LOS ANGELES – Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) will run his first ad campaign for governor Wednesday, GOP sources tell Fox News.
The ad is part of a campaign that GOP sources tell Fox News could devote as much as $2 million per week to television and radio commercials.
The international film star is bankrolling some of the effort initially, but campaign sources say they expect that donations will finance a sizable portion of the ad buys as the campaign progresses.
The campaign spot will begin running on the same day Schwarzenegger makes his first full-fledged campaign appearance -- hosting a summit of economic and business heavyweights discussing the state's fiscal and budget problems.
The campaign's chief economic adviser, Warren Buffett, will attend the summit as will George Schultz, a former secretary of state and treasury secretary in the Reagan administration. Schultz is the co-chair of Schwarzenegger's economic recovery team.
The summit will serve as a platform to introduce his economic goals and principles to state voters. Taxes will play a prominent role in the discussions. California is facing a budget deficit of $38 billion and two Republican candidates, Bill Simon (search) and state Sen. Tom McClintock (search), have taken "no new taxes" pledges.
Schwarzenegger has so far refused to take the pledge. His advisers say the idea is "under review" and those close to the campaign say it remains possible that Schwarzenegger will propose numerous alternatives to tax increases but not eliminate them as an option.
If elected, Schwarzenegger would have to work with a Democratic Legislature that would demand tax increases in exchange for spending cuts. One top GOP strategist told Fox News that Schwarzenegger's struggling with the political advantage of taking a "no new taxes" pledge versus the flexibility he would retain to tackle the state's budget woes if he made tax increases the last resort.
GOP strategists say it's impossible to gauge GOP reaction if Schwarzenegger does not take a "no new taxes" pledge. GOP voters could defect in droves, forcing Schwarzenegger to seek a plurality from independents and moderate Democrats disillusioned with Gov. Gray Davis (search) and uninspired by Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (search), the only major Democrat on the replacement ballot. The actor's path to Sacramento, GOP strategists agree, is much easier to travel with sizable GOP support, especially in a field with three other Republican challengers.
Schwarzenegger's team is already under fire for the candidate's failure to appear in public and press the case for his unconventional candidacy. While Californians elected former actor Ronald Reagan as governor in 1966, Reagan was far more experienced in politics and policy than Schwarzenegger.
"What Arnold has to do is go out and start campaigning," GOP political consultant Allan Hoffenblum told Fox News. "Because if he doesn't, someone else will."
Schwarzenegger has been little more than a shadowy presence in California since joining the race. He has made one public appearance in the past 10 days. The campaign has instead trotted out high-profile endorsements meant to convey Schwarzenegger's star power and ability to attract big names from diverse backgrounds.
Among those endorsing Schwarzenegger are Buffett, actor Rob Lowe, Schultz and former Gov. Pete Wilson (search).
"People are not going to vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger because Pete Wilson endorsed him or Warren Buffett endorsed him or Rob Lowe endorsed him or anybody endorsed him," Hoffenblum said.
Other analysts criticized Schwarzenegger's slow-footed response to a three-day controversy spawned by Buffett, who told the Wall Street Journal he thought California's property taxes were too low and hinted they might need to be raised. That appeared to undermine Schwarzenegger's support for Proposition 13 (search), the citizen initiative that cut property taxes in 1978 by 30 percent.
Schwarzenegger waited three days before issuing a statement proclaiming his "rock solid support" for Proposition 13.
Schwarzenegger also committed to debates during the campaign and named Rep. David Dreier as leader of his debate negotiating team. Dreier will negotiate the venues and structure of all debates in which Schwarzenegger will participate, the campaign said.