On politics in the Golden State

Category: Sarah Palin

Boxer denounces Fiorina's support for new offshore oil drilling [Updated]

Sen.  Barbara Boxer, in the toughest reelection battle she has faced in decades, on Saturday painted her Republican opponent Carly Fiorina as an extremist on environmental issues who supports new offshore oil drilling.

“It has always been one of my goals, ever since I was a county supervisor, to make sure we protect the gifts like these that I consider a gift from God,” Boxer said, standing on a makeshift platform on the beach in Santa Monica as waves crashed and cyclists and runners passed in the background. “Anyone who says they are ready, willing and able to destroy this coastline does not understand really what our work is as human beings: to protect this God-given legacy, number one, and to protect the 400,000 jobs” tied to the California coast.

Boxer, who is narrowly leading Fiorina in the polls, has been highlighting policy distinctions about issues such as oil drilling, abortion and guns in an effort to increase her support. According to a May poll by the Los Angeles Times and USC, about 50% of surveyed Californians oppose new drilling, while 43% support it.

In addition to such issues, Boxer emphasized Fiorina’s ties to conservative icons such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The former GOP vice presidential candidate played a critical role in Fiorina’s primary victory, blunting opponents by endorsing the former Hewlett-Packard chief, but is deeply unpopular with the independent voters who could decide the race.

“So when my opponent says, ‘Drill baby drill,’ yes, it won her the endorsement of Sarah Palin, but I have something to say very clearly today: Sarah Palin does not speak for California,” Boxer said, standing alongside actors Dennis Haysbert, Hector Elizondo and Valerie Harper.

She highlighted Fiorina’s support of a November ballot measure that would halt the state’s landmark global-warming law to say that the GOP Senate candidate is out of step with voters.

“You’re known by the people you walk with, right? My opponent walks with Karl Rove,” she said, and the dozens of supporters gathered outside Perry’s Beach Cafe booed. “I thought you’d say that. My opponent walks with the far right, and with big oil and dirty coal. And my opponent is the only major statewide candidate to endorse Prop. 23. We will defeat Prop. 23 and we will keep California marching forward.”

Boxer discounted polls and political analysts who say the three-term senator is in jeopardy of losing her seat, and that Republicans are likely to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives and possibly the Senate.

“I don’t buy into any of this. The pundits have decided the Democrats are all going to lose all over the country and I just don’t believe it. I think if the people vote and they realize what the choice is in each of their states, we’ll win a lot more seats than people say,” she told reporters after the news conference. “I don’t buy into any of these predictions. Talk to me the day after Election Day.”

But moments earlier, she exhorted supporters to volunteer for her, saying their actions could decide whether she is reelected.

“This is what I need you to do. If you can give another five bucks, do it. Right now I need you to volunteer,” she said. “If you put in 30 minutes a day calling, getting people to the polls, we have the list, it’s going to make the difference.”

[Updated at 2:10 p.m.: A Fiorina spokeswoman said the GOP Senate hopeful believes decisions about new offshore drilling should be left up to Californians, and threw in a dig about the Democrat’s past investment in an oil company.

“As Barbara Boxer attempts to change the subject away from jobs and out-of-control government spending -- the issues voters are focused on -- the career politician shows just how out of touch she is and reaches a new height of hypocrisy, even for her, as she invested as much as $150,000 of her family’s money in Diamond Offshore Drilling,” said Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Fiorina.]

-- Seema Mehta in Santa Monica

Palin rallies the faithful in Anaheim while Whitman and Fiorina campaign elsewhere

The state's top two GOP candidates, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, may have skipped Sarah Palin’s rally in Anaheim, but that didn’t stop the former Alaska governor from claiming the California flag for the cadre of conservative women she has endorsed as her “mama grizzlies.”

“There is no way I’m not going to love a state when you enter your borders and you look up at your state flag and you see emblazoned on that a mama grizzly,” Palin said to cheers in Anaheim.

While Palin rallied hundreds of voters with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, Whitman and Fiorina campaigned on opposite ends of the state. Fiorina spent the morning at a veterans’ event in San Diego with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); Whitman continued her bus tour of Northern California.

Alhough Palin endorsed Fiorina in the primary, counting the candidate among her “mama grizzlies,” she did not mention Whitman or Fiorina in her remarks at the RNC fundraiser in Anaheim.

Instead she urged her audience to “exhaust yourselves” before the election.

“Now is when we kick it in to gear. Now is when we have to dig deep,” Palin said, appearing on a stage with other California GOP candidates –- the most prominent of whom was Assemblyman Van Tran, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove).

“You wouldn’t be here today if you didn’t know too that America is at a turning point,” Palin said. “People know something has gone terribly wrong with our government and it has gotten so far off track. But people also know that there is nothing wrong in America that a good old-fashioned election can’t fix.”

A full report about Palin’s visit will appear tonight at latimes.com.

-- Maeve Reston and Seema Mehta in Anaheim

Jerry Brown, Bill Clinton rally thousands at UCLA

Former President Clinton campaigned throughout Southern California on Friday, urging Democrats to shake off their moribund mindset and head to the polls so the Obama administration can finish the job it started.

Clinton told thousands of listeners at an evening rally at UCLA that they bear responsibility for the nation’s future.

"It is not enough to have voted for a new president if you will not help him govern and stick behind the members of Congress who stood for him," Clinton said as a light drizzle began to fall. "I am pleading with you, you need to go out and tell everyone who is not here tonight that any college student in the state of California that doesn’t vote in this election is committing malpractice on your own future."

Kicking off a string of high-profile appearances by political surrogates in California, Clinton campaigned for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom, who is running for lieutenant governor, at UCLA, and, earlier, for Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) in Santa Ana.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will rally Republicans in Anaheim on Saturday, the same day U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) campaigns with GOP Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina in San Diego.

Next Friday, Obama is scheduled to rally supporters at USC.

Brown’s GOP rival, Meg Whitman, said Clinton’s appearance in blue-leaning California shows the desperate straits Democrats face.

"We’re seeing more Democrats come to California than we’ve seen in many years," she told reporters after mingling with voters at an In-N-Out Burger in suburban Sacramento. "Clearly, there’s a battle going on here … It’s going to be a real fight to the end."

Brown and Clinton have a fraught history, dating to their tangle in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary. Whitman used 1992 debate clips of Clinton slamming Brown's tax record and character in an ad she aired earlier this year.

Frustrated by the ad, which relied partly on an inaccurate report, Brown lashed out, calling Clinton dishonest and joking about his dalliance with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Brown quickly apologized, and Clinton endorsed him soon after.

Both men have said that their past is forgotten and they have a common cause, but on Friday the Whitman campaign had some fun with the matter, premiering a six-minute film called "The Way We Were: Starring Jerry & Bill," at a downtown Los Angeles theater. It featured scathing footage of the two men attacking one another.

-- Seema Mehta

Whitman has kind words for Clinton, evasive on Palin

With Bill Clinton set to take the stage at a Los Angeles rally supporting Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown, we asked Republican Meg Whitman what she thought of the former president's two terms in the Oval Office. Turns out, she liked a number of things, namely the fact that he was an EBay fan.

"I think there were many good things about Bill Clinton’s presidency. He was a big EBay buyer. He bought a lot of his Clinton memorabilia on EBay," she told reporters Friday after a campaign stop in suburban Sacramento. "So I think there were many good things about his presidency, but he’s obviously out here because he’s a Democrat, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, and he’s trying to help Democrats across the country."

Whitman visited an In-N-Out Burger as part of her continuing bus tour of California, which kicked off this week. She ordered a chocoloate milkshake, spoke with customers and posed for pictures.

Standing in the shade of her bus, dubbed the "Take Back Sac Express," Whitman also weighed in on Sarah Palin, who was visiting Sacramento on Friday as well and will hold a rally Saturday in Anaheim. Whitman is not scheduled to appear with the former vice presidential candidate and has said scheduling conflicts are keeping the two apart.

Asked whether she thought Palin was qualifed to be president, Whitman said: "Technically, she’s qualified to be president because you have to be a U.S. citizen and be in good standing. I think the voters of the United States are going to decide who's going to be the next Republican nominee and there's going to be a lot of competition for that."

She added: "I’ll probably be for Mitt Romney as I was for the last cycle before I helped out John McCain."

-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento

Podcast: This week in California politics

In this week's Capital Notes podcast, John Myers and I discuss the week that was in California politics -- from the third and final gubernatorial debate to this weekend's campaign visits from Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin. You can listen to the podcast here.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Carly Fiorina says Sarah Palin is qualified to be president

U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina said Monday that Sarah Palin has the credentials to be president.

"I certainly think she's qualified to be president of the United States," Fiorina said in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room."

Fiorina's comments come as she launches a new ad campaign aimed at attracting independent voters in her quest to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Fiorina received Palin's endorsement in the Republican primary but announced last week that she was skipping Palin's Oct. 16 visit to California. A recent Field Poll showed association with Palin may be bad for a candidate's political health, at least in California.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento


Fiorina seeks independents in new ad by vowing to cross her party "when it's wrong"

Fiorina skips Sarah Palin rally as general election nears

Bristol Palin goes emo in new rock video

Picture 3
Sarah Palin's eldest daughter, Bristol, was a tabloid darling during and after the 2008 presidential campaign. Now, she is back before the cameras.

Bristol, mother to a 22-month-old son, took a break from the lecture circuit advocating for teen abstinence long enough to shoot a video with Alaskan emo rockers Static Cycle. Never heard of 'em? Neither had we. But the band is hoping that will all change with a little help from Bristol.

Although the video doesn't appear to be finished, the band sent out a news release complete with YouTube link announcing the Bristol Palin connection.

"We met Bristol through family and mutual friends, and she was as excited about starring in our video as we were to work with her,"  Static Cycle lead vocalist and guitarist Jared Navarre said in a statement. "We all had a great time doing this shoot, and she looked absolutely gorgeous!"

She was filmed in a mink coat and hat, carrying a red rose in a glass jar.

Her mother is scheduled to appear at an Oct. 16 fundraiser in Anaheim for the Republican National Committee. Neither gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman nor U.S. Senate nominee Carly Fiorina is expected to attend.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Schwarzenegger takes long-distance jab at Palin

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on a weeklong trade mission that will take him to China, Japan and South Korea, took a moment to take a swipe at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as he flew over the state.

On Thursday night, Schwarzenegger took to his Twitter account to note: "Over Anchorage, AK. Looking everywhere but can't see Russia from here. Will keep you updated as search continues."

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Palin, the GOP vice-presidential candidate, said of Russia: "They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."

But it was comedian Tina Fey's parody of Palin on "Saturday Night Live" that became a national joke. When Fey, as Palin, was asked about her foreign policy experience, she said, "I can see Russia from my house."

Schwarzenegger will return to the state on Sept. 15.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

First Take: Legislature scrambles to meet final deadline. Chief justice pick clears first hurdle.

The nomination of Tanil Cantil-Sakauye for California Supreme Court chief justice seems to be on the fast track after a thumbs-up from a commission on judicial appointments Wednesday.

Amid the sea of bills before it in coming days, the Legislature will vote on a plan to crack down on paparazzi who drive recklessly in pursuit of celebrities.

Capitol Weekly offers a rundown of some of the major legislation and last-minute deals in the closing days of the legislative session.

George Skelton says Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown are under no obligation to defend Proposition 8 in court -- but they should, simply because it was the will of the voters. 

Brown was back on the campaign trail Wednesday night, holding his first public event in weeks.

A judge has ordered Cal State Stanislaus to release documents surrounding Sarah Palin's paid visit to the campus earlier this year.

-- Anthony York

Get the latest California political news. Follow PolitiCal on Twitter.

Independent group takes on Fiorina's ties to Palin and 'tea party' groups

In 2008, the Culver City-based Brave New Films used viral videos to take on then-presidential candidate John McCain’s health, his numerous homes and his shifting rhetoric. The company’s new target is Republican U.S.  Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, who is locked in a tight race with Sen. Barbara Boxer(D-Calif).

In one of the first independent expenditures of the general election campaign, Brave New Films has released a viral video that plays up Fiorina’s association with “tea party” groups in California and shows an image of her face morphing into that of Sarah Palin, who gave Fiorina a boost by endorsing her during the hard-fought Republican primary.

“The Real Carly!” the video’s graphic blares as the ad shows footage of Palin ticking off the reasons she endorsed Fiorina — “She’s pro-life, she’s pro-2 nd amendment, she’s anti-big government, anti-tax, she’s pro-development,” Palin says — as the former Alaska governor’s face dissolves into a head shot of Fiorina.

With dramatic Andrew Lloyd Webber-style music raging in the background, the two-minute video turns to footage of individuals shouting at the camera and describing President Obama as a communist, in what is described onscreen as footage from a tea party rally in March.

Those images are followed by clips described onscreen as Fiorina’s speech at the Pleasanton Tea Party’s tax day rally in April, as well as what appears to be her remarks to reporters at the event, which are provided without context. “These folks are making a huge difference in the political dialogue in this country,” Fiorina is shown telling the press, “and good for them.”

The video then flashes through a series of anti-government, anti-Obama signs at unidentified venues before cutting back to a Pleasanton clip of Fiorina. Though the question posed to the candidate is not included, Fiorina appears to be describing the audience as “hardworking Americans who care enough to come out and get politically active and express their views.” Images of angry fist-shakers are interspersed with her words.

Fiorina’s spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the video was intended to mislead viewers.

“Sadly for Barbara Boxer, her extreme left-wing supporters have nothing positive or worthwhile to promote in her own record, so instead resort to extremely deceitful and misleading clips spliced together from events where Carly was not present and did not even happen in California,” Saul said. “Voters are smart enough to determine the difference between baseless propaganda and real information.”

Brave New Films’ founder and director Robert Greenwald said his researchers gleaned the video footage from what was available online. That makes it virtually impossible to determine the origin of the footage.

While Fiorina made some efforts to woo tea party voters, especially toward the end of the primary campaign, she never went to the same lengths as one of her rivals, Chuck DeVore, who spoke to about 60 tea party groups as he wrestled Fiorina for conservative votes.

Brave New Films’ communications director said the group had raised $20,000 so far for a series of Fiorina Web videos, which it plans to push through YouTube and social networking sites. Although Greenwald has worked with labor unions in the past, he said they have not contributed to the Fiorina effort to date. The group has not identified its contributors.

Greenwald said the video series will focus on Fiorina’s stands on abortion and immigration and her record as chief executive of Hewlett Packard. He said he had dispensed with the conventional wisdom that these campaign broadsides should wait until voters are paying more attention this fall. 

“We actually believe exactly the opposite, that as with our McCain work, it’s important to go out early and educate people about Carly — create the frame, if you will,” Greenwald said, adding that past efforts to get the videos out through social network and other websites has “actually been much more impactful than TV commercials.”

-- Maeve Reston in Los Angeles

Twitter: LATimesReston


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