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Davis gets 2 Demo ‘donations': radio time and Dean’s backing

Schwarzenegger uninvited to head Mexican parade

SHARE Davis gets 2 Demo ‘donations': radio time and Dean’s backing

LOS ANGELES — Gov. Gray Davis, fighting to keep his job in the recall election, received two bursts of Democratic support Saturday as he gave his party's national radio address and was endorsed by one of its leading presidential candidates.

Republican challenger Arnold Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, was uninvited from a Mexican Independence Day parade, a slap an aide blamed on "wedge issue politics." The leading Democrat among the recall candidates, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, has accused the Austrian-born action star of being anti-immigrant.

Davis, in the Democrats' response to President Bush's weekly radio speech, sharply criticized the Bush administration's economic policies, saying that "Republicans in power have refused to learn from their mistakes."

Then former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, whose scrappy campaign style has vaulted him to the front of the pack of Democratic presidential candidates, joined Davis in Los Angeles to say he was proud to back Davis despite the governor's record low poll ratings.

"I don't care," Dean said at a meeting of Asian-Pacific American political activists in Los Angeles. "My trademark is I say what I think, for better or worse. . . . I'm pleased to be here, and I'm proud to be here."

On Sunday, Davis planned to attend a Mexican Independence Day parade in Los Angeles that withdrew its invitation to Schwarzenegger.

The company hired by Comite Mexicano Civico Patriotico to organize parade participation said Saturday that it had been instructed to revoke Schwarzenegger's parade permit. On Friday, Schwarzenegger's campaign said he had been uninvited as the parade's grand marshal, although parade organizers disputed that.

"I was looking forward to being with so many of my friends in the Mexican-American community to celebrate Mexico and its culture," Schwarzenegger said in a statement Saturday. "Unfortunately, it seems that the politicians have gotten involved and I have been uninvited."

Schwarzenegger spokesman Todd Harris said, "it seems that wedge-issue politics have been introduced into this parade."

Bustamante has increasingly criticized the actor's stances on some immigration issues, including his opposition to a bill Davis signed Friday giving drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants.

In Orange County Saturday, one of Schwarzenegger's Republican rivals, Peter Ueberroth, unveiled his job-creation plan.

Ueberroth, the former baseball commissioner and architect of the successful 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, said his "California Works Again" plan would give businesses cash or tax credits for every new job they create in the state. He would also appoint an unpaid "jobs czar" who would oversee the program.

The plan would rebate 50 percent of the personal income tax generated by each new employees back to the company, provided the jobs pay more than $30,000 a year and the company provides health benefits to the new employees.

That, Ueberroth said, would encourage businesses to provide health insurance to workers without "mandating it under oppressive job-killer legislation."

A bill that would require employers to offer health benefits to their employees is being debated in the California Senate and is supported by Bustamante.

Bustamante leads in most polls as the replacement for Davis if the governor loses his job in the Oct. 7 election. He addressed a labor union in San Francisco Saturday morning and planned a rally with farmworkers in his hometown of Fresno Sunday.

Davis' radio address did not mention the recall campaign, but it did touch on his administration's efforts in California.

"In California, we're pushing hard to create new jobs now and to stimulate our economy," Davis said. "We're accelerating the flow of billions of dollars of bond money into our economy. We're building freeway and public transit projects one full year head of schedule, creating thousands of jobs now.

"In short, the nation's governors are doing more with less and still balancing their books."

Also Saturday, Schwarzenegger picked up endorsements from two major California agricultural groups and said the industry was overburdened with environmental and labor regulations.

The state has to protect air quality, "but we cannot go overboard on regulations," especially when state and federal rules overlap, said Schwarzenegger, who made fund-raising stops in Sacramento and Sonoma County.

California's economic woes are "self-inflicted wounds," Schwarzenegger told a crowd of about 200 supporters in Sacramento. Elected officials should have weighed the state's economy before approving laws such as family leave and union-backed overtime regulations, the actor said.

Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger was criticized for boasting that he is not accepting campaign contributions from unions and Indian tribes. While campaigning last year for a proposition supporting before- and after-school programs, the action star accepted $530,000 from the California Teachers Association and $62,000 from three California Indian tribes.

"We were good folks to come to for Proposition 49," David Baron, in charge of governmental affairs for the Barona Band of Mission Indians, told the Los Angeles Times. "But now that he is running for election to a statewide office, we are taboo."

Walsh said that when Schwarzenegger took money for Proposition 49 he was not seeking an office from which he would have to negotiate with Indian tribes and public employee unions.