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NRSC launches attack ad against Boxer

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has launched its first independent expenditure attack ad against U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:

Note that the narrator and all the sad-faced people in the ad are women – a key swing vote that Republican nominee Carly Fiorina is trying to woo. A Public Policy Institute of California poll released last week showed that among likely voters, women favor Boxer over Fiorina 48 percent to 32 percent with 16 percent undecided; the poll had a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.

This is part of a $3 million ad blitz the NRSC is mounting in the final days of the campaign; in all, it has dedicated about $5 million to the race. NRSC Press Secretary Amber Marchand said:

“Millionaire Senator Barbara Boxer has spent her entire career looking out for the best interests of one person: herself. Boxer’s partisan, ineffective work in Washington fighting for higher taxes and job killing policies haven’t helped the families, seniors, and job creators in California who are facing more than 12 percent unemployment today.”

Rose Kapolczynski, Boxer’s campaign manager, responded:

“Out of state independent expenditure campaigns have poured more than $12 million into this race, trying to mislead Californians and distorting Barbara Boxer’s record. The fact is that Barbara Boxer’s top priority is creating more California jobs and she voted for the biggest middle class tax cut in history, while Carly Fiorina laid off California workers and shipped jobs overseas. Fiorina didn’t care about California jobs then and she doesn’t care about them now.”

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Carly Fiorina is in the hospital

Deborah Bowker, chief of staff for the campaign of U.S. Senate Republican nominee Carly Fiorina, issued this statement this morning:

“Carly learned more than a year and a half ago that she, like millions of women, had breast cancer. After successfully battling cancer, she had reconstructive surgery this summer and remains cancer free today. However, this morning Carly came down with an infection associated with the reconstructive surgery and, as a result, she was admitted to the hospital to receive antibiotics to treat this infection. While this will impact her campaign schedule today, Carly is upbeat and her doctors expect her to make a quick and full recovery and be back out on the campaign trail soon. Carly is looking forward to getting back to her full campaign schedule and to defeating Barbara Boxer on November 2.”

Sidelined a week before Election Day, while still down in the latest polls – not good for Fiorina.

UPDATE @ 11:03 A.M.: “We wish Carly Fiorina a speedy recovery and hope she is able to return to her normal schedule soon,” Rose Kapolczynski, campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in an e-mailed statement.

UPDATE @ 12:05 P.M.: This just in from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex.:

“After learning that Carly was admitted to the hospital to treat an infection associated with her reconstructive surgery this summer, I reached out to her to wish her a full and speedy recovery.

“It was apparent during her triumphant battle against breast cancer that Carly is a fighter, and I have no doubt that she will be back on the campaign trail very soon; in the interim I hope Californians will join me and Sandy in keeping Carly in our thoughts and prayers.”

UPDATE @ 2:28 P.M.: Carole Uhlaner, a voter-behavior expert and associate professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine, said there’s not a lot of hard data on how voters react to a sick candidate, “but I think the answer is that it’s varied.”

Voters can begin to worry whether the candidate is well enough to serve a full term in the office he or she is seeking, she said; there’s anecdotal evidence of this throughout American history, notably in the lengths to which candidate President John F. Kennedy went to keep his Addison’s disease out of the public eye.

On the other hand, if the illness isn’t so serious, it can humanize the candidate and create sympathy among the electorate, Uhlaner said.

University of California, Berkeley Political Science Professor Jack Citrin agreed.

“I think what happens if a candidate’s health becomes an issue in the sense that it makes voters doubt they’ll be able to serve in office, then it will hurt them,” he said. “If it’s some kind of a minor ailment … I don’t think it has any effect one way or another.”

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Gubernatorial and Senate poll roundup

There has been a flurry of poll results released recently in the two big races on California’s ballot this November, and although we’ve been rolling ‘em out as they come, perhaps it would be useful to have them all together in one place, so everyone can get an idea of which way the wind is blowing (with the caveat, of course, that it’s still a loooong way to Election Day).

In the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and Republican nominee Carly Fiorina:

  • CNN/Time, Sept. 24-28, 786 likely voters: Boxer 52%, Fiorina 43%
  • PPIC, Sept. 19-26, 1,104 likely voters: Boxer 42%, Fiorina 35%
  • SurveyUSA, Sept. 19-21, 610 likely voters: Boxer 49%, Fiorina 43%
  • Rasmussen Reports, Sept. 20, 750 likely voters: Boxer 47%, Fiorina 43%
  • LA Times/USC, Sept. 15-22, 887 likely voters: Boxer 51%, Fiorina 43%
  • Field, Sept. 14-21, 599 likely voters: Boxer 47%, Fiorina 41%
  • Public Policy Polling, Sept. 14-16, 630 likely voters: Boxer 50%, Fiorina 42%
  • In the gubernatorial race between Democratic nominee Jerry Brown and Republican nominee Meg Whitman:

  • CNN/Time, Sept. 24-28, 786 likely voters: Brown 52%, Whitman 43%
  • PPIC, Sept. 19-26, 1,104 likely voters: Whitman 38%, Brown 37%
  • SurveyUSA, Sept. 19-21, 610 likely voters: Brown 46%, Whitman 43%
  • Rasmussen Reports, Sept. 20, 750 likely voters: Brown 47%, Whitman 46%
  • LA Times/USC, Sept. 15-22, 887 likely voters: Brown 49%, Whitman 44%
  • Field, Sept. 14-21, 599 likely voters: Brown 41%, Whitman 41%
  • Public Policy Polling, Sept. 14-16, 630 likely voters: Brown 47%, Whitman 42%
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    U.S. Chamber launches new ad against Boxer

    On the eve of the second debate between U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today launched a “28 Years of Barbara Boxer” television ad in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California to highlight the incumbent’s “tax-and-spend voting record, which has helped drive away California jobs,” according to the chamber’s news release.

    “America is going broke because Barbara Boxer has voted to raise taxes and add trillions to the national debt during her nearly three decades in Washington,” said Bill Miller, the chamber’s national political director. “Her burdensome policies are making California businesses less competitive, costing the state jobs.”

    “If you want to know why California can’t create or keep new jobs, the answer lies at the doorstep of career politicians like Barbara Boxer,” he said. “Our ad reminds Californians of Boxer’s anti-jobs record and urges the Senator to stop supporting ballooning budget deficits.”

    The union-backed U.S. Chamber Watch issued a statement today saying that, “As usual, it turns out the ad is just an empty political attack reel at the behest of anonymous corporate interests and the shadow Republican Party. The Chamber’s attacks on Boxer simply reflect its own agenda.”

    U.S. Chamber Watch’s release said the chamber supported policies that led to the financial crisis, such as softening derivatives regulation; supports extension of all of the Bush tax cuts, which would add to the federal deficit; fought health care reform; and opposed both a bill to crack down on off-shoring of U.S. jobs as well as the “Buy American” provisions of the 2010 jobs bill.

    The chamber had launched other ads attacking Boxer earlier this month, airing in Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield and San Diego.

    Meanwhile, the “Vota Tus Valores” (“Vote Your Values”) 10-day statewide bus tour of Latino community leaders supporting Fiorina will be in the East Bay even as the debate occurs tomorrow:

  • Noon – Concord Community Park
  • 1:30 PM – Main St & Navy Way in Alameda
  • 3:15 PM – Hillview Park in San Jose
  • 4:45 PM – Central Park in San Mateo
  • A Field Poll released Friday found Boxer leads Fiorina among Latino likely voters, 48 percent to 29 percent, with 23 percent undecided; that’s a wider margin than Boxer’s lead among all likely voters, which was 47 percent to 41 percent with 12 percent undecided.

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    Boxer and Fiorina on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

    The U.S. Senate couldn’t find the 60 votes it needed today to open debate on a defense authorization bill that includes an amendment to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gay and lesbian servicemembers, the Washington Post reports.

    The vote on the cloture motion was 56-43. No Republican senator voted for cloture; Arkansas Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor crossed the aisle to vote with the GOP against cloture, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did so as well as a parliamentary tactic so he can bring a cloture motion back to the floor later. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, didn’t vote.

    Republicans faulted Reid for blocking other amendments to the defense authorization bill.

    U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said today on the Senate floor that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is hurting our military and costing our nation.

    Barbara Boxer“Fourteen thousand servicemen and women have been discharged from the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It has cost taxpayers about $290 million at least, maybe up to half a billion dollars to replace soldiers who were discharged under this policy,” she said. “And I know many Americans have seen in their living rooms, coming on the TV, men and women who are our neighbors’ kids and our neighbors who have been kicked out of the military even though they were stellar – stellar – servicemen and women.”

    Most of our military allies allow gays and lesbians to serve in their military without discrimination, Boxer said.

    “And so for us to stand with Iran, for us to stand with Cuba, for us to stand with North Korea, Pakistan and Turkey over Australia, Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, Germany, etc., it just doesn’t make any sense,” she said. “And the point is, because we’re part of this coalition of 22 other nations (with troops in Afghanistan), our fighting men and women are already fighting side-by-side with those who may well be gays and lesbians.”

    Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina has said she supports repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell if military leaders say that’s the right thing to do; at a meeting with veterans in Oakland in February, she said it seems a shame that patriots can’t serve without lying about who they are, especially in time of war.

    Fiorina 6-17-10 in Sacramento (AP Photo)“As Carly has stated on the campaign trail, she very much supports the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and looks forward to the pending review of the policy by the military’s top officials, but she thinks it is extremely disappointing that career politician Barbara Boxer and her fellow Democrats keep playing election year politics with such important military issues,” Fiorina spokeswoman Andrea Saul said this afternoon. “Instead of maneuvering to try and save the only job she cares about – her own – Barbara Boxer should actually work to represent the people of California in a forthright way, which is exactly why Carly Fiorina wants to go to Washington and stop the politics of old.”

    Lots of outrage from gay-rights advocates, after the jump…
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    Unions target Fiorina, Whitman fundraisers

    Watch for snarled streets tonight in Piedmont and tomorrow in Burlingame as labor unions and others protest fundraising events for Republican U.S. Senate nominee Carly Fiorina and Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, respectively.

    The Fiorina event from 5 to 7 p.m. today on Bellevue Avenue in Piedmont, starting at $500 a head, will feature former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice also will headline Whitman’s 6 p.m. Tuesday, $1,000-and-up event at the Hyatt Regency on Burlingame’s Bayshore Boulevard, along with Grammy-winning songrwriter, producer and singer David Foster.

    “Holding fundraisers with top officials of the Bush administration—whose unfair economic policies and short-sighted war in Iraq created a devastating crisis for American families–symbolizes exactly what is at stake in this election,” Malinda Markowitz, a co-president of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, said in a news release. “Whitman and Fiorina are running on programs that would return us to the failed policies of the past. We need elected leaders who carry the values of nurses, caring, compassion, and community, not the corporate greed and failure so symbolized by the Bush administration and the CEO records of Whitman and Fiorina. Whitman and Fiorina are just too extreme for California voters, as they are demonstrating yet again.”

    But the Republicans’ campaigns say it’s not the candidates who are too extreme.

    “For 28 years in Washington, DC, Barbara Boxer has been first in line to promote the extreme and destructive agenda set by her special interest backers, so it comes as no surprise that these very same allies would work together to manufacture the illusion of support for her in an election year,” Fiorina spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “The last thing they want in Washington is a Senator like Carly Fiorina who, as a political outsider with real work experience, is beholden to no one and will make decisions based on what will get California’s economy moving again and create jobs for the more than 2.2 million Californians out of work today.”

    And Whitman spokesman Darrel Ng said Democratic gubernatorial nominee “Jerry Brown is bought and paid for by the unions. The events are ploys coordinated by a group of radical union bosses who have consistently misrepresented the views of hardworking nurses throughout the state. Californians deserve to know what Jerry Brown will give them in return for their generous financial support. Finally, how is this for union dues well spent? CNA President Rose DeMoro, who has never worked as a nurse a day in her life, is paid $300,000, five times more than the median salary of an American nurse.”