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THE RECALL CAMPAIGN | RECALL NOTEBOOK

Schwarzenegger to Debate Foes

August 19, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Monday that he is willing to debate his opponents in the Oct. 7 recall election, setting the stage for the kind of detailed discussion of issues that rival candidates have been pressing for.

For the first 12 days of the campaign, Schwarzenegger has declined to lay out his positions on issues or even to address voters in public. He has limited his appearances, instead, to heavily scripted get-togethers with children in after-school programs that he supports.

But Monday, in a statement released by his campaign, Schwarzenegger declared: "I intend to debate Gray Davis and the other major candidates on the ballot."

Athlete in Running Against Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger may have been a world champion bodybuilder, but Nathan Whitecloud Walton is the gubernatorial candidate with the athletic genes. His father is Bill Walton, a member of the basketball Hall of Fame and an NBA TV commentator. His brother Luke is a rookie on the Lakers.

Nate Walton, 25, played basketball at Princeton and professionally in France before working as a junior partner for a hedge fund in New York. He starts an MBA program next semester at Stanford, where Schwarzenegger advisor George Shultz is a fellow of the Hoover Institution.

The independent stands for strong environmental protection, affordable higher education and less traffic. He has capped donations at $50, so don't expect a campaign financed by Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone.

He said politics is a constant topic of his conversations with his father.

"My dad and I talk about it too much for the rest of the family," he said. Enough that his stepmother paid the $3,500 fee for him to run.

Simon Defends Views on Gay Marriage

It wasn't part of his stump speech, but Bill Simon Jr. wound up defending his views on gay marriage after he was confronted by a gay couple during a Monday morning campaign stop at a Santa Barbara eatery.

The candidate had dropped by the Moby Dick restaurant, a scenic spot on a wharf overlooking the sea, to shake hands and pose for the cameras, when two men who were holding hands approached him as cameras rolled.

"We're domestic partners in the state of California," Angelo Simione, a Los Angeles man celebrating his 50th birthday at the restaurant, told Simon. "Will you be supporting gay marriage ... so that we can have all the same rights -- not special rights, but the same rights -- as heterosexuals?"

"I do not support gay marriage," Simon replied. "I support Proposition 22, that a marriage is between a man and a woman."

"Why is that?" Simione pressed him.

"I believe that myself," Simon said, "and also the people of California have spoken" by approving Proposition 22 in 2000."

"I think what we should do is let the people of California decide," he said.

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