Governor Brown's hopes for a clear field in November took a big one-two punch yesterday. First, from Joshua Pechthalt with the California Federation of Teachers - part of a coalition of progressive groups supporting an income tax increase on millionaires.
Pechthalt: "We do have the money to get this on the ballot, and we will be able to run a viable campaign."
And second, from wealthy civil rights activist Molly Munger. She's writing and financing a broader income tax measure that would pay for K-12 education.
Munger: "We're gonna get this on the ballot. And we're going to win, too."
The governor's political advisor, Steve Glazer, says when voters see competing ballot measures on the same subject, they'll likely just vote no - on all of them. As for the rival tax initiatives:
Glazer: "They have got themselves in this box where they think, just because they're doing the right thing, in their minds, that's going to result in success at the ballot box. And frankly, it's a trap."
Munger and Pechthalt have responses to that:
Munger: "This idea that having multiple measures as necessarily fatal is just not one that we see supported by data."
Pechthalt: "We're pretty confident that voters will be able to see which measure makes sense for them."
And neither seems willing to back down.
Pechthalt: "There will be multiple measures on the ballot. That's a certainty."
Munger: "I don't think we'd have a very good functioning democracy if we always just did what one person at the top wanted."
So here's Glazer's forecast for the November election campaign:
Glazer: "Welcome to the circular firing squad."