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Boxer asks Obama's supporters for help

August 14, 2010 |  5:46 pm

With 80 days to go before the November election, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer turned her energies to mobilizing volunteers Saturday, tapping into the Democrats’ national get-out-the-vote network, Organizing for America, during an appearance near downtown Los Angeles.

Joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Boxer asked a group of about 100 volunteers to begin making phone calls and walking neighborhoods to ensure that first-time voters who supported President Obama in 2008 will turn out again in November when she will face former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Carly Fiorina. 

Boxer asked the crowd to take notes on her accomplishments in the Senate to help them sway undecided voters and argued that Fiorina would steer the country back to policies of the Bush administration, while blasting her record at H-P and her opposition to the federal stimulus package and pending small business legislation in Congress.

Alluding to the threat of Fiorina’s personal wealth, which is estimated to be between $27.7 million and $121 million according to Senate disclosure forms, Boxer urged volunteers to spread the message that “California is not for sale, not in the Senate race, not in the governor’s race.”

During the primary, Fiorina loaned $5.5 million to her campaign; Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has spent $104 million of her own money in her race against Democrat Jerry Brown.

“There’s a lot at stake,” Boxer told the group, which gathered at L.A. Trade Tech for an organizing meeting. “I need you to stay with me as the negative commercials and the negative talk escalates — it’s already starting.”

Fiorina's spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, said Boxer's disapproval ratings have inched up because she has supported “higher taxes, thickets of onerous government regulations and frivolous spending skyrocketing our national debt."

"While Barbara Boxer parades around pretending that her $862-billion taxpayer funded ‘stimulus’ worked, taxpayers will have the chance to take control back of how their hard earned money is spent by voting her out this November,” Saul said.

Villaraigosa, who described Boxer as one of his heroes because of her “unabashedly progressive” outlook, was on hand at Saturday's event to fire up volunteers and defend Boxer's record on local issues like his 30/10 plan, which would accelerate 12 transit projects to complete them in a decade instead of three.

“When you’re mayor of L.A., you go to two places when you’re looking for money,” Villaraigosa said. “You go to — well you used to go to Sacramento — and you go to Washington D.C., and I can tell you whenever I knock on her door, she’s there.”  

-- Maeve Reston in Los Angeles

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