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THE STATE / THE RECALL CAMPAIGN | AD WATCH

Schwarzenegger Qualifications

Californians Against the Costly Recall, supporters of Gov. Gray Davis, have announced the airing of a new ad that calls into question Arnold Schwarzenegger's qualifications to be governor. The ad began appearing statewide Monday. The campaign didn't say how much it was spending.

September 30, 2003

Title: Ducks

Producer: Doak Carrier O'Donnell & Associates

Script: "Have questions about Arnold Schwarzenegger? So do a lot of people. He ducks tough questions. Didn't vote in 13 of the last 21 elections. And now he refuses to debate the governor he's trying to replace."

Accuracy: Schwarzenegger has been widely criticized for not making himself available to political reporters and for being vague on the issues. Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he failed to vote in some elections. But he maintains that in others he filled out absentee ballots, completed and returned them, but that they were not recorded. The number of elections in which he allegedly did not participate remains in dispute. Despite requests to participate in several debates with fellow candidates, Schwarzenegger has so far participated in only one debate during the recall election.

Analysis: The ad is an attempt to portray the recall election as a contest between Davis and Schwarzenegger. Davis' supporters hope that creating the idea that voters have only those two men to choose from, while at the same time calling into question Schwarzenegger's political credentials, will prompt voters to conclude that the recall is a risky proposition and the wrong thing to do.

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Compiled by Times staff writer Scott Glover

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