Original URL: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0829DavisRecall29-ON.html

Schwarzenegger, Bustamante fend off criticism
Associated Press
Aug. 29, 2003 07:50 AM

FRESNO, Calif. - Arnold Schwarzenegger swept through the hometown of leading Democratic rival Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante while both recall
replacement candidates fended off criticism for ties to controversial groups.

Schwarzenegger was called on by the League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation's oldest Hispanic civil rights group, to resign from the advisory board of U.S. English, which seeks to make English the official language of the United States. The Austrian-born actor refused.

Meanwhile Bustamante, the state's Democratic lieutenant governor, shrugged off criticism of his affiliation in the 1970s with Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MeCHA, a Chicano student activist group. The state's highest ranking Hispanic, instead, pounced on an issue dear to his constituents - gasoline prices.

Schwarzenegger was stumping Thursday in the Central Valley, a region that votes Republican but has a large Democrat-leaning Hispanic population and is home to Bustamante, the state's highest ranking Hispanic.

"So many of us support bilingualism and bilingual education and maintaining our culture and he's essentially saying it's not valid by being part of this board that has got this whole anti-immigrant, underlying racist mentality," said the league's Gabriela Lemus.

The league said it is not taking a position on whether Gov. Gray Davis should be recalled and will not endorse a replacement candidate.

Said Schwarzenegger spokesman Sean Walsh: "Arnold Schwarzenegger came to this country with a few dollars in his pocket and not speaking the
English language, and he realized the importance of learning to speak English as quickly as possible to achieve your American dreams."

Bustamante, who leads Schwarzenegger in the latest polls, compared today's members of MeCHA to those when he was a student at California
State University, Fresno. Critics claim the group holds extreme separatist positions, including the belief that much of the Southwest rightfully belongs
to Mexico.

"The students who are MeCHA today are just like the students when I was there," Bustamante said. "Pretty much they are trying to get an education.
Most of the friends I went to school with are now either graduates from college or raising families."

Bustamante devoted much of his energy Thursday reminding voters they will be paying the highest gasoline prices over the Labor Day weekend. He
accused the oil companies of price-gouging and vowed to bring the industry under state regulatory control.

"Californians are being gouged," Bustamante said, "and under current law we are powerless to do anything about it."

Former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, also on the Oct. 7 special election ballot, visited San Diego for the first of several scheduled town hall-style meetings with voters. Ueberroth told about 75 people that if elected he would convene a special legislative session on his first day in office to address the state's budget problems and would ask lawmakers to place a measure on the March ballot asking voters for a constitutional amendment to impose spending caps. The spending limits would be tied to inflation and population changes.

"I'm going to be a mad dog chasing a meat truck to make sure we get spending in line and get jobs back in the state," he said.

Also on Thursday:


Campaign finance records show Gov. Gray Davis is topping the field of candidates in the recall money chase with Arnold Schwarzenegger close
behind. Davis has raised $4.2 million, about $1 million more than Schwarzenegger. Bustamante has raised about $500,000 plus another $200,000 from a public employee union to his lieutenant governor's committee, which can be used for his governor's campaign.


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would hear a challenge Sept. 11 by the American Civil Liberties Union to review an ACLU lawsuit
alleging that punch-card voting machines used in at least six counties won't accurately tally votes.


State Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres said the organization would vote Sept. 13 whether to endorse a replacement candidate, a change from
its strategy of only opposing the recall.


Schwarzenegger won the endorsement of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the group that led the 1978 fight for anti-property-tax
Proposition 13.


The California Nations Indian Gaming Association, the state's largest tribal gaming organization met in Sacramento with Davis, Bustamante and
McClintock, but made no endorsements.