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2 Tribes Route $2 Million to Recall Committee

September 14, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

California Indian tribes continue to spend heavily in the recall campaign: Two tribes have deposited a total of $2 million into an independent expenditure committee, according to campaign finance records filed with the secretary of state.

The Pechanga Bank of Mission Indians in Temecula routed the money to First Americans for a Better California, a committee it is sponsoring with the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians of San Diego County.

Of that amount, $50,000 already has been spent on printing costs to support the candidacy of Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who seeks to replace Gov. Gray Davis if Davis is recalled.

The reports did not indicate how the rest of the funds would be spent, and neither tribe could be reached for comment Saturday.

California tribes have contributed about $3.7 million to help Bustamante, an advocate of Indian sovereignty.

Among the lieutenant governor's largest contributors have been the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians of San Diego County, who have spent $2 million directly and indirectly on his campaign; the Pechangas, who have contributed about $535,000; and the Sycuans, who kicked in about $633,000.

California tribes have contributed more than $100,000 to support state Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks).

Ad Says Schwarzenegger, Davis One and the Same

A national conservative group plans to start airing a television spot this week that claims the recall election is pointless, given the similarities between Davis and Republican front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"You know, you have to ask yourself: If all we're doing is trading one bad, liberal, tax-raising politician for another, why bother with the recall?" the spot's narrator asks.

The commercial, produced by a group connected to the Traditional Values Coalition, contends that Schwarzenegger and Davis share identical outlooks on abortion, gay adoptions and taxes. The spot shows the former morphing into the latter to underscore its point.

"We don't want to trade one person for another person where you have to get a magnifying glass, under a microscope, and a pair of tweezers to tell the difference," said the Rev. Louis Sheldon, chairman of the coalition. He held a news conference on Saturday in the hotel where the state Republican Party was holding its convention.

The 60-second spots will air on cable television stations, with a radio version to be added later, Sheldon said.

A spokesman for Schwarzenegger said Sheldon was entitled to his views.

"You can't please all of the people all of the time, and apparently we haven't pleased Mr. Sheldon," spokesman Sean Walsh said.

"The bottom line is, Arnold Schwarzenegger's fiscal conservatism and being a social moderate put him in the mainstream of most Californians, and we make no apologies for the fact his views are similar to those of millions of other Californians," Walsh said.

Green Party Declines to Take Position on Recall

The Green Party of California opted Saturday not to take a position on whether Davis should be recalled, a decision that reflected a deep division within the party over whether the recall is an exercise in democracy or a Republican-led power grab.

"There was such a spirited debate on both sides, that people felt like, 'Let's continue where we've been,' and that's no position," spokesman Ross Mirkarimi said after the Greens' state plenary session in Chula Vista.

Party rules prohibit it from taking a position without a consensus of its members.

Peter Camejo, who is running for governor, estimated that 20% of the delegates support recalling Davis, while another 20% were against the recall.

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