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Lieutenant governor's race heats up with new ads

Gavin Newsom's campaign released the first television advertisement of the lieutenant governor's race Tuesday, a 30-second spot that paints the San Francisco mayor as a family man who is fighting for California's coastline.

Filmed at Santa Monica Beach, the ad shows Newsom teaching his 1-year-old daughter, Montana, to walk in the sand.

"It's simple," Newsom's voice says over a swelling string symphony, "If we want our kids to leave their footprints in this world, we owe them a good education. And if we want them to leave their footprints in the sand, we owe them a good environment."

"We need to tell the oil companies, 'Don't mess with California, leave our coastline alone,' " he says.

The subtext, of course, is the revelation earlier this year by the San Francisco Chronicle that Newsom and his wife have invested thousands of dollars in offshore oil drilling.

According to a financial disclosure statement, a trust controlled by Newsom's wife invested between $10,000 and $100,000 in Transocean Inc. That's the drilling company that leased to BP the oil rig that ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico in April.

Newsom's eco-friendly record has earned him endorsements from the California League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club. Still, his opponent Abel Maldonado has latched onto Newsom's oil drilling investments.

In a statement Tuesday, Maldonado spokesman Brandon Gesicki called Newsom the only "candidate in this campaign who makes a profit off of destructive oil companies."

The Maldonado team also broadcast its first advertisement Tuesday -- a 60-second radio spot.

The spot attacks Newsom as "too extreme for California" and takes aim at San Francisco‚Äôs sanctuary city policy.

It links the policy, which prohibits police officers and other city employees from inquiring into a person's immigration status, to a 2008 triple murder in the city. The suspect in that murder, an immigrant from El Salvador, had been arrested before but had not been deported because of the law.

Maldonado and Newsom sparred over the sanctuary city policy, as well as Newsom's wife's oil company investments, in their first debate. It was broadcast last week on KQED radio.

The candidates will square off in their second debate Thursday at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. It will be streamed live on the KABC-TV website.

-- Kate Linthicum

 
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