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Fiorina and NRSC air new ad attacking Boxer

October 4, 2010 |  4:11 pm


The campaign of Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have joined forces to air a new ad that accuses Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of presiding over a state that has fallen into disrepair.

NRSC officials initially said they planned to spend at least $1.75 million to help Fiorina during the final week of her campaign to unseat the three-term senator. But after several weeks in which Fiorina has slid behind Boxer in the polls, the NRSC has moved up the timing — devoting $2 million to reinforce the message of the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive. 

The new television spot, which begins airing Tuesday, is narrated by the announcer featured in Fiorina’s “Demon Sheep” web ad. It features black-and-white images, some of which are reminiscent of  photographs from the Great Depression, depicting the state as a place of entrenched poverty and despair.

"Trillions in reckless wasteful spending, destroying small business, killing jobs, crushing hopes," the announcer says as photographs flash of a barren field, liquidation signs and what the campaign identified as a tent city populated by the homeless in Sacramento and an abandoned home behind a padlocked gate in Stockton. "We can change this, but only if we change the people we send to Washington. California cannot afford Boxer for six more long years," the ad says.  

The ad will replace Fiorina’s first spot, which mocked Boxer’s interaction with Army Corps of Engineers Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh during a 2009 congressional hearing. Boxer had asked Walsh to call her ‘Senator’ rather than ‘Ma’am’ — which Fiorina argued was an illustration of Boxer’s "arrogance."

At least initially, the visibility of Fiorina’s “Sir” ad was vastly overshadowed by Boxer’s ads, which included one positive spot and one ad attacking Fiorina for overseeing some 30,000 layoffs while heading Hewlett-Packard.

Boxer began running her spots more than a week before Fiorina's, whose first ad aired Sept. 23. During the four-day span that Fiorina’s ad was running (from Sept. 23 to Sept. 26), the ad appeared 11 times and only in the Los Angeles media market, according to a report by the Nielsen Co.

Over the full week of Sept. 20-26, Boxer’s ads ran 454 times in the L.A. area. They ran 1,521 times across the state, according to Nielsen, which has been tracking the candidates' visibility in the governor’s and senate races in California.   

Boxer's campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski described the ad as "more of the same: no ideas for creating jobs in California, just misleading attacks on Barbara Boxer." 

-- Maeve Reston in Los Angeles