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California's Democratic and Republican chairmen addressed how their parties' candidates will overcome the budget crisis if elected in November at the Capital Plaza Halls Tuesday afternoon. The lunch was hosted by the Sacramento Press Club and was attended by members of the working press, state politics, and public.
Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring and Democratic Party Chairman John Burton spoke mainly on the gubernatorial and senate elections, claiming that in the coming months it will become increasingly clear why either party has the better candidate.
Among the issues addressed was that of campaign financing. With Meg Whitman's campaign likely to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for this election, audience members asked how Jerry Brown's campaign was planning on competing.
"Nobody can compete with Whitman money," Burton said.
Burton added later in an interview that Brown will most likely save what money he does have for later in the race, where he can spend at a similar pace, though in a shorter time frame.
Nehring warned the audience to not get too caught up in how much money is spent, stressing campaign management is the deciding factor.
"Ultimately the campaign has to have the resources to get their message out," Nehring said.
Both chairmen were asked by a member of the audience how they see a protracted passage of a state budget affecting the elections. With so many state employees here in Sacramento, it was asked if they should anticipate political posturing from either side of the aisle in the coming months.
Neither chairman saw this as a potential issue, both claiming that neither party had found any trends or indications to make them concerned.
Nehring said that perhaps Sacramento was especially sensitive to the budget situation due to the high number of state employees in the community. But he said that this isn't reflected across the state.
Another of the issues discussed was that of redistricting for the State Legislature. Nehring said he felt that redistricting would be the right thing to do, but Burton warned that it is only a tool for more gerrymandering.
"Does this mean you'll end up on opposite ends of this issue?" queried an audience member.
"We're probably going to end up on opposite sides of the whole damn election," Burton replied.