U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, is facing a challenge from Republican Carly Fiorina and four third-party candidates in the Nov. 2 election.
The Press Democrat Editorial Board endorsed Boxer on Oct. 18. A copy of the editorial is attached below. Did the PD Editorial Board make the right decision? Disagree with the choice? Post a comment to share your thoughts with other members of the community.
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PD Editorial: For Boxer
Senator’s views are closer to California’s mainstream
Californians have a stark and not very appealing choice for the U.S. Senate seat on the Nov. 2 ballot.
No one could credibly count Democrat Barbara Boxer among the most effective members of Congress, despite 18 years in the Senate and 10 in the House of Representatives. Republican Carly Fiorina says she’ll be an energetic legislator. However, on too many issues, her views conflict with the majority of California voters.
Boxer leaves much of the legislative mechanics to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She can be strident — dressing down a general who called her “ma’am” rather than “senator” during a committee hearing. But her core views are closer than Fiorina’s to California’s mainstream, so The Press Democrat recommends Boxer for the U.S. Senate.
Consider a few examples:
• Boxer supported health care reform, which takes steps toward improving access and controlling costs. Fiorina favors a repeal.
• Boxer opposes oil drilling off the California coast. Fiorina favors drilling.
• Fiorina opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Boxer is a strong advocate for abortion rights, and she opposed Proposition 8.
• Boxer is a co-author of cap-and-trade, President Barack Obama’s preferred approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and she opposes Proposition 23, which would suspend California’s landmark global warming law. Fiorina favors Proposition 23 and opposes cap-and-trade.
• Fiorina opposed confirmation for the eminently qualified Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. Boxer voted for both of Obama’s nominess for the court.
Over the past two years, the Senate all too frequently has been an obstacle to Obama’s agenda, with Republicans using filibusters and other parliamentary maneuvers to delay action on major legislation. Boxer has her own fierce partisan streak, but when a banking crisis threatened the world economy, she stepped up and supported the Bush administration. The Troubled Asset Relief Program helped stabilize the markets and the financial industry. Fiorina says it didn’t work.
On the issue of free trade with our global partners, Fiorina has it right. But that’s not enough to offset her staunchly conservative views on other issues. And her firing at Hewlett-Packard, and the harsh criticism from some Packard family members, takes a lot of the luster from Fiorina’s business background.
Our choice for the U.S. Senate was former congressman Tom Campbell. Unfortunately, he finished second in the Republican primary.
With important issues including education and immigration reform on the agenda for the next Congress, along with a major highway bill, California needs a senator who won’t reflexively oppose any proposal from President Obama. That senator is Barbara Boxer. We hope that in a fourth term, as chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, she will make a bigger mark in Washington.