WASHINGTON – National Republicans will spend millions on an ad campaign to blame California's energy woes on Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.
Davis "has been playing the blame game all year and ... enough is enough," said GOP consultant Scott Reed.
The first $1.5 million installment of ads runs Monday, and Republicans are trying to raise more through the group, American Taxpayers Alliance, whose financial backers were not disclosed.
The ad says "he's pointing fingers and blaming others," and quotes news accounts saying Davis ignored warning signs and turned a problem into a crisis.
The television ad, airing in Spanish and English, refers to the state's rolling blackouts as "grayouts."
The ads, expected to cost a total of $25 million, are slated to run through the second week in July, Reed said. Concerns have grown among national Republicans about political fallout in the 2002 elections from California's energy problems.
Davis responded: "If they think we're going to back down, they are dead wrong. We will fight back against out-of-control prices."
Aides to Davis said they think energy generating companies are involved in financing the ad. Reed said his donors want to remain private and he is not required by law to disclose them.
Bob Mulholland, executive director of the California Democratic Party, said he plans to file complaints with several federal agencies over the undisclosed backers.
State Democratic Chairman Art Torres said the purpose of the filings is to "find out who's fronting for these groups and who's behind them."
"We should be given the opportunity to find out which of the energy bandits from Texas are involved here," he said.