown told The Bee editorial board of LaMalfa, repeating the gesture for effect. “And this big man, he looks like a — wears boots, he’s kind of an outdoorsman, a mountain man kind of. And I saw him kind of start shriveling in fear of, I guess, it was the FlashReport or (Grover) Norquist or whoever the hell it was.”
Since May, Brown has pushed for a 1 percent tax on all lumber purchased in California to raise $30 million for regulating timber harvests in the state. The forestry industry backed the proposal because it relieves California firms from costs associated with submitting tree-cutting plans for review while having consumers pay a tax on all lumber, including imports that represent the majority of wood purchased here.
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