“If we don’t get a yes vote on Proposition 76 … the other alternative is that they will increase taxes.” The governor’s warning echoed earlier statements that his Democratic rivals have dismissed as campaign scare tactics. It would take Republican support to enact any tax increase in the Legislature, which requires a two-thirds majority vote. With the election less than two weeks away, polls have found the proposal trailing, along with several other Schwarzenegger initiatives. The threat of a tax increase “is not a real issue,” said Assemblyman John Laird, a Santa Cruz Democrat who chairs the Budget Committee. “No tax could be raised at the state level without the governor’s agreement,” Laird said. He noted that even if a tax proposal did pass the Legislature, it would need the governor’s signature to become law. In the case of a veto, the Legislature would need a two-thirds vote to override. Schwarzenegger, Laird said, is trying to sell his proposals with “the threat of taxes and fear.” Seeking media exposure as the election draws near, Schwarzenegger has embarked on a series of public appearances and televised question-and-answer forums to sell his slate of ballot proposals. His package of initiatives also includes measures to make teachers work longer for tenure and strip lawmakers of the power to draw their own district boundaries. The campaign has pitted the governor against Democrats and public employee unions that see his “year of reform” agenda as a thinly disguised power grab. With his public standing damaged by months of union-funded TV ads opposing his initiatives, Schwarzenegger is trying to reclaim the mantle of political reformer that helped propel him to office in 2003. He is a Republican incumbent who has raised millions of dollars from corporate interests, but he describes himself as a political outsider determined to dismantle the status quo. “We want to give the power back to the people. That’s why I was sent to Sacramento, as an outsider,” the governor said. Alluding again to the Legislature’s Democratic leadership, Schwarzenegger said its members “always want more because they are spending addicts — they cannot help themselves.” Schwarzenegger delivered his remarks as a small group of protesters chanted slogans and waved placards in the street. The governor stopped and shook hands with one of the protesters, Arcadia firefighter Dave Hutcheson, but they only exchanged pleasantries. The governor has been warning that the defeat of his plan could lead to tax increases at least since June, when he called the special election and opened his campaign. Schwarzenegger has said he is opposed to tax increases. The governor’s repeated threat of looming tax jumps comes at a time when state revenues have been growing steadily. A surge in state income can diminish the need to raise taxes. However, the state is facing a projected $6 billion shortfall in its next budget. Staff writer Gene Maddaus contributed to this story.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The Irvines have two daughters –one is a sophomore at Arcadia High and the other is a senior. “It was a real thrill for them,” Lori Irvine said. In a staged poolside appearance at the Irvine’s home, the Republican governor told an invitation-only audience that Proposition 76 would give him the tools to fend off a Legislature eager to dig deeper into taxpayers’ pockets. He also suggested that without greater budget discipline, the state might be unable to meet the mounting demands for everything from electric power to health care to highways. “They have come to me with ideas like raising the property tax, raising the income tax, raising the taxes on the rich, raising the sales tax, and the tax on gasoline,” the governor said, referring to the Legislature’s Democratic leadership, which opposes the initiative. ARCADIA — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warned Wednesday that legislators could push California into a nightmarish era of higher taxes and runaway spending unless voters endorse his proposal to place tighter controls on the state budget. Schwarzenegger’s advance team chose the home of Jon and Lori Irvine, on Encanto Drive, for the event. Jon Irvine is a geotechnical engineer, and his wife helps with his home-based business. They have made modest donations to Republican candidates in the past and support the governor’s ballot measures, but had never met the governor before. “It was wonderful to see him in person,” Lori Irvine said. “He was magnetic, and personable … He joked a little about the protesters out front.” The Irvines were told to invite 30 guests to help welcome Schwarzenegger. Among them were the new principal of Arcadia High School, David Vannasdall, and even some union members.