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The State | AD WATCH / THE RECALL CAMPAIGN

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The ad will run on television stations statewide, although campaign officials declined to say how often it would run or for how long.

September 03, 2003

Title: "Special Interests"

Producer: Don Sipple

Script: Schwarzenegger sits at a lunch table, talking to a small audience. He says: "Special interests have a stranglehold on Sacramento. Here's how it works: Money comes in, favors go out. The people lose. We need to send a message: Game over." The screen then shows the graphic "Join Arnold," flashes the name of his Web site and reminds voters of the Sept. 22 registration deadline for the recall election as Schwarzenegger completes a voice-over: "If you want to change this state, then join me."

Accuracy: The ad lasts just 15 seconds -- a quarter the length of Schwarzenegger's first campaign ad, launched two weeks ago. The brief new ad never defines what it means by "special interests" and thus is hard to evaluate on its merits.

Analysis: In campaign appearances, Schwarzenegger has said special interests are unions, Indian tribes and other groups that have contributed to his opponents. Although he initially said he would not take any campaign money, Schwarzenegger is raising millions from business, development and Hollywood figures who have interests of their own in Sacramento. He says he is different from other politicians because he is making no promises of specific actions to his donors. The ad reflects the content of Schwarzenegger's campaign -- he often says he is "for the public interest, not the special interest" -- and the candidate's familiar style of crisp one-liners. "Game over" joins "I'll be back" and "hasta la vista" in the Schwarzenegger canon. The ad also highlights his claim that he is too wealthy and too much of a political outsider to be owned by any interest. The ad's graphics also show the campaign's new emphasis on promoting voter registration, an important goal for a Republican in a state with a large Democratic advantage among current registered voters.

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Compiled by Times staff writer Joe Mathews

Los Angeles Times

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