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THE STATE | RECALL NOTEBOOK

Schwarzenegger Plans Road Trip

September 30, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for governor is planning a bus tour beginning Thursday in San Diego and concluding Sunday in Sacramento.

The tour has largely been organized by two campaign aides who are veterans of Arizona Sen. John McCain's 2000 run for president. That campaign dubbed a tour bus the "Straight Talk Express" to convey the image that McCain was being open and forthright with reporters.

The two Schwarzenegger aides, Todd Harris and Mike Murphy, are calling this caravan the "Arnold Express," but have downplayed the similarities with the McCain experience.

There's a reason for that: Schwarzenegger will not even share a bus with reporters. The bus tour is to consist of six buses, each taking the name of a Schwarzenegger movie.

The candidate himself will ride on "Running Man," a 1987 film that involved a violent game show in which contestants battled to the death. Schwarzenegger's VIP supporters will ride on "Total Recall," a science-fiction film in which Schwarzenegger kills his wife.

The four press buses will be called "Predator 1," "Predator 2," "Predator 3" -- though the candidate starred in only one "Predator" film -- and "True Lies."

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Total Recall Committee Investigating Donation

A Montana development company accused of environmental violations recently contributed $100,000 to Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall committee.

A spokesman for Schwarzenegger, who has trumpeted his environment-friendly stances, said the campaign is investigating the allegations.

Yellowstone Development, owned by Tim Blixseth of Rancho Mirage, made the contribution late last week to the Republican candidate's pro-recall committee -- a fund that is not subject to contribution limits.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality have accused Blixseth's company of illegally dumping sediment into river tributaries and wetlands near a residential project in Big Sky, Mont.

Blixseth could not be reached by the Los Angeles Times. He told Associated Press that he was close to settling the case, adding that the severity of the violations had been exaggerated.

"Accusations are always louder than the verdict," he said.

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Recall Is on TV More Than Presidential Race

The California recall has received more airtime on the Big Three networks than the White House race.

From Aug. 1 through Sept. 25, the nightly newscasts on NBC, ABC and CBS devoted a total of 127 minutes to the recall, said Andrew Tyndall, who monitors TV news for his Tyndall Report newsletter.

In that same period, the Democratic presidential contenders received 36 minutes.

In 2002, the networks gave all gubernatorial races nationwide a combined 40 minutes of attention for the year, Tyndall said.

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