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If tax talks fail and Gov. Jerry Brown does pursue a ballot initiative, as he is considering, he will have any number of obstacles to overcome.

Brown would have little time to collect signatures to qualify a measure for a November ballot, and waiting for a December or January vote would put off even longer the potential revenue on which Brown is counting to balance California's $26.6 billion budget deficit.

Asked today about the difficulty of qualifying an initiative for a November ballot, Brown said, "No one said it was going to be easy. Whichever way I look, I see bears in the forest."

The Democratic governor could find comfort in his own campaign account. Sitting governors typically have little problem raising money for elections, and Brown has a head start. Despite facing Republican Meg Whitman and her record-breaking spending in last year's gubernatorial race, Brown has more than $4 million in the bank, according to his most recent campaign statements.


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