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California Election 2006 Watch: The Schwarzenegger – Angelides Debate

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (L) and opponent Phil Angelides meet for a photo opportunity before the Governors Debate 2006 at Sacramento State University October 7, 2006.

AP: Schwarzenegger, Angelides Spar Over Economy

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides sparred over the direction of the state’s economy Saturday in their first and only debate of the gubernatorial campaign.

In a series of sharp exchanges, Schwarzenegger and Angelides differed over higher education fees, taxes and the state of California’s middle class.

Angelides said fees at the California State University and University of California systems have risen by thousands of dollars under Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger noted that college fees rose dramatically under his predecessor, former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, and that he has capped them this year.

He also attacked Angelides as wanting to raise billions in taxes if he is elected on Nov. 7.

The debate (Flap watched the televised event) was a boring exchange of generally known facts in a strange and ineffective format. In fact, the moderator Stan Statham was hard pressed to fill the remaining time after 50 minutes of ennui.

So, who wins?

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, left, and his opponent California Treasurer Phil Angelides, right, begin their debate moderated by Stan Stathem, president of the California Broadcasters Association at Sacramento State University.

Why?

The Governator is the incumbent and Phil Angelides was unable to make the case why California voters should replace him.

Schwarzenneger looked tight during the first twenty minutes of the debate/conversation. It wan’t until Arnold made the quip of the night while addressing Angelides: “You sound like Uncle Teddy at Thanksgiving Dinner.” – referring to wife Maria Schriver’s Uncle Ted Kennedy that he loosened up and started to smile. Angelides did not act like the GEEK that he looked but was not in the same league as the Hollywood action star.

On policy matters Angelides failed to provide specifics as to how he would pay for his education and other middle class taxpayer initiatives. When challenged by the Governor as to his desire to raise taxes, the California Treasurer demurred. He did reference but not overtly his desire to increase the highest tax rate on personal income for wealthy taxpayers – like in the Reagan and Wilson years.

The format was strange and awkward. There were no opening or closing statements – although each candidate in answering their first question filibustered and gave an opening statement in any event. The end of the debate was anti-climactic. There were 13-14 questions asked of the candidates but comprehensive answers were relegated to boring talking points obviously memorized by each candidate.

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Mo Kashmiri of Oakland, Calif., makes his point about the number of debates between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic challenger Phil Angelides before their one and only debate at California State University in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006.

More debates?

Both candidates are so “canned” in their approach unless the format was like a presidential debate they shouldn’t bother – and won’t. Questions asked by journalists with time limits and the ability to follow-up should be the mandated format. California voters were cheated tonight by both candidates and their campaigns.

Arnold holds the lead in the polls and based on tonight’s performance should cruise into re-election.

Stay tuned…..


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