Davis goes negative in ad of general election

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 11, 2002

LOS ANGELES – Gov. Gray Davis launched a scathing attack ad against his Republican opponent Bill Simon on Monday, the first of what will likely be an onslaught of negative commercials in the five months until election day. 

The ad comes on the heels of two positive television ads the Democratic governor began airing Wednesday. Simon, a political newcomer whose fund-raising is dwarfed by Davis’ more than $30 million campaign treasury, has yet to run television commercials — considered key to reaching voters in sprawling California. 

Davis’ 30-second ad, seen in Los Angeles, Sacramento and the Central Valley, focuses on Western Federal Savings and Loan, a Simon family investment seized by the government in 1993 at a cost to taxpayers of more than $90 million. 

“Bill Simon inherited a fortune. But how has he managed on his own? When he directed a savings and loan, the thrift made bad loans, went belly up and was seized by the federal government. ... If he can’t run an S&L, how can he run California?” the ad asks.”