Brown, Boxer and other top-ticket Democrats rally
Seven top candidates on the Democratic ticket came together Monday at a boisterous rally in downtown Los Angeles, where they kindled party support and warned about the consequences of Republican victories Tuesday.
“We can’t go back to those George Bush years,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, who spoke from the same stage as gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and other Democratic office-seekers, including Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris.
“We’ve got to keep moving forward with jobs and aid to our small businesses and a clean energy future,” said Boxer, who polls show has a slim lead over Republican Carly Fiorina. “Our opponents have a different goal -- it is to take us back to those old Bush economic policies, the same old Wall Street mentality that transformed a thriving economy into the great recession.”
Boxer tore into Fiorina for having “Sarah Palin’s values,” and told the roughly 200 supporters gathered on the plaza outside of downtown's Central Library that Democratic wins would depend on voter turnout. She implored the crowd to get out the vote and “make the phone calls, write in your Facebook, to Tweet and Twitter.”
Then she called the rest of the candidates up to the stage.
The lineup included Brown, the gubernatorial candidate, and Newsom, Harris, Dave Jones, John Chiang and Debra Bowen.
They stood shoulder to shoulder and each took a turn with the microphone.
“We need everybody standing behind me to get elected,” Brown said as the crowd chanted, “Jerry, Jerry.”
“This is very important,” he said. “You don’t do this job alone.”
Brown, who is leading in the polls, promised to “forge a common purpose” with state Republicans if he beats his Republican opponent Meg Whitman.
“When we get there -– this is the kinda thing about Democracy -– we’ve got to also listen to the other side,” Brown said.
He said he was troubled by Whitman's lack of political experience. "You have to look at the resume," he said.
Newsom, who is running for lieutenant governor, knocked Whitman for spending more than $140 million of her personal fortune on her campaign.
"Money can't buy you love," Newsom said, "but neither can it buy you the governorship."
The candidates' speeches seemed aimed at the party base.
“What we know as a party and as a slate of Democrats is that our mission is all about empowering the vulnerable and the voiceless," said Harris, who is running for attorney general. "Our mission is all about raising the voices of people who need to be seen and heard and thought about.”
Three longtime Democratic activists stood near the front of the crowd, beaming. They were David Freeman, Tom Hayden and David Cunningham.
When asked why they were there, Freeman said of Brown: “I’ve known him a long time."
“Well, I’ve known him longer than you have,” Hayden said.
“I’ve known him longer than both of you!” Cunningham exclaimed. He said he's supported Brown since the early days of his political career, when he ran for the Los Angeles Community College Board.
That was in 1969.
-- Kate Linthicum