Gov. Jerry Brown bashes gas tax repeal in rare campaign stop
California Gov. Jerry Brown made a rare appearance on the 2018 campaign trail Friday, joining a final push against an effort to roll back a gas tax hike he championed to pay for highway repairs, an important component of his legacy as he prepares to leave office.
Brown, a Democrat, gave a 90-second speech during a rally at a park near notoriously congested Highway 101, which links Silicon Valley to San Francisco and the Central Valley.
He said the initiative, which Republicans hope will drive their voters to the polls, was cooked up by “shady politicians” who want to fool Californians.
“Prop. 6 is a scheme and a scam put on the ballot by some partisans, actually, they’re acolytes of Donald Trump,” the governor said. “They don’t have the best interests of California in mind.”
The leading faces of the campaign against the measure have been firefighters and construction workers, dozens of whom attended the rally, holding signs and chanting “No on 6.” They say transportation upgrades are badly needed for jobs as well as public safety.
Carl DeMaio, a conservative San Diego radio host who made an unsuccessful run for Congress in 2014, is leading the campaign for Proposition 6. It would repeal increases in gas taxes and vehicle fees that Brown backed last year to fund an expected $52 billion in transportation projects over a decade.
DeMaio and other supporters of the repeal say the hikes are overkill for an already expensive state where working families struggle to get by.