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FROM THIS EPISODE

California started the nationwide tax revolt with Proposition 13 back in 1978. It worked so well at cutting government that the pendulum may be swinging back, with 95 percent telling one pollster that state budget's a problem and 64 percent telling another survey they'd be willing to raise taxes. We hear they're likely to get that chance, perhaps even more of a chance than they want. Also, government budget cuts and all those fallen trees. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, another surprise for Republicans: Newt Gingrich.

Banner image: Governor brown today is filing an initiative that he hopes will generate dedicated funding to protect education and public safety. Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Katie Cooper
Karen Radziner

Making News Santa Ana Winds and Cuts to Tree-trimming Budgets 10 MIN, 3 SEC

Thousands of trees have fallen since those high Santa Ana winds began last Wednesday night. Many still haven't been cleaned up. In the City of Los Angeles, the Urban Forestry staff was reduced last year from 230 to less than 100. That left every inspector responsible for 150,000 trees, and even in normal times it takes 24 to 48 hours to deal with just one fallen tree limb.

Guests:
Bill Bogaard, City of Pasadena
Andy Lipkis, TreePeople (@AndyLipkis)

Main Topic Are there Tax Increases in California's Future? 16 MIN, 35 SEC

Since Proposition 13 passed in 1978, there have been some tax increases, but mostly there have been drastic cuts in government services at the state and local levels. Recent polls show times are changing. In September, the Public Policy Institute found that 95 percent of Californians think the state budget's a problem; 67 percent say it's a big problem. Last month, the USC Dornsife/LA Times poll reported that 64 percent would be willing to pay higher taxes for local schools.

Guests:
Dan Schnur, USC Unruh Institute of Politics (@danschnur)
Bill Bradley, New West Notes
Joel Fox, Californians for Reforms and Jobs, Not Taxes

Main Topic GOP Race Now Focuses on Gingrich and Romney 26 MIN, 55 SEC

GOP Race Now Focuses on Gingrich and RomneyIt's only one month until real Republican voters go to the Iowa caucuses, but the Des Moines Register's latest Iowa Poll shows the race for the presidential nomination is anything but settled. Newt Gingrich is leading with 25 percent; Ron Paul is second with 18 percent and Mitt Romney has dropped to just 16 percent. Last month, Romney was tied with Herman Cain who's now tied with Michele Bachmann at 8 percent. (The poll was taken before Cain "suspended" his campaign this weekend.)

Websites of other Republican presidential candidates:

Michele Bachmann
Rick Perry
Jon Huntsman, Jr
Rick Santorum

Guests:
Joshua Green, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (@JoshuaGreen)
Mark Blumenthal, Huffington Post (@MysteryPollster)
Ross Baker, Rutgers University
Linda Killian, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (@lindajkillian)
Fred Bayles, Boston University (@fredbayles)

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