Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom two weeks ago criticized Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative approach, suggesting to KGO Radio in San Francisco that the governor was slow to hit the campaign trail and that he was telling college students "something that's not true."
Newsom spoke to KGO on Oct. 17, a day after Brown appeared at UCLA in the first of several appearances at state colleges and universities. But the interview got little statewide notice until Bee columnist Dan Morain referenced Newsom's caustic words for Brown in today's Bee. Though both Democrats who support Proposition 30, Newsom and Brown have endured a difficult relationship.
Newsom, who sits on the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees, emphasized several times in a four-minute interview that Brown was misleading college students by suggesting Prop. 30 would avert tuition increases. That has since become a central part of Brown's campaign message.
"My big concern is, we went down yesterday and said there will be no tuition increase if you support this," Newsom said. "That's just not true. You can't say things like this."
He went on to explain that Brown is relying on a "technical point" that tuition would not increase this 2012-13 school year at UC and CSU if Prop. 30 passes. But Newsom said that even if it does, UC would still likely raise tuition in 2013-14 and students may feel "lied to." Newsom suggested that UC would consider a 2013-14 tuition hike as soon as its next meeting in November regardless of what voters decide.
"The point the governor should make is an accurate one, and I support his tax measure, but we have to be honest and straightforward with folks that we won't increase it as much (if Prop. 30 passes)," he said.
Newsom also suggested the governor should have been out campaigning earlier for Prop. 30, an initiative he described as "barely holding on." Brown had spent the month of September signing bills and was quiet during the first half of October.
"He finally got back on the campaign trail yesterday at UCLA," Newsom said of Brown. "He hadn't been on the campaign trail since Aug. 30th, and the election is happening today. Meaning people are already starting to put in their absentee ballots."
The full interview can be heard here.