Fiorina asks California voters to retire Boxer - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fiorina asks California voters to retire Boxer

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California GOP Senate challenger Carly Fiorina speaks to supporters at the California Republican Party 2010 Fall Convention Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Park) California GOP Senate challenger Carly Fiorina speaks to supporters at the California Republican Party 2010 Fall Convention Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Park)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on Saturday asked California voters to retire Sen. Barbara Boxer after nearly three decades in Washington, D.C., saying it's time to end a political career she described as partisan and extreme.

Fiorina attacked Boxer as having a record of supporting more government regulations and higher taxes during her address to the California Republican Party's fall convention.

The former Hewlett Packard Co. CEO said Boxer got her start in politics — as a legislative staffer — in the 1970s, at a time when Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" topped the charts.

"You know, I think what we ought to do is confine Barbara Boxer's career to memories," Fiorina said. "We know what it takes to create jobs in this great state, and it is not the rhetoric or the regulation or the bailouts or the taxes that Barbara Boxer supports."

Instead, Fiorina said government needs to support small businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs: "Let us get off their backs and give them a hand."

Fiorina also proposed government and political reforms, including term limits in Congress and greater transparency of what she called "shadowy government" spending.

She called for requiring bills to be posted online for two weeks so the public can comment before lawmakers can take a vote. She said every bill should include an evaluation of its costs so the public will not be blind-sided by unexpected costs. She singled out the recently enacted federal health care reforms as the type of legislation that should have provided more details about long-term potential costs.

"It's our money," she said. "We ought to know where it's being spent."

Every piece of legislation that is drafted already gets posted to the website of the Library of Congress, and the federal government has been tracking stimulus spending on www.recovery.gov.

Fiorina's address to the convention followed an appearance Friday by the other star on this year's Republican ticket, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, who is challenging Democrat Jerry Brown for governor.

The roughly 1,000 convention attendees have been energized by the GOP's prospects this November, with big-name candidates and competitive races at the top of the ticket. The Republican Party's other big name, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, missed the convention, reflecting his estranged relationship with the party faithful over positions he has taken on taxes and the environment.

A conservative arm of the party was trying to push a resolution that would put the state party on record as supporting the Arizona immigration law. Now in limbo because of a recent court ruling, the law would require police officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws if there is a reasonable suspicion they are in the U.S. illegally.

A committee blocked discussion of the resolution on Saturday, prompting supporters to say they will seek a floor vote Sunday.

While running far short of Boxer in campaign contributions, Fiorina has managed to pull the race to a statistical tie, according a Field Poll released last month. Boxer has started countering Fiorina's criticism in recent weeks, visiting editorial boards and holding events throughout California that are intended to highlight what Boxer says are the success stories of the Democrats' stimulus spending and tax cuts.

She has attempted to paint Fiorina as out of touch with most Californians on issues such as abortion rights and environmental protection.

Fiorina on Saturday said career politicians such as Boxer have not faced the realities and hardships that have befallen many Americans, as jobs have withered and income has declined during the recession. She charged that Democrats have stacked too much against small businesses, so much so that it has sucked the American dream from the families that run those ventures.

Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said the senator has worked to pass legislation designed to improve the lives of all Americans.

"More than 1,000 Boxer provisions have been adopted, including the first comprehensive combat-care facility in California, federal after-school funding to keep kids off the streets and out of gangs, and doubling funding to improve roads and bridges," Kapolczynski said in a statement.

Also Saturday, Fiorina said she endorsed Proposition 20 on California's November ballot, which would add the task of redrawing congressional district boundaries to an independent citizens commission that was approved by voters in 2008. The commission, which is still being formed, will redraw state legislative districts.

Fiorina said she opposed Proposition 27, which would eliminate the commission. That initiative is being pushed by political partisans who want lawmakers to retain control of redistricting and do not want to see it spread to congressional seats.

Fiorina arrived at the convention in a San Diego hotel to a crowd of cheering supporters adorned in "Carly" hats and T-shirts. They chanted "Carly-fornia" and "Bounce Boxer" as a handful raced after her through the hotel.

Democrats, meanwhile, launched a web-based initiative to highlight what they point to as Fiorina's failures at HP and to paint her as being too extreme for California. A small group of Boxer supporters stood across the street from the convention hotel handing out fake pink slips, suggesting that's what Fiorina would give to teachers if she were elected to the Senate.

It was a reference to Fiorina's opposition to a $26 billion emergency aid package recently passed by Congress. The money is expected to save the jobs of 16,500 teachers and school workers in California who otherwise would be targeted for layoffs.

Fiorina has said the package would not provide immediate assistance and would continue the government's deficit spending.

"When she was the head of Hewlett-Packard, she laid off 30,000 American workers, sent thousands of those jobs abroad and actually kind of boasted about it," said Kam Kuwata, a Democratic strategist. "I don't think it's something to boast about."

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Associated Press Writer Juliet Williams contributed to this story.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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