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THE RECALL CAMPAIGN | AD WATCH

Gov. Gray Davis

September 13, 2003

Gov. Gray Davis' campaign committee has launched its first Spanish-language ad for the Oct. 7 special recall election. The ad, the campaign's fourth television spot, is airing in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Producer: Doak, Carrier, O'Donnell & Associates

Title: "Luchando" (Fighting)

The script: Delivered in Spanish by an unseen male announcer: "As governor, he honored Cesar Chavez by establishing a state holiday in his name. He fought against Pete Wilson and the anti-immigrant Proposition 187. He's expanded health care for our children and increased funding for our community's schools, and now he's signed legislation allowing immigrants to get driver's licenses -- because fighting for what's fair and just is what Gray Davis is all about. That's why Latino leaders say vote no on the recall. Gray Davis stood by us, let's stand by him."

Pictures: The opening scene shows a pair of black-and-white photographs of farm labor leader Cesar Chavez, along with a photograph of Davis commemorating the state holiday for Chavez established by a measure that Davis signed into law. The next scenes show footage of Davis addressing a Latino group, talking to Latino schoolchildren and signing the legislation that gives some illegal immigrants the opportunity to obtain driver's licenses. One of the closing shots shows Davis surrounded by Latino leaders, including Arturo Rodriguez and Dolores Huerta of the United Farm Workers union and Eliseo Medina of the Service Employees International Union. Across the bottom of the screen are the words: "Voten No a la Destitucion" (Vote No on the Recall).

Accuracy: Davis did sign a bill establishing a state holiday honoring Cesar Chavez. He opposed Proposition 187, the 1994 ballot measure aimed at denying most public services to illegal immigrants. Backers of that proposition deny it was "anti-immigrant," saying it was aimed only at illegal immigrants. The ad also sidesteps that distinction in its reference to the driver's license bill Davis signed -- the measure would allow licenses for illegal immigrants. It is accurate to say that Davis has presided over the expansion of health care to children through the Healthy Families and Medi-Cal programs. And education funding has risen during his four-plus years in office, although it also rose under former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.

Analysis: The ad aims to target Latinos, a key group for Davis. A Times poll this week showed that 53% of Latino likely voters planned to vote for the recall, a setback for his campaign. Unlike his English-language ads, which don't mention Davis by name, this ad highlights the governor's record on issues of interest to Latinos.

Compiled by Times staff writer Gregg Jones

Los Angeles Times

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