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Gov. Brown Quietly Woos Tax Foe

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History repeats itself and Gov. Jerry Brown is no exception.

The LA Times reported recently that Brown had dropped by the home of California Federation of Teachers official Joshua Pechthalt, a former social studies teacher who is the original proponent of the so-called "millionaire's tax" initiative that is seen as competition for the governor's own tax-hike initiative. Brown has been trying to convince Peschthalt and the measure's other backers, the Courage Campaign, to drop the measure.

On a recent evening, a dark sedan glided to the curb at a two-story Craftsman off Crenshaw Boulevard near the Santa Monica Freeway. It carried Gov. Jerry Brown and his top aide, fresh off a day of squiring the vice president of China around Los Angeles.

This isn't the first time that Brown has resorted to the home drop-by to win the favor of an initiative sponsor whose goals conflict with the governor's own.

More than 30 years ago, Brown made quiet, personal visits to the Los Angeles home of Howard Jarvis, the anti-tax activist who was co-author of the famous initiative, Prop 13. The location was different. Jarvis lived on Crescent Heights Boulevard, not off of Crenshaw.

Brown won Jarvis' political support for a time, and he seems to have won Pechthalt's personal admiration. But in the end, Jarvis went his own way, and his measure created problems for Brown.

Perhaps the governor's tactic will work better this time.

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