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Schwarzenegger Asked for Change of Format

September 22, 2003

At the beginning of "Schwarzenegger Hears It From Both Sides Over 'Scripted' Debate" (Sept. 19), The Times reported how Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and state Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) had "teamed up" and threatened to boycott "the only debate Arnold Schwarzenegger has agreed to attend" unless the debate format was changed, and that they said it was "inappropriate that questions had been provided in advance."

The clear implication was that Schwarzenegger would participate in the debate only if the questions were provided beforehand. It is not until much later that the story reveals that Schwarzenegger's campaign had asked two weeks earlier that the format be changed to one in which the questions were asked spontaneously, but the California Broadcasters Assn. denied this request.

Jeff Zimmer

Sherman Oaks

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So Bustamante and McClintock threatened to boycott the only debate that will draw a meaningful audience, thus giving the stage to Schwarzenegger for the entire hour. Talk about empty suits. What geniuses are advising these guys?

William McClure

South Pasadena

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How can Oprah Winfrey and Larry King invite Schwarzenegger to appear on their shows and not extend the same invitation to the other candidates?

Linda Moriarty

Studio City

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There are two names that should be included in the list of candidates for governor. They are Barnum and Bailey.

Gene Goodwein

Van Nuys

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