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August 25, 2009

Cali Election Season Gets Started

There has been a great deal of conversation about putting up an actual challenger to Senater Barbara "Ma'am" Boxer this coming year. Her numbers are in the drink and it looks like a Republican candidate might benefit from a nation-wide backlash against the President and Congress.

The two names splashed around so far have been Chuck DeVore and Carly Fiorina. DeVore is a state senator assemblyman* running up against term limits. He doesn't have much name recognition even here in California. He supports nuclear power and offshore drilling, but also created prisoner rehabilitation programs that don't work.

Fiorina is probably most well-known for her stint at HP, which earned her accolades as the "most powerful woman in business." She advised the McCain campaign on economics (is that a plus or a minus?). She has great name-recognition in both California and the nation. Last Tuesday, she filed papers to officially announce her candidacy for Boxer's senate seat.

At a BBQ a few weekends ago, some people asked me which of the two I support. At the time I hadn't looked all that closely at either, though I knew that DeVore is some kind of a jerk. I also appreciated Fiorina's defense of Sarah Palin during the campaign last year. It looks like my gut instict wasn't wrong:

The DeVore campaign, certainly wasting no time, launched a cheeky website to “welcome Carly to the race,” asking supporters to send Fiorina one of four pre-scripted emails. Found among the original choices was the patronizing option to ask Ms. Fiorina, 54, to “make up her mind” on abortion, adding that “Carly Fiorina has never said whether she’s pro-life.” The DeVore campaign has since changed the wording to “suspect on life issues,” but the sentiment—that Fiorina is some sort of pro-abortion Manchurian Candidate—remains the same.

Following the launch of the website, DeVore allies began widely circulating an item from the Wall Street Journal that so matter-of-factly described Fiorina as “pro-choice on abortion” it reeked of poor campaign opposition research. Yesterday, the article was amended to show that Fiorina was, in fact, pro-life.

You should have detected a theme here.

Despite DeVore’s protestations, Fiorina settled on the contentious issue of abortion years ago. And contrary to the campaign’s constant refrain, she proudly calls herself a “pro-life, conservative, and life-long Republican.”


“If DeVore doesn’t make it to the general election, he’ll be sure to bloody up Fiorina on her way,” said one Republican activist with ties to the DeVore campaign, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.

Not a good beginning for DeVore.

*Thanks to irishspy for the correction. See, no name recognition!

And In Other California Elections News: Imported from the sidebar.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Jerry Brown are the top Democratic names for the race for Governor Schwarzenegger's chair. Not surprisingly, Newsom, who brayed on television last year that California would have gay marriages "whether you like it or not!", is polling way below Jerry Brown. The surprising part is that he polls worse than Brown even in San Francisco.

It's too early to count anyone out, but if Republicans put up even a token challenger, they stand a good chance against either of these guys. Newsom managed to offend just about everyone even marginally socially conservative. Jerry Brown's disastrous tenure in the governor's mansion has not been forgotten, either.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:27 AM

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