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Front Runners in Recall Duke it Out

The top candidates in California´s recall election, minus Arnold Schwarzenegger, have had the first of four scheduled debates. The only thing all five agreed on is the state law allowing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

Democratic Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante was attacked for accepting a $2 million campaign donation from Indian casinos.

Schwarzenegger, who declined to be in the debate, was criticized for silencing adviser Warren Buffett after Buffett said the property tax law needs reworking. Bustamante, independent Arianna Huffington and Green Party candidate Peter Camejo all agree with Buffett. Republicans Peter Ueberroth and state Senator Tom McClintock said they, like Schwarzenegger, would leave the tax formula alone.

Earlier in the afternoon, Governor Davis answered questions, saying he should have responded more quickly during the energy crisis. He defended his record on the environment, research and women´s rights.