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Simon: Fellow Republican Schwarzenegger a 'liberal'

Radio commercial blasts actor over adviser's tax comments

Bill Simon
Bill Simon

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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon attacked Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday in the first commercial of the California gubernatorial recall election.

The radio ad hits Schwarzenegger for comments that Warren Buffett, his chief economic adviser, made last week about the state's property taxes.

Buffett had suggested to The Wall Street Journal that Californians pay too little in property taxes. The state's taxes are controlled by a ballot initiative passed by voters known as Proposition 13.

In the ad, Simon's voice says "Schwarzenegger's team wants to triple our property taxes, which goes to show you, don't send a liberal to do a tax-fighter's job," according to the commercial's transcript.

The Schwarzenegger campaign released a statement Sunday distancing the candidate from Buffett's comments and outlining his "rock solid" support for Proposition 13.

"Warren and I have talked about Proposition 13, and he clearly understands my strong, unequivocal support for the initiative," Schwarzenegger said.

A news release from the Simon campaign said the radio commercials began airing this weekend, but it was unclear how often the ads would be played. Simon campaign officials would not say how much they were spending on the advertisement.

Gov. Gray Davis defeated Simon in last year's election. Davis is trying to defeat the October 7 recall. If at least half of California's voters choose to recall Davis, one of 135 replacement candidates will become governor.

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