Dem hopefuls say their prayers

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Later he appeared at a rally in San Francisco with California’s two U.S. senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, who urged Democrats to ignore the attack ads on television. “It’s so hard out there because the negative spots depress turnout,” Feinstein said. Secretary of State Bruce McPherson predicted Friday that just 38 percent of registered voters would cast ballots on Tuesday. Even those who intend to vote are holding their noses. A quarter have told pollsters they have yet to make up their minds, the highest percentage this late in an election in six decades of polling, according to Mark Baldassare of the Field Poll. “I caught the drift of it early on and I said, `Oh, jeez, keep me out of this,”‘ said Billy Mernit, a writer in his 50s from Venice, expressing dismay at the nasty television ads. The Democratic candidates for governor went to church on Sunday and prayed for victory, as well they might in a race that is neck-and-neck heading into Tuesday’s primary. Westly, who made his fortune at eBay, and Angelides, a wealthy former developer, have been battering each other with nasty television ads for several weeks. Analysts say voters may respond to the negativity campaign by not voting. Westly, the state controller, appeared with Rep. Diane Watson, D-Los Angeles, at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, which he joined three months ago. He used his moment at the pulpit to quote the Bible and urge people to the polls. Angelides, the state treasurer, attended morning services at Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. He said he plans to vote, but thinks the Democrats’ infighting has only helped Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will face the Democratic winner in November. Unions that have endorsed Angelides say they are going to turn out to vote, but likely won’t match the enthusiasm of last year’s special elections, when unions turned out enough angry voters to defeat every initiative in the special election called by Schwarzenegger. Barbara Kerr, the head of the California Teachers Association, said her 335,000 members would be working for Angelides, whom they support because he has promised to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy to fund education. “This is an important election for us,” she said. “We really believe Phil is our candidate.” Westly, who has little union get-out-the-vote muscle behind his campaign, put out close to 2 million automated phone calls urging voters to go online and watch a short video of him speaking. In the final days of the race, both candidates have spent money on ads that burnish their own images without running down their opponents. Westly put up a new spot on Sunday touting his campaign and replacing his hit against Angelides for supposedly dumping dredged spoils into Lake Tahoe. Westly has never proved Angelides knew it was happening. Angelides is running his honor roll of endorsements from high-ranking Democrats, interest groups and the state party. But that was not enough to sway Deborah Lee, 48, a financial adviser from Sherman Oaks. She laughed at an earlier ad from Angelides blaming Westly for going negative first and then going on the attack himself. “If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it,” she said. “I don’t know whether to believe any of them.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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