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Gubernatorial candidates to meet today in final TV debate
John Hill
Posted on November 12, 2003

Louisiana gubernatorial candidates Bobby Jindal of Baton Rouge and Kathleen Blanco of Lafayette share a laugh prior to the start of their debate Monday in Baton Rouge. The two square off again today at 7 p.m. in New Orleans in their final statewide televised debate prior to Saturday's runoff. (AP Photo/Richard Alan Hannon)

Kathleen Blanco and Bobby Jindal today meet for the final live television debate to be broadcast statewide before Saturday's runoff.

The event, sponsored by New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL-TV, is expected to win the 7 p.m. time slot in the Nielsen television ratings service.

In the primary, the WWL debate won over the two other major networks with a 14-rating/20-share. That means 20 percent of the television sets turned on at that hour were tuned into the debate, producer Mark Swinney said. "I think most people tune in to see if they mess up," he laughed.

The stations carrying the live debate include KLFY-TV in Lafayette, KNOE-TV in Monroe and KTBS-TV in Shreveport and WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge. It will not be seen in the Alexandria and Lake Charles markets.

In the primary, the WWL-sponsored debate beat out Fear Factor on NBC, which had an 8-rating/11-share, and Monk on ABC, which had a 3-rating/4-share, in the New Orleans market.

New Orleans is one of the metered Nielsen markets which contributes to national ratings of network television shows. About 400 Nielsen households have the electronic meters which send overnight reports on a television.

Voice of NASCAR to join Jindal at rally

Bobby Jindal will campaign Thursday in West Monroe with Darrell Waltrip, the face and voice of NASCAR, at a campaign rally. The rally, open to the public, will be at 1 p.m. at Bubba Luigi's restaurant, 2105 N. 7th Street.

"I am very excited to have NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip campaign with me," Jindal said, noting that Waltrip "only supports candidates who share his conservative philosophy."

Blanco in Baton Rouge and New Orleans today

Blanco announced that she will campaign in Baton Rouge and New Orleans today and Thursday, then "will conclude her victory tour" Friday with rallies in Alexandria, Morgan City, Lafayette and Shreveport.

Abortion again an issue in gubernatorial runoff

The abortion issue arose Monday.

A state Democratic Party mailer sent to women voters calls attention to Jindal's "no abortion, no exceptions" position. "Bobby Jindal is willing to let Louisiana women die to protect his extreme agenda," it says.

Jindal said he was offended by the mailer.

But Democratic Party Chairman Mike Skinner said the mailer's point "is simply to let Louisiana voters know Mr. Jindal's stand on the issues, and that is it in a nutshell."

Blanco and Jindal both oppose abortion, but Blanco supports the exception for rape, incest and to save the life of the woman.

Jindal opposes the exceptions but said if a procedure to save the life of the woman is performed that results in an abortion, that's OK. Gambit newspaper in New Orleans also said Jindal told it he supports the use of emergency-room contraception for rape victims who request it.

The Blanco campaign said someone is making telephone calls in the Lafayette area saying Blanco is pro-choice.

Runoff drawing international media

International media are parachuting in to cover the gubernatorial runoff Saturday.

BBC is sending a reporter apparently because of the large Indian population in the United Kingdom.

Correspondent Anil Padmanabhan New York bureau chief for India Today magazine, the Time-look-alike of India, is coming in to cover the election returns at Bobby Jindal's New Orleans hotel headquarters.Jindal, who would become the first Indian-American governor in the United States, has attracted a great deal of media attention. India Today did the cover story "Mister Right: Why Bobby Jindal is the man of the moment" in its Oct. 20 issue.

Indian-American group to monitor election returns

The Indian-American Leadership Initiative organization is planning a Washington, D.C., party at the Hawk and the Dove, a Capitol Hill political hangout, and at various locations throughout the country to watch Louisiana's election returns on television and Web sites Saturday night.

In an invitation to the media to cover, Toby Chaudhuri said the organization "was the first group to organize the Indian-American community's political efforts behind Jindal." The organization said Indian-Americans have elected members to state legislatures in Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota and New Jersey. "If elected, Jindal would add to a growing ethnic mix of American governors: Hawaii's Gov. John Waihee (D-Hawaii) is the first elected governor of Hawaiian ancestry. And Gov. Gary Locke (D-Wash.) is the first Asian-American to be elected governor of a state in the Lower 48. Jindal is a strong conservative whose political views diverge from most Indian-Americans, who tend to be liberal and Democrat."

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