Gee, thanks, Don Perata

I received this news release a short while ago from state Sen. Jeff Denham, a few hours after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed raising the state sales tax by 1.5 cent; levying a new tax on services; levying a new tax on producers extracting oil in California; and increasing alcohol excise taxes by five cents a drink in order to raise $4.7 billion in new revenue to help backfill the $11.2 billion hole in this year’s state budget:

Sacramento – Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced) today issued the following statement in response to proposals to solve the State’s projected $11 – $13 billion budget deficit with tax hikes:

“So, let me get this straight – big-spending politicians want hard-working Californians to bail them out? Forget about it!”

Denham overwhelmingly beat back a recall effort earlier this year that Senate Democrat Leader Don Perata launched because last year Denham refused to vote for a tax hike.

Denham again refused to vote for this year’s unbalanced budget and will continue to vote against any tax hike.

With a ham-handed, abortive attempt to boost Democrats’ state Senate majority (which failed miserably), Don Perata gave Jeff Denham the gift of near-martyrdom, and Denham now seems determined to play it to the hilt for the two years he has left in the Senate; if he hadn’t been intransigent before, he certainly is today.

But I guess that’ll be incoming Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg‘s problem, as Perata is halfway out the door.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.