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  Nader Backers Pull Ads in Calif.

By Scott Lindlaw
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2000; 2:11 a.m. EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –– With a tightened presidential race in California, Ralph Nader supporters pulled ads promoting him in California newspapers out of concern that votes for him could cost Al Gore the state.

And Gore faced renewed pressure from Republicans, as three GOP governors stumped here Tuesday on behalf of George W. Bush. California Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was countering by touting Gore in a series of interviews.

Greg MacArthur, a New York businessman paying for full-page advertisements to boost support for Green Party candidate Nader, decided Tuesday to pull those that were to run in California's largest newspapers this week.

The ads said "a vote for Nader is not a vote for Bush" and were aimed at Nader backers worried they could tip the election to Republicans.

MacArthur, a businessman and documentary filmmaker, had spent about $320,000 for the ads to appear in states where either Bush or Gore has a solid lead.

He said the goal was to help Nader win at least 5 percent of the popular vote on Nov. 7 to qualify the Green Party for federal campaign money in 2004.

But MacArthur was pulling the ads from the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner. They will run as planned in weekly newspapers, the Los Angeles Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

MacArthur's decision came a day after a Public Policy Institute of California poll showed Bush trailing Gore by 5 percentage points, down from 9 points last month, and a day before the Los Angeles Times reported in Wednesday's editions that Gore leads Bush in its poll by 7 points, 48-41.

California didn't appear to be "the obvious slam-dunk that these other states were," he said.

California's 54 electoral votes are an important part of Gore's strategy to win the election.

"I still think Gore is going to win California, but if the perception is such that it's a tight race, then that's the wrong market for me to be advertising in," MacArthur said.

MacArthur said he would spend the $121,000 from the California ads on additional spots in The New York Times and possibly the Houston Chronicle.

In West Sacramento, three of 28 Republican governors who are barnstorming this week for Texas Gov. Bush, promoted his plans for Social Security, education and taxes.

"We're here because you cannot expect Governor Bush to be everywhere," said Arizona Gov. Jane Hull, who was joined by Govs. Lincoln Almond of Rhode Island and Paul Cellucci of Massachusetts.

Davis, state chairman of Gore's campaign, fired back in TV interviews, two of them broadcast in Hull's Arizona.

Each time, Davis said Bush's Texas lagged behind the rest of the nation in public education and health care. And he reiterated his belief that Bush, who opposes abortion and favors less strict gun control laws than Gore, is on the wrong side of the issues.

"I think Californians will do, in the end, what is right, because the differences are so stark," Davis said.

Gore has not visited California since Sept. 20, and has no visits scheduled for the last two weeks of the campaign.

Bush has visited more often, most recently on Sept. 27. He returns late this month.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

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