Politics

California Roundup: E-Tax, Positively Negative, New Video, and More

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Looks great, but can they really finish it by 3010?

* Welcome back, e-Tax! California Democrats aim to revive the economy by sneaking an online sales tax back into the budget. Eric Hogue explains why the e-tax would suck even more air out of the nearly lifeless state economy, but he may be focusing on the wrong point. When e-taxers make their case (and these days they're making it at the federal level [pdf] as well), they are actually pretty straightforward about the purpose of the tax. It's less about revenue than about helping brick and mortar retailers hobble online competitors. Who says politicians don't understand the free market?

* On transit boondogglism, Carly Fiorina offers an echo, not a choice: The former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican challenger to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) "believes that investment in California's crumbling infrastructure, including transit, is an important element in creating and protecting middle-class jobs and ensuring the state's economy can again thrive." Fiorina joins Boxer in supporting Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to score federal funds for his "30/10" rail transit project. Carly's triangulation has worked about as poorly as a Pavilion laptop: The L.A. Times headlined its story, "Boxer says transit effort is on track."

* They're trying to give Arnold a Raw Deal! Gov. Schwarzenegger says "absolutely no" to Proposition 25, which would allow the legislature to pass budgets with a simple majority rather than a two-thirds vote. Although the measure as currently titled and advertised claims to leave in place the supermajority requirement for tax increases, the governor dismisses this claim. "I believe this is also," Schwarzenegger says, "a majority vote for tax increases." Read here to see why he's right about that.

* CalBuzz slams the Republican candidates for being too negative. Says the post's first commenter: "How can anyone be positive?"

* What could make you miss DemonSheep? How about…

An attack ad on the proposed statewide plastic-bag ban:

Abel Maldonado's Brechtian eight-minute attack on Gavin Newsom—which includes an extended clip from Reason.tv: