3

Chuck DeVore is done for, too

… as Carly Fiorina emerges as the Republican nominee to take on incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in November. No word from Tom Campbell yet.

DeVore is in Tustin tonight; here are his prepared remarks:

My friends,

I just completed my telephone call to Carly Fiorina, to congratulate her on her victory this evening. She is our party’s nominee. I endorse her. I will support her. I will vote for her. And I call upon all of you to do the same in November.

We traveled a long road to get here. When I started this campaign many months ago, I had the support of my wife, my daughters, and my dog.

And I want to say: Diane, you’ve put up with me for 22 years — through moves, deployments, children and campaigns. You are the best wife and companion I can imagine. I love you.

We started this campaign small. Today, I am sincerely humbled to have received the support of hundreds of thousands of Californians from all walks of life.

But let me remind all of you — this campaign was never about me. It was about conservative principles. It was about our Constitution. I believe we did our honorable part in reminding California why it needs both.

Never doubt that what we did in this campaign mattered, and will matter long after we’re gone. All of you in this room — and all of you who voted for me today — can hold your heads high.

Winston Churchill said it best when he said:

“The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.”

My friends … my fellow Californians … my fellow Americans — If you support me, my campaign is over. But if you support our Constitution and our country — that fight goes on. And I promise you this: I will march with you in that fight, “in the ranks of honour,” to the very end.

God bless you all.

30

John Kerry blasts Fiorina for blasting Boxer

Add 2004 Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to the chorus of party, environmental and other voices knocking Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina for her attack this week on incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s national security record.

Fiorina released a television ad Wednesday mocking Boxer’s 2007 identification of climate change as a national security issues. “Terrorism kills, and Barbara Boxer is worried about the weather,” Fiorina says in the ad.

Boxer – who had been letting most of her Republican rivals’ jibes pass without comment as they duke it out in the primary – jumped all over it, as did the California Democratic Party; Media Matters for America; the Truman National Security Project, “training a new generation of progressives to lead on national security;” and now, Kerry.

Kerry’s comments came in an e-mail soliciting contributions both for Truth Fights Back, his committee that’s “restoring truth to the energy and climate change debate,” and for Boxer’s re-election campaign:

John KerryI had to forward this because some things just can’t be allowed to stand in American politics – you have to do more than respond – you have to make the opposition pay for peddling the kind of malarkey that does our country a disservice. I just got this email from my friend Barbara Boxer in California. She’s under attack for telling the truth: that climate change is a national security issue. Her opponent – how predictable! – says Barbara is “worried about the weather.”

Just last week, you probably remember me fighting this fight with some guy from a conservative “think tank.” Now Barbara is fighting it with her Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina. But Carly isn’t just disagreeing with Barbara – she’s mocking the words and findings of the Pentagon, the CIA, analysts in the Bush Administration, generals like Anthony Zinni, Admirals like William Fallon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and, oh, gee, literally hundreds of other national security experts.

Stand up for the truth and hit back in a way that counts: You can click below to give to Barbara’s campaign to help her fight back, and you can click here to help us at TruthFightsBack fight back for the truth everywhere we can.

We’re sending $1 billion a day overseas to feed our oil addiction, repressive states like Iran are using the oil income to fund their schemes, climate change threatens the stability of nations around the globe, and folks like Carly Fiorina talk about the weather. Stand up for a Senate that stands for the truth and debates real issues.

Generals and Admirals stand with Barbara. A bunch of Republican one-line writers stand with Carly. Who are you gonna stand with?

Kerry’s comments aside, the more I think about Fiorina’s ad, the less sense it makes to me. Never mind that it comes from someone who herself said just two years ago that “the issues of climate change and energy independence are inextricably linked,” and also called a cap-and-trade system an effort to “provide the incentives of a private marketplace to encourage people to innovate and also to encourage people to find new ways of reducing their greenhouse emissions. I’m a businessperson, I know that incentives and competition in the private marketplace work.”

No, what bugs me is the ad’s apparent political tone-deafness. She targets Boxer as if she’s already the GOP nominee, yet she’s still tacking pretty far to the right with a stance that’s popular in next week’s primary but probably won’t get her very far with the independent voters she’ll need in order to beat Boxer come November.

True, by calling out Boxer before the primary, Fiorina got Boxer and the rest to respond to her as the presumptive nominee – but that could be what Boxer wants. Fiorina is better-funded than either of her GOP rivals, but a lot of analysts believe Tom Campbell would pose a bigger threat to Boxer by attracting more independents with his somewhat more moderate social stances. “Tom Campbell is Barbara Boxer’s worst nightmare,” Center for Governmental Studies President Bob Stern told the Los Angeles Times this week. And indeed, at least one recent, prominent poll showed Campbell as the only Republican defeating Boxer in a hypothetical November match-up.

Sure, this and other polls show Fiorina surging and Campbell fading in next week’s primary, but Fiorina’s ad might’ve let Boxer go a little way toward choosing her general-election opponent. Only time will tell whom this ad helped the most.

5

Campbell’s last stand: ‘Only I can beat Boxer’

Former Congressman, Cal business school dean and state finance director Tom Campbell will spend the final week of the Republican U.S. Senate primary emphasizing the fact that polls show he’s the only one who can beat U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in November, he told reporters on a conference call a few minutes ago.

But he’ll be doing so on a shoestring, while the candidate whom the latest poll shows in the lead – former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina – spends heavily on television ads. Campbell, whose campaign coffers are largely tapped out, will spend the week hitting GOP strongholds around the state in search of last-minute contributions and media attention.

A USC/Los Angeles Times poll released over the weekend showed Fiorina at 38 percent, Campbell at 23 percent and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, at 16 percent.

“As an outsider and fiscal conservative, Carly is the candidate who will go to Washington and refuse to become part of what Ronald Reagan once called ‘the Washington buddy system,’ “ Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund had said Saturday. “One-time front runner Tom Campbell has seen his fortunes fade as we predicted because he could run on name identification, but could not run from his 20-year record of support for higher taxes and bigger government.”

But that same poll also showed only Campbell beating Boxer in a hypothetical November match-up, 45 percent to 38 percent; the poll showed Boxer beating Fiorina by 6 percentage points and DeVore by 10. That’s what he’s playing up in a new video, released today, that he hopes will go viral:

“Those who are undecided I think are likely pragmatic voters, and so we make the pragmatic argument: If you want to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer, there’s one candidate who has a very good chance of doing so,” Campbell said on today’s conference call. “I win if I get that message out.”

Campbell also reiterated his history as a fiscal conservative, and highlighted some of the differences between him and Boxer: his support of constitutional limits on spending; his approval of Arizona’s immigration law; his support for trying terrorism suspects in military tribunals and keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention facility open; his opposition to a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and his opposition to confirming Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.

No matter who the nominee turns out to be, the poll held some bad news for Republicans: It showed that Californians overwhelmingly want a senator who’ll support President Barack Obama’s policies. In fact, among decline-to-state voters who’ll be November’s crucial swing vote, a senator backing Obama won the support of 56 percent, compared to 29 percent for a senator who would oppose him.

“Whenever he’s right, I’m with him,” Campbell quipped when asked about this, noting it’s vital for the GOP nominee not to come across as closed-minded.

He cited his support of the Troubled Asset Relief Program instituted by President George W. Bush and continued by President Obama to stabilize the nation’s financial industry in late 2008 and 2009, as well as his record in Congress and the state Senate of seeking solutions across the aisle. “I think those who know my record know I’m interested in finding common ground for the good of the state and the good of the country.”

2

Campbell outraised Fiorina in recent months

We’re putting together an extensive report for tomorrow’s editions on the campaign finance reports due today, but for now, the breaking news seems to be that Tom Campbell raised more money in the most recent period and had more cash on hand at the period’s end than Carly Fiorina, his rival for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

Campbell reported raising $989,662 since mid-March from April 1 to May 19, with $975,271 cash on hand reported in today’s filing.

“We are continuing to raise money and buy TV airtime for the home stretch,” Campbell spokesperson James Fisfis said in a news release. “Our opponent, Carly Fiorina, is a failed CEO who sent thousands of California jobs overseas. Moreover, she rarely bothered to vote. Tom Campbell will be traveling around California for the next two weeks communicating his message that he is the only Republican in the race who will end Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate career.”

Fiorina reported raising $909,000 (though she also loaned her campaign another $1.1 million), with $620,000 cash on hand as of this filing.

“I am humbled and honored to have received the support of so many dedicated people around California and across the nation,” Fiorina said in a news release. “Recent polling confirms that the hard work our financial supporters, grassroots volunteers and dedicated campaign team members have together invested in the race is paying off. Californians increasingly recognize that I am the Republican candidate best positioned to defeat Barbara Boxer in November. We expect this momentum to continue growing in the final days before the primary election and into the general election this fall.”

We’re still waiting for numbers from the third Republican in the race, Chuck DeVore

UPDATE @ 4:19 P.M.: DeVore raised $520,898 in this period, finishing with $276,614 cash on hand.

UPDATE @ 6:09 P.M.: Fiorina’s campaign hastens to note that she has loaned her campaign another $1.9 million since May 19, the end of the reporting period, so she has plenty of money for significant television advertising between now and the June 8 election. Campbell’s campaign, they note, cancelled its LA-area television ad buy for this weekend.

“As far as we can tell, team Campbell is working their abacus overtime to make it appear as if they have significant funds heading into the final stretch,” said Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund. “But my calculator is telling me their numbers just don’t quite add up.”

So, yes, Fiorina has more money on hand for the final 10 days before the election. Nonetheless, Campbell attracted more in total contributions than Fiorina did during this reporting period.

4

More Boxer: Campaign cash and the court

The full word is in on President Barack Obama’s visit to San Francisco later this month to raise money for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s re-election campaign and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the word is “ch-ching!!!”

The tickets to the cocktail reception at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at the Fairmont Hotel atop San Francisco’s Nob Hill cost $250, $500 or $2,000 each, depending on where you want to stand or sit. But the big money will come at the 5:30 p.m. photo reception and dinner at the home of billionaire oil heir Gordon Getty and his wife, Ann, where it’ll be $35,200 per couple. The fundraisers make a point of noting an individual can give as much as $45,200 to California Senate 2010 while a couple can give as much as $90,400, so they’re clearly aiming for the deepest of the deep pockets.

How does that big money get broken down? The fine print says “(t)he first $4,800 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Friends of Barbara Boxer. The first $2,400 of each contribution will be considered designated for the primary election; the second $2,400 will be considered designated for the general election. The next $30,400 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Inc. The next $10,000 of each contribution from a person will be allocated to the Democratic State Central Committee of California-Federal. Any contributor may designate his or her contribution for a particular participant.”

Meanwhile, Boxer had nothing but praise today for the president’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General and former Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan:

“I congratulate Solicitor General Elena Kagan on her nomination to the United States Supreme Court.

“From what I have seen thus far, Elena Kagan understands the fundamental promise of our Constitution, which is equality, justice and fairness for all Americans. She has a proven ability to reach across ideological lines, which is so important so we can build consensus.

“Elena Kagan has broken barriers throughout her career – as the first female dean of Harvard Law School, the first female Solicitor General and potentially the fourth woman to sit on the Supreme Court. Her confirmation would be historic, marking the first time that three female Justices have served together on the nation’s highest court.

“I look forward to learning more about Solicitor General Kagan’s views and record during her confirmation hearing.”

Meanwhile, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina – one of the candidates vying for the GOP nomination in June to challenge Boxer in November – was sounding the alarm:

“The American people should have the confidence that the next member of the Supreme Court will impartially serve and work to uphold the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench. It is crucial that the Senate Judiciary Committee subject Ms. Kagan to a rigorous confirmation process so that we can learn more about her background, views and the approach she would take to adherence to the Constitution as a member of our nation’s highest court. Given Ms. Kagan’s brief litigation experience, lack of any judicial experience and in light of some of the information publicly available about her record, the Senate must ensure a confirmation process that is fair, tough and includes a close examination of her career, writings and public statements.

“While I will reserve judgment as to whether or not I will support Ms. Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court until the public vetting and confirmation process has been completed, I do find some of the available information about her past record troubling. Specifically, the extent to which her effort to keep military recruiters off Harvard’s campus was motivated by her own political views rather than by following the law of the land may indicate a potential activist mentality I do not believe is appropriate for the Court.

“The job of a U.S. senator is to advise and consent to the nominations to the Supreme Court made by the President. In deciding to support or oppose a nomination as a member of the U.S. Senate, I would require a record showing adherence to the Constitution and proof the nominee would not use the bench to legislate or attempt to interpret the Constitution based on his or her own political philosophy.”

The other GOP candidates for U.S. Senate, Tom Campbell and Chuck DeVore, are similarly unimpressed, according to the Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli.

3

Barbara Boxer on bailouts, Bush, ballots

I’ve just filed a story about U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s news conference this morning in San Francisco, wherein she touted the financial reform legislation now pending in the Senate. She made a point of citing the Senate’s 96-1 vote last week on her amendment providing that all financial companies put into receivership under the reform law shall be liquidated, with no taxpayer funds used to prevent such liquidation; only disposition of the company’s assets or a tax or fee on the financial industry could be used. That is, no taxpayer bailouts.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, one of the candidates vying for the Republican nomination in June to challenge Boxer in November, issued a statement last week knocking Boxer’s stance:

Carly Fiorina“In yet another display of Election Year opportunism, Barbara Boxer today boasted about the passage of her amendment to the financial reform bill, pointing to it as an example of how she puts taxpayers first. Let’s be clear: her authorship of this amendment is more a reflection of the Democratic Party’s attempt to prop her up, rather than any sign of a core conviction. The truth is that Barbara Boxer has voted for every possible bailout, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. These measures have failed to create jobs and have resulted in higher deficits, more debt and will mean higher taxes.

“If Barbara Boxer is truly concerned about protecting taxpayers, she should stop her Election Year grandstanding and get down to the hard work of lowering taxes, cutting spending and minimizing uncertainty in the regulatory environment.”

Someone at today’s news conference asked Boxer whether she thinks voters will hold against her this year the government’s lack of oversight and foresight leading up to the financial sector’s collapse and resultant recession.

She also had already said in response to another question that the financial sector bailout bill that established the oft-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was passed at the behest of the Bush Administration, after then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson implored the Senate to do so lest the entire economy collapse. Although the big banks have repaid most of their TARP debts, she said, “absolutely there’s tremendous blame to go around.”

Barbara BoxerShe had said she regretted not having done more to ensure the Federal Reserve used the authority it was given in the ‘90s to go after predatory lenders; she said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would be created by the pending legislation would be tasked only with such duties, whereas it was an ancillary duty for the Fed. “We need to now make sure all the powers we give this new agency are used in a fair and just way.”

But when the question of her re-election came up, she said she’s excited about her campaign and her record of fighting on behalf of consumers, families, workers and the environment.

“Will this be a hard race? Oh my God, yes,” she said, insisting she’s ready to take on whomever the GOP nominee turns out to be.

Recent polls show former Congressman, business-school dean and state finance director Tom Campbell leading Fiorina and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, in the GOP primary, and edging closest to Boxer in a hypothetical November match-up.