Boxer, Fiorina face tough questions as race heats up

April 16, 2010 10:39:07 PM PDT
The race for California's Senate seat, which is currently held by Democrat Barbara Boxer, is heating-up. Republican Carly Fiorina blasted Boxer over water issues in the Central Valley and Fiornia is getting questioned about possible corruption while she was running Hewlett-Packard.

Boxer is in the toughest political race of her Senate career, her approval ratings are frequently below 50 percent, and she's the target of conservatives across the country -- particularly the Tea Party.

Fiorina is laying into Senator Boxer over water allocations to the Central Valley.

"There are hundreds of thousands of acres that lie fallow because Barbara Boxer will not join Dianne Feinstein and others in the U.S. Senate and pass an amendment to turn the water back on," said Fiorina.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has pushed to increase water to the valley, while Boxer has been publicly silent. ABC7 asked Boxer on Friday why she didn't support Feinstein's proposal.

"Oh, I did and we've been a team on it," said Boxer.

Boxer says she worked right alongside Feinstein.

"I actually wrote part of the bill, so you can ask her about it. We worked together," said Boxer.

Feinstein issued a statement saying, "We co-authored two bills to provide more water to beleaguered farmers in the Central Valley."

And on Friday, Boxer announced Feinstein will be the chairman of her re-election campaign.

"Then you know that could negate the issue. So, it's a smart move to have Dianne Feinstein as the chair," said ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain.

Cain said Boxer is undercutting her water critics, while Fiornia is getting asked about a bribery investigation involving Hewlett-Packard when she was the company's CEO.

"Well I am unaware of any illegal activities and certainly if I had been aware of such activities, people would've been fired on the spot. I have done it before in my career," said Fiornia.

That was pretty much what Fiorina's spokesperson told ABC7 last August when we asked about how HP printers wound up in Iran in spite of a trade embargo.

"Guys look, HP has always followed the law. That particular charge is not only baseless and ridiculous, it came out of a Democratic playbook during the presidential election," said Fiornia.

Actually, it came months after the last election in a letter from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking information from HP about its dealings with Iran.

ABC7 asked about the possible HP scandal and Fiornia said, "You know, I really think you would serve your viewers well if you would report on the big issues that matter."

"It is a big problem and she's got to have a better story than what she's giving you so far," said Cain. "She's just got to have more details. And even then, I don't think the story's going to go away. It's going to have legs," said Cain.

Cain expects viewers may hear the issue be raised again, maybe not from reporters, but maybe by 30 second political ads from Boxer's campaign. Tom Campbell and Chuck Devore are also running against Fiornia in the primary.


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