Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The governor of California may not be toast – yet – but, one might say, he’s turning browner by the moment in the heat of a political campaign he hoped would be his legacy achievement.

Two new statewide polls confirm what political instincts – and Jerry Brown’s body language – were already telling us: His tax increase measure, Proposition 30, is fading fast with scarcely a week remaining until Election Day.

Proposition 30, a $6 billion per year boost in sales and income taxes that Brown said would resolve the state’s chronic fiscal problems, never was particularly popular with voters, whose disdain for Sacramento politics is palpable.

The measure topped out just a few points over 50 percent in earlier polls. Given the tendency of tax increase measures to decline during campaigns, that was a tenuous position, and Brown needed a flawless campaign and some luck to make it happen.

But his campaign has been far from flawless. Brown didn’t adjust well to having a rival income tax measure for schools, Proposition 38, on the ballot, having failed to persuade its sponsor, wealthy attorney Molly Munger, to back off.

He started serious campaigning late, sent mixed messages and gave opponents – who turned out to have more campaign money than expected – many openings to attack while Brown’s union allies diverted most of their resources to opposing Proposition 32.

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