Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

As he began his second governorship last year, Jerry Brown warned that California faced a potential “war of all against all” if the state budget was not fairly balanced, or as the former Catholic seminarian put it in Latin, “bellum omnium contra omnes.”

Brown now has the war he didn’t want as Proposition 30, the tax increase ballot measure upon which he has staked his governorship, and perhaps his place in political history, is hammered from the left and the right by two very wealthy siblings, Charles and Molly Munger.

Republican Charles, a Stanford University physicist, is giving millions to the anti-tax zealots who previously had only scarce funds to exploit Californians’ low opinions of Sacramento’s politicians and thwart Brown’s $6 billion per year sales and income tax hike.

Liberal Molly, a civil rights attorney, had spent more than $30 million to promote her $10 billion income tax increase for schools, Proposition 38, but last week started pouring money into ads denouncing Brown’s measure as a phony pitch to save education.

Brown knew going into the campaign that new taxes are a hard sell to California voters, especially during a lingering economic recession. But he successfully neutralized business groups and assumed that the anti-tax groups would have only a relatively tiny war chest to oppose him, while he had millions in union and corporate funds.

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