Politics Is California Gov. Jerry Brown's 'ransom' budget an empty threat?

California Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a state budget Thursday that would cut $4.8 billion from education – but only if a ballot initiative to raise taxes fails. Problem is, legislators are balking.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

There is little doubt, political analysts say, that California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) intended to frighten state voters with the budget he proposed Thursday. What is less clear is whether his new ultimatum is essentially an empty threat.