Politics & Government

California voters seem likely to stick it to their state officials

Voters strongly oppose five special election measures being sold as a budget-reform elixir for California's burgeoning $40 billion deficit.

But voters in a new Field Poll overwhelmingly support a measure to bar legislators and state officers from getting a pay raise when there is a budget deficit.

And with heightened surliness, they're telling Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature that they're fed up with more government spending and higher taxes.

If there is a message in the latest poll on May 19 special election measures 1A through 1F, it may be that voters want their political leaders to solve California's fiscal crisis and stop passing the buck through ballot measures.

"The majority of voters just doesn't believe what is being sold to them," said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. "The skepticism extends up and down the ballot.

"Voters feel the Legislature isn't doing its job, hasn't been able to work with the governor and is just passing these things on to them."

Voter Barbara Dale, a Republican from Red Bluff, said she will be happy to vote in the special election because she is convinced that lawmakers can't do their job themselves.