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Dems Cancel Los Angeles Debate

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BETH FOUHY | November 29, 2007 08:22 AM EST | AP

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NEW YORK — The Democratic National Committee has canceled a scheduled presidential debate in Los Angeles because of a potential strike by CBS news writers.

"Due to the uncertainty created by the ongoing labor dispute between CBS and the Writers Guild of America, the DNC has canceled the December 10 debate in Los Angeles. There are no plans to reschedule," DNC Communications Director Karen Finney said in a statement issued Wednesday.

The debate, which was to be televised by CBS, faced uncertainty after the network's news writers voted to authorize the Writers Guild of America to call a national strike. About 500 of CBS television and radio news writers in New York, Los Angeles and other cities have been working under an expired contract since April 2005.

After that vote, the major Democratic presidential contenders announced they would not participate in the debate if the labor dispute was not resolved.

CBS News issued a statement Wednesday saying the network regretted the cancellation.

"The possibility of picket lines set up by the Writers Guild of America and the unwillingness of many candidates to cross them made it necessary to allow the candidates to make other plans," CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said.