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Ad Watch

Tom McClintock's campaign has been running a 60-second ad in the Central Valley and San Diego. McClintock also aired the spot in Los Angeles and San Francisco on Monday during Arnold Schwarzenegger's appearance on "Oprah."

September 17, 2003

Producer: Coyote Productions

The script: With music in the background, the ad intersperses footage of McClintock delivering speeches with soft-toned images of California and pictures of children and the state flag.

An announcer says: "California used to be the Golden State. Taxes were low. Jobs were plentiful. Tom McClintock was there."

McClintock: "I lived in that state once. I remember that state. You remember that state. It was real."

Announcer: "Now California stands at a turning point."

McClintock: "We must have a governor who knows every inch of this government and who stands willing to challenge the spending lobby that controls it. It means bringing our electricity prices back down under control, cutting our workers' compensation costs by two-thirds and rescind the tripling of the car tax."

Announcer: "A governor willing to make the tough decisions."

McClintock: "This can be the moment where we roll back the taxes and regulations that are destroying our economy, that we restore California's public works."

Announcer: "To return to our children the Golden State that our parents gave to us."

McClintock: "Folks, we can do this."

Announcer: "A governor named Tom McClintock."


Accuracy: McClintock's claim that government is controlled by "the spending lobby" is open to dispute. Ballot measures have restricted a governor's latitude when it comes to spending. An initiative passed 15 years ago, for example, holds that when state revenues rise, more than 40% of the additional money go to public schools.

The ad's suggestion that jobs in California are no longer "plentiful" offers little context. Employment peaked in 2001 as the dot-com wave crested. Employment losses that followed were no more severe than that suffered by the nation as a whole.


Analysis: The ad seeks to rally McClintock's core conservative supporters by recalling a simpler time in the state's history. It echoes traditional Republican themes that taxes need to be reduced and spending curtailed.

The ad touts McClintock's experience as a state legislator, implicitly portraying GOP rival Arnold Schwarzenegger as an outsider who is unfamiliar with the complex workings of state government.

Compiled by Times staff writer Peter Nicholas

Los Angeles Times

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