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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

ACLU Requests Delay for California Recall

Aired August 18, 2003 - 19:12   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We move on now. There was an attempt in California late this afternoon to delay the recall election. The American Civil Liberties Union argued that that scheduled October 7 vote should be put off until spring to give the state time to replace outdated voting equipment.
Dan Lothian has the latest now from Los Angeles.

Dan, hello.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello, Daryn. It has been a quiet day on the recall campaign trail but plenty of activity in court. As you mentioned, the federal judge is considering a challenge by the ACLU, which could delay the recall vote from October to March. The judge is expected to rule by Wednesday.

Now the ACLU argues that using punch card machines which were decertified will discriminate against millions of voters in six counties. People there would be forced to use the punch card system found to be faulty and of course, made famous in Florida. They'd have to use these because new machines won't be on line by the October 7 election.

This is separate from another lawsuit by advocates for minority voters to also delay the recall election. A federal judge in San Jose, California, hearing this case.

While all of this is going on, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon hit the airwaves with a radio attacking against Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for remarks made by top economic adviser Warren Buffett.

Over the weekend, Buffett said that California's Proposition 13 had lowered property taxes too much. Simon sensed an opportunity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL SIMON, CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Bill Simon. Gray Davis tripled our car taxes and now Arnold Schwarzenegger's team wants to triple our property taxes, which just goes to show you, don't send a liberal to do a tax fighter's job. I've signed the pledge not to raise taxes. Isn't it time Arnold told us where he stood?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOTHIAN: Schwarzenegger quickly released a statement expressing his, quote, "unequivocal support" for Prop 13.

As the actor prepares to hit the small screen as a politician this time in TV ads set to roll out in Los Angeles and San Francisco on Wednesday.

He's losing steam in the latest polls. Schwarzenegger trails Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante by three percentage points after initially enjoying a double digit lead -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Dan Lothian in Los Angeles. Dan, thank you for that.

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