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November 07, 2012 12:57 PM UC Survives: Prop. 30 Passes (Fairly Easily)

By Andrew Sabl

Proposition 30, the initiative that temporarily raises taxes so that—among other nice things—the schools won’t have to shutter themselves for a month and UC can remain a very good (though no longer great) university, has passed. In the end it wasn’t even all that close (pace a hand-wringing liberal blog post that seems to have been written before the results came in): 54-46.

Following the money: while more than 80 percent of donations in favor of the proposition came from inside the state, mostly unions, the vast majority of opposition came not from California businesses or random taxpayers but from one bazillionaire, Charles Munger Jr. (son of Warren Buffett’s business partner), along with out-of-state SuperPACs. If it weren’t for Munger, the SuperPACs would have represented a huge majority of the opposition cash. Revulsion against a last-minute, pathetically concealed and laundered, $11 million contribution from one such, Americans for Job Security, may ironically have tipped public opinion in favor of 30.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Andrew Sabl is a professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Los Angeles.