Gov. Brown’s battle to extend taxes working against his approval rating

A new California field poll says voters have a very favorable opinion of how Jerry Brown is performing as governor. But his battle to extend taxes and eliminate redevelopment agencies is working against him. KUSI's Steve Bosh reports on the latest details.

While twice as many voters like his performance, his approval rating in the first two months in office is the lowest of any governor since 1983.

The field poll, completed last week, shows voters, by more than a two-to-one margin, approve of Brown's performance as governor. Forty-eight-percent are favorable, 21-percent are not, and 31-percent have no opinion.

He's wildly popular in the Bay Area, 64-percent, but the number goes down as you progress down state. L.A.'s at 50-percent, Orange and San Diego counties are only 29-percent.

Brown is three times as popular as the state legislature where a majority of the members are beholden to the unions.

He won the election with union money, and they are now pressuring him to not roll back pensions, regulations, or spending, the very items the governor is negotiating with Republicans to get his tax extensions on the ballot.

Can there be an election without Republicans? Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher says no.

“Well, there won't be,” said Fletcher, “There's gonna have to be a compromise that's gonna have to be struck between all parties, and the problems of California are greater than one political party, and the solutions will be as well.”

Brown's plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies has split big labor.

Labor organizations trying to save government jobs are with Brown, those that want to create jobs thru redevelopment are against Brown. This has complicated the negotiations, and given the governor heartburn.

“I remain hopeful, but I do recognize time is running out, so the moment of truth is rapidly approaching,” said Brown.

Meaning a deal has to be struck soon to have a June special election on extending taxes.

So far, the four Republicans Brown needs to move to the ballot are standing pat.

“We've got to tackle the unfunded pension liabilities, we've got to reform the way the budget process works, we've got to get working families and small businesses back employed,” says Fletcher.

The clock is now working against the governor but he remains focused on the task at hand. He said that he is not prepared to even contemplate a plan B at this point.

We got word late Tuesday that the governor is considering a November ballot initiative to bypass Republican opposition in the legislature, and he may announce it this week.

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