The shit we're up against

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By Tim Redmond

Why is it so hard to get a budget deal out of Sacramento? While the gov blames the Legislature, let's take a look at why it's almost impossible to get Republican members of the state Assembly or Senate to vote for a tax hike.

Case study: Assembly Member Anthony Adams, R-Hesperia.

Adams emerged from a Republican caucus meeting a few days back to say that a budget deal would require both sides to give in on some hot-button issues. The Democrats would have to accept major cuts in popular programs -- and the GOP would have to accept some tax increases.

He is now in serious political trouble.

Two popular right-wing L.A. radio nuts, John and Ken, put out a "call to battle stations", lambasted Adams for 45 screeching minutes on the air, then put a graphic of the Assemblymember's severed head on a stick on their website. Adams admits that voting for even modest tax hikes, as a part of a broader budget that includes massive spending cuts, will probably be the end of his political career.

"This," Assembly member Tom Ammiano told me, "is the shit we're up against." The radical anti-tax crew in the GOP is preparing to trash, abuse, challenge and if necessary recall any Republican we dares talk of taxes. And since the Legislative districts in California are so successfully gerrymandered to give Democrats more power, the Republican seats are VERY Republican and these anti-tax nuts have a lot of power.

That's why the two-thirds majority for approving a budget is crippling this state.