Governor promises vigorous campaign for ballot measures

Governor Schwarzenegger promises a vigorous campaign for six budget measures on a special May 19 ballot. KPCC's Frank Stoltze says the governor has a lot of work to do.

Frank Stoltze: The governor's said that if voters don't approve propositions 1A through 1F, the state will end up on the brink of bankruptcy.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: They're absolutely essential in order to save the state!

Stoltze: Proposition 1A would extend a 1 cent sales tax increase, personal income tax hikes, and the vehicle license fee. Proposition 1C would allow lawmakers to borrow $5 billion against future lottery revenue. Schwarzenegger says the state needs the money to address the budget deficit, now estimated at $13 billion.

Schwarzenegger: I will be campaigning up and down the state of California. I will give speeches about it. I will have town hall meetings. I will do fundraisers. I will be always joining with Democrats and Republicans, which is very important.

Stoltze: Democrats including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, labor unions, and business groups have endorsed the measures. Anti-tax activists argue that increases will hurt an already ailing economy – a powerful argument for voters already angry over the recession and government bailouts. And Schwarzenegger's popularity is low.

Schwarzenegger: First of all, I don't think it's about me. It's about the state of California.

Stoltze: The governor estimates that the campaign in support of the measures will cost about $15 million. He says the campaign's raised about $9 million of that.

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