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Ad Watch

Tom McClintock

September 19, 2003

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which owns a large casino in the Palm Springs area, plans to begin airing a 30-second ad today backing state Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks). The tribe has purchased about $300,000 worth of air time to run the ad in the Los Angeles media market.


The Script: McClintock is seen speaking at a lectern, saying, "We have to have a governor that knows every inch of this government and has demonstrated ability and experience to defeat the spending lobby that now controls this government."

A graphic then appears reading, "Sen. Tom McClintock for governor. Endorsed by the California Republican Assembly."

The ad shows the logo of the assembly. McClintock then says, "We can reduce taxes by over $4 billion, dramatically lower electricity prices and reduce our workmen's compensation costs by two-thirds."

A graphic on screen says, "Independent polls show that McClintock has the momentum to win" and displays references to the Field Poll of Sept. 9 and a Times poll of Sept. 12.

McClintock says: "I will sign the executive order that rescinds the governor's tripling of our car tax. We can do this."

The ad ends with an announcer saying: "Paid for by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Native American Rights Fund."

Accuracy: The assertion that McClintock "has the momentum to win" is based on polls showing his support has increased from the beginning of the campaign.

The same polls, however, show him in third place, behind Cruz Bustamante and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the Times poll, likely voters said by 44% to 25% that McClintock was "too politically conservative to have a realistic chance of being elected governor."

McClintock's opponents question his assertion that his policies would lead to dramatically lower electricity prices.

His proposal for reducing the costs of the workers' compensation system would reduce payments to some injured workers and limit access to some doctors for others.

Whether the increase in the car tax can be rescinded by executive order is also a subject of debate.

McClintock says he could afford to roll back the car-tax increase because he would make deep cuts in overall spending, but during his years in the Legislature, his proposals for spending cuts have never received majority support.

Analysis: The Morongo ad is the first independent-expenditure advertisement of the campaign. Groups with an interest in the election are allowed to spend unlimited sums advocating their positions, which potentially allows them to have substantial influence.

McClintock has supported the position of the Indian tribes that they should be left alone by the state to run their own affairs.

By contrast, his chief Republican opponent, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has criticized the Indians as a "special interest," angering many tribal leaders.

Compiled by a Times staff writer

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