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Excerpts Spotlight Differences

Five candidates stake out their positions on taxes, spending, business, Proposition 13, tribal donations and other issues in the race to replace Davis.

September 04, 2003

Dan Borenstein, political editor for the Contra Costa Times: Senator, you are more conservative than most Californians. During your Assembly career, you took on your own party's candidate (former Gov. Pete) Wilson for backing taxes. You voted against banning assault weapons, against banning coastlines from offshore drilling and against employment discrimination protection for people stricken with AIDS, and you opposed abortion rights. Because of the quirky nature of the recall process, you could be elected with a small plurality. Is it appropriate and should a recall be a mechanism for replacing a governor with a hard-core Republican?

McClintock: I think that you forget I was the top Republican vote-getter last year. I received more total votes than any Republican on the ballot last year, and the closest election in California history, despite the fact that I ran against a multimillionaire outspending me by 5 to 1. The district electing me by a double-digit landslide in the year 2000 to the state Senate was voting for Al Gore for president, so I think that the -- my focus has always been on the fiscal policy of the state of California. I think that that focus is now resonating across a broad cross-section of California voters. I am the one candidate who has taken the no-tax pledge. I will not raise taxes under any circumstances. This state is already spending a larger portion of people's earnings than at any time in history. I pointed out on many occasions within moments of taking the oath of office, I will rescind the governor's illegal tripling of the car tax and then act to void the $42 billion of overpriced electricity contracts.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday September 05, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Debate -- Excerpts from the recall candidates' debate in Thursday's Section A misspelled the name of La Opinion's political editor. Her name is Pilar Marrero, not Pilar Morreno.

Randy Shandobil of KTVU-TV: For our first rebuttal, we go to Arianna Huffington. You have 30 seconds.

Huffington: Tom, that would be very convincing talking about fiscal property. If you had taken on the Bush administration where -- the orgy of fiscal responsibility going on in Washington. It does not make much sense for the Republicans to talk about the fiscal irresponsibility of Gov. Gray Davis ignoring the budget in Washington by your own party.

Bustamante: The only thing that I would like to say is that I think that the question illustrated the differences exactly between the candidacies and the people here. I believe that I bring a certain set of values to this position. Whether you are going to be against offshore oil, whether you are going to make sure that we protect and defend a woman's right to choose, and make sure that we provide good public education. I think that is what the people in the state of California are looking for in a governor.

Ueberroth: The recall process started out as a different kind of process for me. I did not know if it was a good thing. I think it has become a mandate. I think that the mandate from the voters says that it has to be changed and we're out of money. I do not disagree with much of what Tom said. We're out of money. We're getting worse out of money. We're going to be in a lot worse trouble in the next year if we do not balance the budget, if we do not start to get jobs back into California, and if we get jobs back into California, the Californians can go to work.

Camejo: We have the highest income that California has had over the last five years, way above what normally comes in, we should be sitting on reserves or surplus today to end up with a massive deficit, unacceptable. Today we have the greatest gross domestic product in the United States and the Republicans create the most massive deficit.

These two parties are dysfunctional. We need alternatives and fiscal responsibility. The question was is it good to have someone elected with a small percentage? It is wrong.

Pilar Morreno, La Opinion: Mr. Ueberroth, your philosophy seems to expect business to do the right thing, pay fair wages and benefits. You say that the way to better the situation for working people is to make it easier for businesses to make profits. Many doubt the ability of business to do the rIght thing and say that government intervention is often necessary. What is the proper role of government?

Ueberroth: Basically, businesses pay salaries. Salaries of workers pay Sacramento. It is real simple. A job Is how Sacramento is run. And we are in this crisis time now, we're driving jobs out of the state. Businesses are sitting here, saying, well, we'll take some jobs out of the state, or they'll take their whole companies out of the state. And I appeal to the people who have lost their jobs, who have nothing, and say to it, let's criticize corporations. No corporation is perfect. But the real solutions to California are -- take this budget, we've overspent. I agree with Peter. We've overspent and been on a spending binge. Tighten the belt. It will be tough. Get jobs back in the state. Quit being the second-least friendly state for jobs.

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