Senator Barbara Boxer

Labor Day Kicks Off Final Push in Battle for the Soul of California

By Art Pulaski
California Labor Federation

This Labor Day, California is at a crossroads. We can either continue the economic race to the bottom – exacerbated by corporate policies and Gov. Schwarzenegger’s slash-and-burn budgets – or we can chart a new course to rebuild California from the bottom up.  The heart of California’s economy, our workers, are struggling with near record unemployment, stagnating wages and devastating budget cuts that are eroding the California Dream.

This November, Californians have a critical choice to make about which direction our state should take to deal with the enormous challenges we face. This election is simply a battle for the soul of California.

In the race for Governor, the choices couldn’t be starker.

Fiorina Routed by Boxer In CA-Senate Debate

By Robert Cruickshank

There was always a massive contradiction - or one might say, a dishonest hypocrisy of stunning proportions - at the heart of Carly Fiorina's US Senate campaign. She touts herself as someone who can create jobs, but her record as the failed and fired CEO of Hewlett-Packard shows her to be one of the worst offenders when it comes to corporate destruction of American jobs.

Fiorina destroyed tens of thousands of jobs while CEO of HP between 1999 and 2005, many of which were shipped overseas. When she was excoriated for this, particularly by the Silicon Valley press during the severe dot-com bust of the early '00s, Fiorina responded by calling outsourcing "right-sourcing" and saying "there is no job that is America's god-given right anymore." Her record is that of someone who got rich by destroying jobs - yet she now declares herself an advocate of job creation, even while opposing the federal stimulus, federal aid to states to hire teachers, and other programs that have been proven to create jobs.

Rove's 'Crossroads' Says California Senator Is In Its Texas Crosshairs

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

Just one day before a new survey release showed California's incumbent Democratic Senator, Barbara Boxer, holding a narrow, one point lead over her conservative opponent,  Carly Fiorina, a new Texas-based and funded group announced its plan to assist the Texas native and former Hewlett Packard CEO in her bid to unseat Boxer and restore Republican control of the US Senate.

The Karl Rove-linked conservative group, Crossroads GPS, an affiliate of Rove's American Crossroads, announced it will hit Los Angeles airwaves Wednesday with a $1 million dollar ad campaign attacking Boxer's support of Medicare cuts that were a part of President Obama's health-care overhaul, according to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday

Two Very Different Approaches to Job Creation

By Robert Cruickshank

Carla Marinucci takes a look at how the four major statewide candidates would create jobs and, although she provides a good discussion of the details, her article seems to miss the bigger picture.

Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina's approach to job creation is quite different from that of Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. These differences have a number of aspects, but can be boiled down to this:

Brown/Boxer believe that the government has a clear role to play in creating jobs by providing by investing in both working people and in creating the 21st century infrastructure they need to prosper - whereas Whitman/Fiorina believe mass unemployment and further concentration of wealth in the hands of the small elite that already dominate the economy will provide "growth," even at the expense of our basic social and physical infrastructure.

All The Things The Polls Don’t Tell

By Peter Schrag

Forget  the headlines and all the heavy breathing generated by last week’s Field Poll results of the races for governor and U.S. Senator – Carly Fiorina closing with Barbara Boxer; Meg Whitman’s millions bringing her dead even with Jerry Brown.

What’s most notable in the numbers, despite the differences between Republicans Fiorina and Whitman (on the one hand) and Democrats Boxer and Brown (on the other) is that they seem to have less to do with voter perceptions of the four candidates than with the voters’ party affiliation, political ideology, degree of social disaffection, ethnicity and location.

With one major exception – strong voter support for Proposition 25 lowering the margin required to pass the state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority – the same seems to be true about the initiatives on the November ballot.

CDP Convention Wrap-Up: On the Value of Primary Fights

By Paul Hogarth

Having returned from my tenth California Democratic Convention (and my eighth as a delegate), it’s become clear to me that competitive primaries and endorsement votes are good for the Party. It gives rank-and-file delegates a meaningful role there, and boosts excitement. But that’s not the message the leadership always wants to convey. These events are about putting on a united face for Democrats, with Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer facing tough challenges in November. We remember how Steve Westly and Phil Angelides killed each other for the 2006 gubernatorial nomination, but at their best these fights mobilize the grassroots. And a Party endorsement at the Convention can give a needed boost to candidates not wealthy or bought off by corporate interests.

A Movement - and a Party - In Search of Leadership

By Robert Cruickshank

In Carla Marinucci and Joe Garofoli's story on the California Democratic Party Convention they emphasize that the key question facing delegates is how to counter the "passion" of the Tea Party movement:

The question that Democrats will answer over the next few months: Did the 72-year-old Brown and 69-year-old Boxer infuse the faithful with a Tea Party-like energy?

Democrats weren't going to dress up in silly costumes like Tea Party members," said Auros Harman, a 32-year-old delegate from Mountain View. "But Democrats in Silicon Valley will be doing the groundwork. People will show up."

With respect to Marinucci and Garofoli - two of the best writers left in the shrinking field of California political analysts - they have misinterpreted what Auros Harman said, and what most delegates are feeling at this convention.

California’s Women’s Political Mud Wrestling Squad

By Peter Schrag

The California Republican Party is still dominated by white males, both in its leadership and in its rank and file. But when it comes to political eye-gouging and no-holds-barred knees-to-the-groin campaign combat, there’s little glass ceiling left. Whatever shards Sarah Palin had missed, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina took care of them last week.

Both are also showing that they can be manipulated, suckered and exploited by political consultants as shamefully as the guys. Since both are also multi-millionaires as well as arrogant and eminently pluckable, is it any wonder that voters have nothing but contempt for the people who want to be their leaders?

Cut Prison Spending, Spare Schools, Worried Californians Say

By Mark Baldassare
Public Policy Institute of California

Most Californians would be willing to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for public schools and most favor spending cuts in prisons and corrections, according to a survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. 

But while majorities want to protect K–12 schools and cut spending on prisons, Californians are as divided as their leaders on the overall strategy to deal with the state’s $20 billion budget deficit: 41 percent favor a mix of spending cuts and tax increases and 37 percent favor mostly spending cuts (9% favor mostly tax increases). They are in more agreement when it comes to asking the federal government for help, as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has done: 66 percent say California should seek federal aid to help meet its budget obligations.

Will November 2010 Produce Massafornia?

By Robert Cruickshank

As Democrats and progressives take stock of the loss of Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, some eyes are beginning to turn toward California, another state that has been reliably blue in its national voting intentions for some time but has a history of picking Republicans for other key statewide offices, including governor. Does Obama's and Coakley's loss last night suggest the same thing is going to happen to Barbara Boxer this fall?

The three Republican candidates running against her would certainly like us to think so, according to Carla Marinucci:

The upset victory of Republican Scott Brown Tuesday in the Massachusetts Senate race had an immediate effect in California, where GOP U.S. Senate Republican candidates wasted no time going on offense -- vowing that Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is on tap next.