In California, a state known for its love of driving, high-priced gasoline and history of tax revolts, a rebellion is brewing against Gov. Jerry Brown’s massive gas-and-car tax increase. In the two weeks since the Democrat signed Senate Bill 1, opponents have launched an initiative drive to repeal the $52.4 billion transportation package as well as a recall campaign to eject a vulnerable Democratic state senator who is seen as the deciding vote for the law. “The voters are enraged,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen, the Orange County Republican behind the repeal initiative, which is pegged to the November 2018 ballot. Gas is already expensive in California — the state vies with Hawaii for the nation’s highest per-gallon prices — and SB1 will make it more so by dinging motorists with a 12-cent-per-gallon excise tax hike on gasoline, a 20-cent increase on diesel and higher vehicle registration fees in order to fill potholes, repair roads and bridges, and expand mass transit. What has Mr. Allen fuming is that lawmakers pushed through the largest fuel tax hike in state history without bringing it before the voters. Instead, they cobbled together a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Democrat-controlled Legislature with no votes to spare. Only one Republican — state Sen. Anthony Cannella — voted in favor of SB1, and that was after his Central Valley district received $500 million for a commuter rail extension and completion of a parkway to the University of California, Merced. “The California voters were absolutely left out of the loop,” said Mr. Allen. “There was certainly not substantive buy-in from the California people, who, according to all of the polling data, are overwhelmingly against raising gas taxes.” In Fullerton, three Southern California radio talk show hosts kicked off a campaign Thursday to recall state Sen. Josh Newman, a first-term Democratic legislator who barely edged out his Republican opponent in November, in retaliation for his vote. “That’s the only thing that works, is to take one of their team members out, politically,” said Ken Chiampou, who hosts with John Kobylt “John and Ken” on KFI-AM in Los Angeles. “If there’s no consequence, no punishment, then they’re going to keep right on doing this crap.” The Los Angeles hosts, joined by Carl DeMaio of KOGO-AM in San Diego, drove home the point by launching their recall campaign at an Arco gas station. They were backed by Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, who announced the formation Thursday of Californians Against Car and Gas Tax Hikes in order to target Mr. Newman, whose Senate District 29 is based in Brea. “For years, the state has been diverting gas tax revenue away from roads, only now, with this massive 43 percent tax increase, are they promising to fix them,” Mr. Coupal said in a statement. “We have heard this before, but the only thing Californians can count on is higher taxes.” The organizers are no strangers to ballot fights. Mr. DeMaio was instrumental in placing pension reform before San Diego voters in 2012, and “John and Ken” fueled the 2003 recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis. Mr. Newman was chosen for a reason: “He barely won. He’s unknown. He’s only been in office a few months, and it’s a district that’s been the scene of other recalls,” Mr. Kobylt said. “Plus, we have a lot of audience there,” he said. “It’s one of our strongest areas. It was picked for all the right reasons. If you’re going to do something, you want it to have a good chance of working.” California voters have a history of turning against their state leadership. They ignited a national tax revolt by passing Proposition 13 in 1976 and stunned the Democratic establishment by turning out Mr. Davis over an energy crisis and an increase in vehicle licensing fees. Since then, however, the state has undergone a political shift to the left as middle-class residents leave for less-expensive pastures, raising doubts about whether California has enough feisty anti-tax voters left to upend SB1. “The state has drifted leftward in the past decade, so the prospects for another tax revolt are questionable,” said John J. Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College. “But if the economy goes down or gas prices shoot up, anti-tax sentiment could surge again.”
Let’s hope the good people of California get off their collective asses and actually throw out these bum Dems who are screwing them over with these outrageous gas tax hikes. Such things impact ALL of us, as the cost of doing business will result in higher prices for anything originating out of California.