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Saturday's Spanish-language television debate in Fresno turned into a rumble about Meg Whitman's undocumented housekeeper and Jerry Brown's support from public-employee unions.  We hear excerpts that illustrate what the campaign for Governor sounds like apart from TV commercials. With another debate already cancelled and just one more to go, will voters ever hear about their differences on the budget, spending cuts and taxes? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, in states they were counting on to maintain control of the Senate, Democrats are facing unexpected challenges. We hear what's typical and what's not, about Wisconsin, Connecticut and West Virginia, including some choice TV commercials.

Banner image: California attorney general and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown (R) gestures towards Republican gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman during the second of three scheduled televised debates at Fresno State October 2, 2010. Photo: Eric Paul Zamora-Pool/Getty Images

Main Topic The Whitman-Brown Debate, Revisited 26 MIN, 42 SEC

Even before Saturday's television debate in Fresno, Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown cancelled a radio debate scheduled for tomorrow that would have included voters' questions in the kind of format that might have forced specific discussion on the deficit, which programs ought to be cut and which might deserve an increase in taxes. So far, it's been a campaign of generalities except for the ongoing dispute about Whitman's former housekeeper, which also became Saturday's focus. In this first debate on Spanish-language TV, the candidates were also questioned about the federal DREAM ACT by a woman about to graduate with honors from Fresno State, who would not be able to work without a path to citizenship. We hear excerpts and analysis of the debate.

Jim Boren, Editorial Page Editor, Fresno Bee
Gustavo Arellano, Host, 'Orange County Line' (@GustavoArellano)
Mickey Kaus, Political Commentator and Author (@kausmickey)
Joe Mathews, Host, "Zocalo's Connecting California" (@joemmathews)

California Crackup

Joe Mathews

Main Topic Key Senate Races Keep Republican Hopes Alive 26 MIN, 16 SEC

Wisconsin's Democratic Senator Russ Feingold bucked his own party on bank bailouts and the troop surge in Afghanistan.  He was the only vote against the Patriot Act, and he has his name on campaign finance reform.  Democrats thought he was independent enough to survive this year's anti-incumbent, anti-Washington sentiment… but maybe not. We hear about jobs and the economy, the President’s unpopularity, anti-incumbent sentiment and a pink marble driveway in Florida.

Thomas Holbrook, Chair of the Political Science Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Peter Wallsten, Washington Post (@peterwallsten)
Rick Green, Hartford Courant (@CTConfidential)
Marybeth Beller, Professor of Political Science, Marshall University

One Party Country

Tom Hamburger


Warren Olney

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