(I’ll be on KPFK at 8:40 Tuesday morning to talk about HJTA and the GOP. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)
Anti-Tax organization makes CA GOP a wholly-owned subsidiary
by Brian Leubitz
It won’t be saying anything new about my opinions on Prop 13 today. No, my loathing for an initiative that set the state, and the nation really, on a drug binge of selfishness and greed has not changed. The sad state of the current generation of American voters, who have become the first Americans to cast off concerns for their children or the next generation at all, in search of a few extra bucks in their BofA statements hasn’t changed.
No, this is more about the state of the legacy of Howard Jarvis. He has succeeded in a way that would probably even shock him. With the 2/3 majority, his organization, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association can now wield an unprecedented level of authority. In fact, recent events lead George Skelton to point the finger for the death of Gov. Brown’s jobs tax reform on HJTA and their new leader, Jon Coupal:
Brown and his advisors kept hearing from Republican senators that they sort of liked the governor’s proposal – thought it basically good policy – but wouldn’t sign on unless Coupal did.
“If Jarvis gives us a pass, we’ll be there,” is how one Brown intimate described the Republican feedback. “Coupal was the entryway.”
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Under Brown’s proposal, the assemblyman (Fletcher) added, “The people who stood to benefit were the working poor and small businesses, and they don’t have a powerful lobby. We were taking on some very powerful interests.”
In the end, the most powerful interest was the tobacco lobby. Cigarette companies prosper greatly from the current loophole. Their lobbyists swarmed all over legislators during the session’s final two days.
“It’s unbelievable,” Brown said in a Friday night statement, “that so many politicians in Sacramento would choose to protect cigarette makers and out-of-state corporations to the detriment of California jobs.” (LA Times)
But, alas, the cigarette companies have a lot of sway with both HJTA and with the GOP. Of course the order of those two organizations seems a little meaningless, as Republican legislators are now saying that they have to get approval from one dude with a membership list and a blog.
In the end, this all leads back to the stink of money. Corporations do what they have to do to save money, and that means fighting for tax breaks on the back of the middle class. But there once was a day that we could dream of legislators who could stand up to moneyed interest. However in the day of multi-million dollar legislative races and the constant efforts to move up and over, perhaps that is too much to ask.