Gov. Brown pleads for votes for struggling Prop. 30 tax hike

  • Gov. Jerry Brown warns of painful cuts in Sacramento unless voters approve his $6 billion-a-year tax increase as he speaks in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Recent polling has found Proposition 30 in danger of failing in Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

LOS ANGELES — With time running out and his odds growing longer, California Gov. Jerry Brown pleaded with voters Wednesday to support his $6 billion-a-year tax increase and warned of deep cuts unless residents send more money to Sacramento.

In sometimes uncharted remarks that included fleeting references to the bleak movie "Blade Runner" and Nobel Prize-winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Brown said residents face a stark choice with Proposition 30 — invest in the future or sap its potential.

"Believe in California," the Democratic governor said at a forum organized by Town Hall Los Angeles, a civic group. With the additional investment from taxpayers, he said, "California will shine."

Tuesday's election amounts to a critical test for Brown's leadership 11 months into his first year in office, and he acknowledges the race is tight.

The proposal has been slipping in polls, hovering near or dipping below the 50 percent mark needed for passage — a troubling sign since support for tax proposals tends to slide as Election Day nears.

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