LOS ANGELES – Gov. Gray Davis (search) and the candidates seeking to replace him in California's recall election used the Labor Day holiday to crisscross the state and take their shots at front-running Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger (search).
Davis accused Schwarzenegger on Monday of being a stand-in for former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who had been an opponent of labor during his eight years in office. Davis reminded pro-labor supporters at a downtown rally that Wilson is co-chairman of Schwarzenegger's campaign.
"You remember those eight years were not good years for working people," the Democratic governor said. "We're not going back, my friends, we're going forward."
Schwarzenegger spokesman Sean Walsh said Davis was resorting to the criticism because he lacked vision.
"It's sad, comments from individuals who don't have positive ideas and don't have a vision to restore our state's economy and add additional jobs for working men and women," said Walsh, a former Wilson spokesman.
Former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth (search), a Republican, criticized Schwarzenegger for only agreeing to take part in one campaign debate.
"Giving voters a chance to hear him several times before Election Day is good for him. It's good for the voters. And it's good for the democratic process," Ueberroth said.
Schwarzenegger was in Sacramento meeting supporters at the California State Fair and working a table to register voters for the Oct. 7 recall election. He said it was important to honor the state's working men and women, calling this particular Labor Day a sad one because of a weak job market.
"Many workers have witnessed firsthand the American dream slipping away," he said.
He reiterated that he would only debate the other candidates one time before the election.
"I'm looking forward to the debate, it's going to be great," he said. "We are going to do one great debate where we can all bring out all the different issues."
Davis and Ueberroth weren't the only candidates to step up their attacks against Schwarzenegger over the holiday weekend. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, and state Sen. Tom McClintock, a Republican, also criticized the actor on issues ranging from taxes to immigration.
Bustamante, the only major Democratic candidate in the race, made stops Monday in San Bernardino, Wilmington and Pleasanton, where he spoke at the Alameda County Labor Council's picnic after Davis left.
"It's about time that we had a governor of the state of California who's going to remember his roots and always make sure and work on behalf of the working-class people," Bustamante said.
Deflecting questions over why he and Davis did not appear together, Bustamante said, "I had my own schedule."
Davis' first television ads of the campaign, featuring Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will be previewed for reporters Tuesday and begin airing Wednesday.