Sen. Boxer, Republican challenger Fiorina face off at St. Mary's College debate

Economy, stimulus bill highlight one-hour televised debate

Sen. Barbara Boxer and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina squared off Wednesday night on jobs, global warming, immigration reform, gay marriage and other issues in their first—and likely only-- senatorial debate.

The debate, held at St. Mary's College in Moraga, was televised with 400 allowed into the packed college auditorium.

Boxer, California's Democratic Party senator who was first elected 18 years ago, is seeking re-election on Nov. 2. She told the audience: "I'm in the Senate because I fight for people."

Boxer said she has enacted 1,000 provisions during her 17-year tenure in Washington, D.C., including after-school programs. She painted Fiorina as a Wall Street CEO who laid off thousands of workers and shifted many jobs to other countries such as China and India when she headed HP.

But Fiorina, the Republican nominee, said that under Boxer and other Democrats, California's unemployment rate has soared to 12.3 percent and the nation's budget deficit has grown to $13 trillion.

Fiorina said the nation's economy "is being strangled by too much uncertainty and regulation" and alleged that the stimulus bill pushed by President Obama's administration and Boxer "has manifestly failed."

Fiorina defended her record at HP, which the company's board of directors fired her from in 2005, saying, "Sometimes you have to make the tough decision to cut some jobs to save other jobs." She said the company improved its performance during her tenure.

She also said she's running for the Senate because she believes the country "is headed in the wrong direction" and that she's "struck by the anger, frustration and fear" of people she talks to across the state.

One of many big differences between the two candidates was their positions on state Proposition 23. The measure on the November ballot would suspend Assembly Bill 32, also known as the Global Warming Solutions Act, which was signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2006 and would bring California into compliance with the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.

Fiorina described AB32 as "a job killer in the short term" because of the heavy regulations it imposes, but she refused to say how she would vote on Proposition 23.

Instead, she said, "My focus is on a comprehensive national energy policy."

In a report published this morning in the Christian Science Monitor, staff writer Daniel B. Wood reported that while the one-hour debate was "gaffe free," analysts said it was "too scripted."

"This was a hard-hitting debate, if not a particularly spontaneous one," Jessica Levinson, political reform director of the Center for Governmental Studies, told Wood.

"My biggest disappointment is that the event felt so scripted," Levinson continued. "At times, it seemed less like an exchange of ideas, and more like an exchange of talking points. I yearned for a moment like the one that occurred on the 'West Wing' [TV show, when both candidates agreed to throw out the rules and have a free and open dialogue about the campaign issues."

Wood also talked to Sherry Jeffe, a political scientist at University of Southern California.

"Since this is Carly Fiorina's first time running for elected office, the fact that she demonstrated her command of the issues and stood up well against a veteran U.S. senator helps her as challenger," Jeffe is quoted in Wood's article.

In one parry, Boxer came out on the losing end because she looked like the Washington insider that Fiorina is trying to paint her, Jeffe said. Fiorina said Boxer had only produced four bills with her name on them in 18 years in the Senate. Boxer countered that perhaps Fiorina didn't really know what it took to produce a bill.

"It wasn't Boxer's finest moment," Jeffe said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 2, 2010 at 8:24 am

I am appalled at the actions of Randy Shandobil last night in his role as a moderator for the debate between Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer. It was very obvious that he abused his role as a moderator by interjecting his comments and questions, specifically directed towards Carly Fiorina, and then cutting her off when she attempted to respond. I did not hear a a personal question from him directed to Barbara Boxer which leads one to assume he has not mastered the role of a moderator, but rather conveys to the viewer where his personal and political bias's lie

Like this comment
Posted by Eddie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2010 at 8:32 am

I agree - Shandobil's bias was evident. Also, why were all three panelists from media organizations with known left-wing bias. I'm a bit surprised that Fiorina's campaign organization agreed to a panel of lefties.

Like this comment
Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2010 at 8:59 am

I thought I was the only one who noticed the inequity in how the moderator handled his job.

I really dislike it when the candidates stray from the question to get in their jabs at their opponent. Why can't we just get straight-forward answers to the questions, rather their mud-slinging. Boy, would that be refreshing.

Fiorina has a great deal of baggage from her days at H-P, but I hope that after November I never have to witness another Senatorial performance by Ms. Boxer. (Dumber than a sack of rocks!)

Like this comment
Posted by just another voter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

I have to agree with the person who directed the question at Barbara Boxer about her being a representative for 28 years, isn't it time to give someone else a chance.

Like this comment
Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2010 at 10:05 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

Babs Boxer's closing argument was that she is "fighting for jobs, day in and day out".

Guess what Senator, you are LOSING that fight!

The guy from Chinatown was right, you have walked the halls of the Capitol and sat in the back row of the Senate Chamber for too long. Time to give someone else a chance

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 2, 2010 at 11:13 am

I feel waaaaaaaaaay ashamed having to agree with jimO...i hate the site of barbara boxer but I can say I'm gonna vote for the other gal...sad...both are creeps...

Like this comment
Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

Ok, now someone is impersonating Cholo. He and I never agree on anything!

Vato, you and I will be drinking TEA together by November.

Like this comment
Posted by Francis
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Sep 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm

The mêlée over illegal immigration has just begun and the Tea Party members, Conservatives and independents should be mindful of Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of Californians record. Boxer debated candidate Republican challenger Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, for US Senate seat, confronting each other in the first of their debates this election season. Fiorina took the lead in in the political discussion that was informative, even when both contributors were argumentative. Voters must make the best assessment between the two very dissimilar candidates, from opposed ends of their political philosophy. Both opinionated over how to best construct a jobs program; about their records in the environment, business sector, public, foreign policy, the economy and internal government strife and even abortion. This first upfront in the face debate was barbed, in a performance of competing arguments with the candidates in an all-out attack on each other’s records.

The questions were balanced from voters, but discord remained as the smear tactics continued losing sight in some cases of the original questioning. In the offset it came to voter’s questions about immigration, which as now surfaced as a red-hot button issue commencing with the federal lawsuit against the state of Arizona. Even the sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa county is being dragged over the tiles for exerting his state authority to apprehend illegal aliens. Unless I missed it on C-SPAN there was no mention of Immigration Chief John Morton with ICE arresting only criminals and releasing thousands of illegal aliens back on the streets, in a De Facto Amnesty. Although Madam Fiorina supports the "Dream Act” it must be noted she does not agree with any AMNESTY. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented students who came to the United States as minors and finished high school.

Boxer on the other hand believed in Comprehensive Immigration Reform, known by most prudent Americans as Amnesty. This would commence with a massive expenditure to taxpayers, through forced taxes to pay for Amnesty, with welfare programs not far behind. Like her counterpart Sen. Harry Reid, her stance on stopping illegal immigration is in one word" Un-American" She is obviously for an open border because her record shows that. Voted--YES--on continuing federal funds for declared "Sanctuary Cities". Bill Table S.Amdt.4309 to S.Con.Res ; on Mar 13, 2008. Voted--YES--on comprehensive Immigration reform Bill S.1639 ; on Jun 28, 2007. Voted--NO--on declaring English as the official language of the US Government Bill. S.Amdt.1151 to S.1348 ; on Jun 6, 2007. Voted--YES--on eliminating the "Y" nonimmigrant guest worker visa Bill S.Amdt.1153 on S.1348 ; on May 22, 2007. Voted--YES--on building a fence along the Mexican border. Bill H R 6061 ; on Sep 29, 2006. The 2006 Secure Fence Bill was a fallacy, as it wasn’t built as originally intended and still remains uncompleted. Voted--YES--on establishing a Guest Worker program. Bill S. 2611 ; on May 25, 2006.

VOTED--YES--ON ALLOWING ILLEGAL ALIENS TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR SOCIAL SECURITY Bill S.Amdt.3985 to S.2611 ; on May 18, 2006. Voted—NO-- on allowing more foreign workers into the US for agricultural work. Bill S.2260 ; on Jul 23, 1998. Voted--YES--on a visa for skilled workers. Bill S. 1723 ; on May 18, 1998. Voted--NO--on limiting welfare for immigrants. Bill S.947 ; on Jun 24, 1997. SPONSORED PROVIDING FUNDING FOR SOCIAL SERVICES FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS. Funding (S.AMDT.4072 to S.2611) 06-SP4072 on May 18, 2006. According to NumbersUSA website Sen. Boxer has a "D" in Immigration enforcement and her stance categorizes her, with an open border mentality. The majority of Democrats have already breeched their oath of Allegiance to the American people, by catering more to the health care, education and other benefits to the illegal alien invasion force, while in many states the underprivileged citizens are either turned away or left to their own devices—when it comes to public assistance.

California is a—SANCTUARY CITY—and state, supported by lawmakers such as Senator Boxer. California has become a harbor for millions of illegal aliens that are benefiting from a damaged federal, state and county entitlement system. In part it has been compromised by hundreds of thousands of instant-citizenship for babies of illegal aliens, tapping into all manner of cash payments and so much more, leaving the state’s welfare system dragging its tail. Overall billions of your tax dollars are being swallowed up by people who shouldn’t be here--nationwide. We have a good chance now to remove all pro-amnesty, pro-illegal immigrant politicians and all elected officials and elect new unblemished legislators. Warn your Senator or Congressman by calling the Washington switchboard 202-224-3121. If you are not in-line with the peoples wishes, you will be out in November.

Making room in the jobless line isn't just for removing incumbents, Anti Liberal, Anti-Democrat or most issues. Even Medical Care reform is not the major issue. Its about the failure of both parties to listen to the American people. One major issue is illegal immigration and taxpayers have the IRS extorting money from them, to pay for every conceivable entitlement that Americans cannot get. The lies about the border fence and not following the design of the 2006 Secure Fence act .It's about incomprehensible billions of dollars that we are spending on corporate welfare--as the pay nothing to illegal workers other then wages; not the education of their children, health care, unemployment benefits or undisclosed social programs. We the taxpayers are the dumb fools who pay for it all? Millions are slipping past the border and it will never, ever stop, until we have politicians who are working for the American people. They are taking low skilled and manual labor jobs and lowering wages to an estimate of $200 billion a year.

Like this comment
Posted by radical
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 3, 2010 at 10:40 am

fran - you will note that this was the extent of discussion of immigration
Web Link

fiorina called boxer on guest worker program, but i think failed to go after her on lack of any action on immigration in her LONG senate career
boxer immediately changed the subject to veterans because that is all dems want to do on immigration, change the subject
when boxer came back around to immigration, she offered nothing constructive, just phony attacks on fiorina

but this is the status quo in america, all and i mean all mainstream political candidates and incumbents up for re-election will avoid the issue because if you want to enforce border security you are painted a racist or xenophobe
if you want comprehensive immigration reform you are painted as pro-amnesty
the campaign donors want cheap labor so they want illegals to remain as a source for cheap labor, and remain illegal so the can control them more easily, we have to enforce laws on the books that can prevent employers from hiring illegals

if we secure the borders, enact real guest worker programs that ensure a suppy of labor for those jobs that americans really will not do (which are bcoming fewer and fewer these days)

establish a path to citizenship that ends with amnesty ultimately (amnesty is defined as a general pardon for offenses)
+ a trip home to sign up with the embassy in your home country
+ paying taxes
+ learning english
+ perhaps paying some sort of fine
+ getting in line behind those who are waiting patiently to come here from all over the world

we will cut unemployment, increase wages, increase economic activity, cut the number of people living in poverty, cut demand for emergency care at our public hospitals

now who is against all of that? the republicans and democrats, apparently

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Sep 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm

"Time to give someone else a chance” is NOT a good reason to elect Carly Fiorina to represent California! If past behavior is an indicator of the future, California absolutely CANNOT afford Ms. Fiorina’s leadership.

During the debate, Ms. Fiorina stated that she is proud of her record at HP and that yes, she was paid commensurate with her performance as CEO. I find nothing in Ms. Fiorina’s job performance at HP to be proud of . . . and evidently I’m not the only one given the question from the retired HP employee – a Republican.

Ms. Fiorina was forced to resign from HP. She took with her nearly $21 million in severance pay and stock options.

Before she was forced to resign, HP stock under Ms Fiorina's guidance as CEO dropped more than 60% in value; stock prices plummeted from $52 per share in 1999 to $21 in 2005. During this same time period, HP competitor Dell's stock price increased from $37 to $40 per share. HP stock jumped 6.9% with the news of Ms. Fiorina’s resignation. Good news for all those stockholders and employees who had seen their stock options become worthless and their retirement plans decimated – all while Ms. Fiorina raked in millions in severance. And now she brags about how “proud” she is of her record??!! Web Link Web Link

On top of her negative impact on HP stock prices, Ms. Fiorina also worked hard to “head off rising protectionist sentiment in Congress." Not only did 30,000 HP employees lose their jobs to cheaper overseas labor during her tenure as CEO, Ms. Fiorina hired foreign workers under the H-1B visa program to replace American workers here in the US. In fact, Ms. Fiorina said the US needs to expand the program “if we want our information technology industry to be the most competitive in the world.” To further explain her position Ms. Fiorina said “There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore. We have to compete for jobs as a nation."
Web Link Web Link

With our “stock” already in the toilet and an unemployment rate of 12.3%, California workers can’t afford to have Carly Fiorina making decisions for us in Congress. Ask any HP employee!!

Like this comment
Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm

gotta agree with rae, we are in the toilet and the water is starting to circle, re-elect boxer, McNerney and the rest of the dem crowd and they will flush us down!

Like this comment
Posted by Tea Party Patriot
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

Jim is right, we know that Fiorina didn't really send 30,000 American jobs overseas--just more Spendocrat lies! And where's the proof that HP stock was down and she was fired? I'm not seeing any proof. Therefore, vote for Fiorina! Besides, her husband carries a gun everywhere and she's a firm believer in gun owners' rights--she just could be California's own Jan Brewer!

Like this comment
Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Sep 4, 2010 at 10:39 am

Janna is a registered user.


I seriously can't tell if what you wrote is satire or not. If you really think we need a double dose of crazy Jan Brewer anywhere in this country, you are overdue for some kind of strong meds.

Fiorina, another failed corporate CEO, enough said. Of course, I'm sure she doesn't think she failed, because she got her golden parachute even after her disastrous time there.

Like this comment
Posted by Tea Party Patriot
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm


With respect, why aren't you posting on Dublin's forum? Pleasanton is Tea Party territory! We're taking back the Civil Rights Movement, we're standing up for the preservation of the U. S. Constitution, and we're going to get the 14th Amendment repealed before our American heritage and tradition is irreparably harmed by outsiders!

Like this comment
Posted by radical
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

if one thing is clear from "Tea Party Patriot" postings on here, it is that this person is not a tea partier. Started with posting as jimf01, i am guessing

the quote from Ghandi: "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

We are definitely past the ignoring stage, but this fool is still in the ridicule stage, not realizing that we are about to score a major WIN in november

Like this comment
Posted by Tea Party Patriot
a resident of Castlewood
on Sep 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Interesting that "radical" feels so threatened by the Tea Party power that he has to try to subvert it. I post pro-Tea Party information and all of a sudden he's trying to make me out to be an imposter. Try thinking for a minute, "radical." It's a lot more suspicious for someone who calls themselves a "radical" to make claims to being a tea partier than someone who openly identifies themselves as a true Tea Party Patriot!

And Jim IS a real tea partier. You must be new to this site, Bill Ayres, or whoever you are.

Like this comment
Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Sep 4, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Janna is a registered user.

Okeydoke LOL!

Like this comment
Posted by Chet
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 5, 2010 at 12:23 am

I have never seen a debate where you had such and obvious and clear winner. Boxer exposed Flornia as your typical out of touch GOPer. Flornia does not understand the needs of California and along with her out of touch views and beliefs is not qualified to our Senator. Boxer will push on these points and win the election.

Like this comment
Posted by Speakupjerry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2010 at 9:13 am

What part of freedom, free enterprise, strong economy, energy independence, strong national defense...i.e. those values that has made America strong...don't you like?

All of the above are what Boxer is against. And for that matter, the same goes for your boyfriend, Jerry mcnerney too.

Like this comment
Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Heritage Valley
on Sep 5, 2010 at 10:40 am


You forgot the part about how Boxer eats puppies and loves kicking babies. Sheesh!

Do you seriously believe that Fiorina, who sent 30,000 American jobs overseas and halved the value of HP stock before she was forced to resign will grow California's economy? Talk about drinking the Kool-aid!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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