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DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION / STATE BEFORE PARTY

St. Paul may not be in the governor's budget

August 28, 2008

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was slated for a high-profile role on the opening night of the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., on Monday, but there's a good chance he will forgo the spotlight.

The governor said at an appearance in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday morning that he would skip the GOP gathering if California lawmakers hadn't reached an agreement on a state budget.

And given that the budget is nearly two months overdue and that legislators need to plug a $15-billion hole, odds are reasonably high it's not going to happen.

"The most important thing is to solve the budget crisis, to bring Democrats and Republicans together," the governor said as he stood with members of the California Contract Cities Assn. and Independent Cities Assn. on the steps of the Convention Center.

But will Schwarzenegger appear at the GOP convention via video? Stay tuned. He ducked the question when a reporter raised it Wednesday, and a spokesman for the governor said he wasn't sure.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

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