Commentary: California's GOP gubernatorial candidates embarrass themselves

Republican gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are mixing it up, and it's not pretty.

Whitman and her surrogates at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association are attacking Poizner for the political war crime of supporting Proposition 39 in 2000.

Approved by 53 percent of the vote, the measure permits local voters to approve school construction bonds by 55 percent majorities, instead of the two-thirds majority for most other bond and tax hike measures.

It was backed by several leaders including Whitman campaign chairman Gov. Pete Wilson, along with California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg, and California Business Roundtable Chairman William Hauck. The Jarvis folks opposed it.

Proposition 39 had its intended impact. Since its passage, voters have approved 80 percent of the local bonds that have come before them. Before it passed, more than 40 percent of local school bonds failed.

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