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U.S. Chamber of Commerce and FreedomWorks mobilize to aid Fiorina

With several recent polls showing Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer widening her lead over Republican opponent Carly Fiorina, two outside groups are stepping in to aid the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive's bid.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released an ad Tuesday that officials said would run "heavily" in the Los Angeles area over the next two weeks. The spot faults Boxer for supporting tax increases and "voting to add trillions to the national debt" -- a figure the chamber’s spokesman said is based in part on Boxer's support for President Obama's $3.55-trillion budget for 2010.

"Twenty-eight years making America less competitive and driving away California jobs," the ad’s narrator says, an allegation the chamber says is based on Boxer's actions on water policy and her votes for tax increases and against tax cuts. "Twenty-eight years of Barbara Boxer and America is going broke."    

Boxer’s campaign manager, Rose Kapolczynski, was not immediately available for comment.

Chamber officials, who plan to spend $75 million on races nationwide this year, would not comment on the size of their new buy, but they plan to spend several million dollars to defeat Boxer. They ran ads in early September in San Diego, Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento that echoed one of Fiorina’s central lines of attack on Boxer -- that her decisions on water policy favored a small fish over Central Valley families.

Also on Tuesday, FreedomWorks PAC --the advocacy group of former House Republican leader Dick Armey that has worked closely with "tea party" groups and helped organize a tax day rally on the National Mall in Washington -- announced that it would spend "tens of thousands" of dollars on Fiorina’s race. It plans to focus on get-out-the-vote efforts such as direct mail, phone banking, door hangers and yard-sign distribution. The group’s budget for efforts nationwide is $13 million this year.

-- Maeve Reston in Los Angeles

 
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