Gubernatorial Candidates Campaign as Election Nears
As the June 6 primary election approaches, both Democratic candidates for governor "have relegated talk about the direction they would take the state to personal campaign stops, which have nowhere near the reach" of recent attack advertisements, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Controller Steve Westly on Wednesday told senior citizens in Thousand Oaks and the San Fernando Valley that he supports stem cell research and legalizing the purchase of prescription drugs from Canada.
Meanwhile, Treasurer Phil Angelides on Tuesday told college students in Glendale that he supports health insurance mandates for large employers and an increase in the minimum wage (Finnegan/Saillant, Los Angeles Times, 6/1).
Angelides on Wednesday released a new television advertisement that features black and white photos of Westly and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) standing together and smiling.
In the ad, an announcer says that Schwarzenegger called Westly "his twin because Steve Westly was his strongest ally even while Schwarzenegger was cutting education, health care and aid for the disabled." The ad concludes, "California doesn't need a Schwarzenegger twin" (Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/1).
However, the Los Angeles Times reports that "Westly did not, as the ad implies, endorse cuts to education, health care or aid for the disabled." In addition, nearly all Democratic lawmakers in the state, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, supported budget measures Propositions 57 and 58 to which the ad refers, the Los Angeles Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 6/1).
Westly also has released ads attacking Angelides. Political analysts say that as the election draws near, the negative commercials could be highly effective among undecided Democratic voters (Garcia, Contra Costa Times, 6/1).
A "[p]aramount" difference between Angelides' and Westly's policy issues is taxes, George Skelton writes in the Los Angeles Times' Capitol Journal column. Angelides "would be a hair-trigger taxer on rich folks," while Westly "would raise taxes only as a 'last resort,'" Skelton writes.
According to Skelton, the difference "cannot be overstated, because the issue goes to the heart of what a government primarily does: tax and spend" on things like schools, health care and law enforcement (Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 6/1).