SACRAMENTO — A new television ad for Bruce McPherson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, seems to concede that Democratic Gov. Gray Davis will be re-elected.
The ad, which began running Thursday, complains that Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, hasn’t been critical enough of Davis and suggests that voters should support McPherson “for balance.”
The ad depicts Bustamante, the first California lieutenant governor to serve with a governor of his own party in 20 years, as a “slow, weak and timid” bobblehead doll on the dashboard of a car supposedly driven by Davis that ends up going over a cliff.
“When Governor Davis took us down the wrong road, Bustamante went along for the ride,” an announcer says. “The man never said a word, not even when the governor was very wrong.”
Then McPherson, a state senator from Santa Cruz, appears on the screen and says, “I won’t stay silent. I’ll speak up for California.”
Ironically, one of the Bustamante’s most heavily publicized acts as lieutenant governor was to criticize Davis’ handling of an appeal of a court decision striking down most of Proposition 187, a 1994 anti-illegal immigrant initiative.
A McPherson spokesman, Adam Mendelsohn, says the ad isn’t intended to imply that Davis will defeat GOP candidate Bill Simon.
“The message of this ad is that Gray Davis consistently made bad decisions and Lieutenant Governor Bustamante sat quietly nodding his head all along,” Mendelsohn said. “Because the lieutenant governor is independently elected he has the responsibility to speak up when the governor makes mistakes like the energy crisis.”