Antonovich blasts governor's tax plan

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich criticized Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax plan and his recent realignment initiative to release nonviolent inmates from state prisons during an address to the La Cañada Flintridge Republican Club last week.

“The governor is coming to you without doing his homework on how to make reductions in the cost of the operations in the state and asking you to pay higher taxes and continue the status quo,” he told about 40 people who turned out for a dinner held at La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.

Brown plans to place an initiative on November’s ballot to raise sales tax, and income tax for individuals who make $250,000 or more. Antonovich proposed alternative cost-saving measures, such as renewing automobile registration every two years instead of annually, and consolidating the Board of Equalization and Franchise Tax Board. The latter move, he said, could save the state $100 million a year.

“Those are so many types of these common-sense programs that we could do,” he said. “When you consider the budget is 80% personnel, you have to increase the productivity of the workforce. You have to eliminate the duplication and the waste.”

Antonovich also slammed the governor’s decision to move nonviolent inmates from state prisons to county jails. He said that the state only looks at the last offense the inmate made, instead of the inmate’s entire history, which could contain instances of assault or rape, as was the case with one recent case in his district.

“As a result, he’s going to pay us to take care of them and if we don’t have space, then we can contract with the governor for bed space at the state level,” he said. “There are problems with this realignment.”

After making digs at other Democrats in office and criticizing Vice President Joe Biden for making “so many mistakes,” Antonovich said that there is not one candidate that stands out in the Republican presidential race. There will not be a candidate who has a majority if one of them does not have an easy victory in Florida, he said. “Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen.”

Early results in Florida's primary election show Mitt Romney beating out opponents Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum by a wide margin.

Kerry Erickson, a 69-year-old La Crescenta resident, called the Republican race a “circus” and said he might even vote for a Democrat this year.

“We have a lot of problems in front of us,” he said. “I think it’s a question of whether the people will influence legislators enough to solve the problem.”

The La Cañada Flintridge Republican Club, which has operated since 1993, has 90 to 100 members, said Chairman Al Restivo. Before Antonovich spoke, Restivo told club members to encourage young adults to vote for the Republican nominee in November. The fact that California is generally a blue state, he said, doesn’t deter him from believing that a Republican can win an election if residents worked hard at making it happen.

“We’ve got to work at winning elections,” Restivo said. “California is not written off, as far as I am concerned.”

-- Tiffany Kelly, Tmes Community News

Twitter: @latiffanykelly

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