US Senator Barbara Boxer brought her “Jobs for California” tour to Monterey this morning, where she fired up the crowd with a very strong and robust defense of her record in the Senate, her role in bringing jobs back to California, her plans to improve and speed up economic recovery – and some damning attacks on her opponent, Carly Fiorina.
Boxer has been touring the state touting the jobs created by the stimulus act, which Fiorina opposed. Yesterday she was in San Francisco at the Doyle Drive project which is getting under way this year thanks to $100 million in stimulus money. Fiorina has been attacking the stimulus, which has been conservatively estimated to have saved or create 150,000 jobs in California.
Fiorina’s entire campaign plan, in fact, appears to be geared around calling for higher unemployment. Fiorina’s spokeswoman Julie Soderlund said the jobs created by the stimulus weren’t worth it, and at today’s Monterey event about five Fiorina supporters showed up with signs reading “Government Jobs aren’t Real Jobs.”
Boxer’s speech this morning, which was both lively and fiery, took direct issue with Fiorina’s arguments. Boxer challenged Fiorina to come with her to Fresno later in the day where she would be meeting with police officers whose jobs were saved by the stimulus, or go with her to the project building the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, where private sector jobs are being created with public funds.
Boxer also slammed Fiorina’s own record on jobs. Fiorina has opposed ALL jobs bills that have come before the Senate, including extension of unemployment benefits. And of course, Fiorina laid off 30,000 workers at H-P, a company she ran into the ground and was fired from in 2005. Fiorina memorably called offshoring “right-sourcing” and said “there is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore” – an indication that she is totally uninterested in actually creating jobs here in California.
In contrast, Boxer made her own job creation solution clear. She said her plan has three key elements: 1) rejecting Prop 23 and protecting California’s ability to lead the recovery through green jobs, 2) using transportation projects from highways to high speed rail to put people back to work, and 3) stop the corporate offshoring of American jobs.
Boxer strongly opposed Prop 23, which would repeal AB 32, calling it a “job killer.” As to the deficit, Boxer drew loud cheers when she said that Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and his two wars were responsible for undermining the work she and President Clinton had done to produce a surplus in the 1990s.
In fact, that last argument could be Boxer’s secret weapon. Boxer was there in the Senate in 1993 when she helped pass President Clinton’s jobs and deficit reduction bills. By 2000 there was a record $230 billion surplus, which Bush promptly destroyed through his reckless tax cuts and destructive wars.
The 1990s economy wasn’t perfect – far from it. In fact, Carly Fiorina was perhaps one of its highest-profile products, and one of its most obvious failures. But there’s no doubt that Boxer helped produce a budget surplus and real economic growth and job creation in the 1990s. She can do it again with President Obama – but only if Fiorina is kept far, far away from the US Senate.
Judging by her tour of California this week, Boxer is more than ready for the task.
Photo: Lynne Frey, Monterey County Democrats