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2010 California US Senator Race

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Jan 15, 2010

As a follow on from my comments about the race for Governor this year, there was the interesting, but not surprising announcement by Tom Campbell that he has decided to compete in the Republican primary for US Senate, not for Governor.

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and someone with whom I am not familiar from Southern California also have their "hats in the ring." The GOP primary winner will vie against 2 term incumbent Barbara Boxer for the seat.

I have never been a fan of Boxer, and I am of the opinion that she won her two previous campaigns due as much to weak opponents as her qualifications. What she has going for her at this point is she has enough experience and seniority that she actually now has some clout on Capitol Hill. That may or may not be enough to get her re-elected, but it also depends on who her opponent is.

Campbell clearly is well-qualified, and is a moderate Republican, a scarce species in California these days. That may work to his disadvantage in the primary, since the GOP has a pretty conservative bent these days. It could be the guy who has the best chance of winning against Boxer never gets past the primary.

I don't know why Carly Fiorina thinks she is eligible for this office. She was at best a questionable CEO at HP, and after making some ill advised remarks in the 2008 election when she was an advisor to the McCain campaign, she was not heard from again. She also recently has had some health problems. But, like Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, she has plenty of her own money that she appears willing to spend on her campaign, so we likely will have a highly visible Carly on the airwaves, print press and on line.

I don't know anything about the guy from Socal, I believe he is in eiher the State Assembly or State Senate. If I have that right, my hunch he is cut out of the conservative cloth that personifies the California GOP these days. This has appeal in a primary, but is likely the kiss of death in a general election. (He is facing the opposite challenge that Campbell does.) I welcome anyone who knows more about him to post something on this thread. It will help me and anyone else reading this get a better understanding of who the guy is.

I don't know who Boxer ultimately will be running against. If it is Campbell, there is a chance he will get my vote. But, I may find myself holding my nose and voting for Boxer, due to her incumbency and my concerns about our US Senate coming to a grinding halt if the Republicans gain enough seats to filibuster. The Dems need to retain 60 or more seats in order to avoid that situation.

I am amazed that a state as formidable as California cannot provide the electorate better candidates for these important offices. Maybe the truly capable just cannot be bothered--they have better things to do with their time and energy.

Comments (15)

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

How about Dr. Rice? Babs was elected by the then majority anti-war who, by now, realize that the only avenue to peace is strength

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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

Correction and update--Senator Boxer has been in office for 3 terms, 18 years, not 2 terms as I wrote above.

Her first opponent was conservative TV commentator Bruce Hershenson, sort of Glenn Beck of his day

Matt Fong ran against her in 1998

Bill Jones, who was CA Secretary of State at the time, was defeated by Boxer in 2004

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Posted by Darwin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 16, 2010 at 11:17 am

You wrote, "I don't know anything about the guy from Socal, I believe he is in eiher the State Assembly or State Senate. If I have that right, my hunch he is cut out of the conservative cloth that personifies the California GOP these days."

You seem to have a penchant for guessing in your blogs, and this isn't the first time. Is it really that difficult for you to Google?

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Posted by Margaret Fruth
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Please remember that the Republicans have committed to filibustering anything. They have no workable alternative to offer.

They want to make sure our first President of color fails.

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Posted by sarlat
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 19, 2010 at 7:28 am

Modern corporatism is todays Neo-Fascism, a much deadlier and more ruthless strain than the old one. The notion that any sane Californian, even a Republican who hasn't been whacked out of his mind by Limbaugh and Beck stupidity would wish to see a corporatist in Sacramento is shocking and horrifying.

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Posted by Administrator
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2010 at 9:49 am

I worked at Stanford Law School when Tom Campbell was a professor there. Don't throw him in the pile with the reputation of the conservative Republicans. He is a good person, wants to help, and I remember his lecture regarding arrogance where he stated to the Stanford law school students to always treat everyone equally. "Say hello to the janitor" he advised, because he is a person too and no one is better than another.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

From the S F Chronicle:Web Link

>For Boxer, a favorite Republican target, a GOP win in Massachusetts would be a particularly dark sign representing

"not just the canary in the coal mine," said Wade Randlett, a leading Silicon Valley fundraiser for Obama. "It's the flock of dead ravens landing on the lawn." <

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Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Sharon--you forgot this part of the story in your zeal to trumpet potential troubles for the Democrats:

"There are, however, key differences in party demographics in the two states. While Massachusetts Democrats hold a 3-to-1 registration lead over Republicans, more than half of that state's voters are registered independent.
In California, 45 percent of registered voters are Democrats, 31 percent Republicans, and 20 percent decline to state.
Boxer, unlike Coakley, has run three Senate races - and her office said Monday that she had raised more money than ever in the fundraising period that ended in December. (The figures are to be released today.)"

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Posted by Edward
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Barbara Boxer fairly represents the generic liberal attitudes of the majority of Californians. Her problem may be that liberalism is no longer seen as an engine of economic growth in California. I am a liberal, and have lived my entire life in California. I am 62 years of age, and I have never seen the level of worry about jobs, as I see now.

We might be in for a sea change, and the MA results, with Brown, could be a harbinger of it.

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Posted by Enough
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2010 at 6:54 pm

The voters are unhappy and the democratic con job and Boxer is next.

This tax rip-off is coming to an end of an era.

Now the republicans are not any better as we have seen here in Kommiefornia were the one party system continues to steal our money. And deliver less and less.

But come November 2011 it will be the start of a new era.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm

GOP's Brown wins Mass. Senate seat in epic upset Web Link

Brown has said the rescue efforts of Guard members during the blizzard of 1978 left a lasting impression on him.
He attended ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) at Northeastern University.
He has been active with the Guard for about 30 years and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He currently serves as Army Guard’s head defense lawyer in the New England states.
He also assists the Judge Advocate General’s Corps out of Milford.

Stanford does not have an ROTC yet, so no future presidential candidates from our local school.
Why is that? when we were there they told us it had something to do with the 60s and radical left wing faculty
Looks like those days are over.

" It is not just the canary in the coal mine," said Wade Randlett, a leading Silicon Valley fundraiser for Obama. "It's the flock of dead ravens landing on the lawn."

Well done Brown, hope and change for the conservatives in California is next

Like this comment
Posted by stanford
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm

why make a statement that there is no ROTC at Stanford?

Web Link

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Posted by Dr. Gary Gechlik
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Tom Campbell really is an ideal candidate. He was my professor at Stanford Law School and taught separation of powers. He really is very nice and very educated. After teaching the course, he wrote a very good academic book on the subject entitled Separation of Powers in Practice. It is a very fine book, and very specific. I enjoyed reading this book and it gave me a different viewpoint on our Constitution.

Tom will make an excellent Senator. He has worked his whole life to help other people and that is what is important. I think that Tom is a very moderate Republican and a great example of what Republicans can be. He taught at Stanford for many years, served as the Dean of the Business School at Berkeley.

But what is most important is that Tom works hard. He read through my paper on Health Care and Separation of Powers when I was at Stanford Law School almost immediately. He even read through the footnotes. These papers were very long and took considerable attention to work through the issues. What is remarkable is that he treated everyone equally. Liberals and conservatives enjoyed his course because he was so fair.

What I see in life as a physician is that life and kindness are far more important than money and wealth. While we are a market oriented society, we are also a society of innovation and learning. I think that Tom offers the ideal combination of experience and perspective.

This is not to say that Barbara Boxer did not serve us well. Rather, I believe that Tom will serve us better. In the last two years, a great deal has changed and we have to be open minded to listen to moderates from either side of the political spectrum.

Like this comment
Posted by Merrill Linmon Roe
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm


Could you do a blog post on the upcoming race for the House Seat CA-14 currently held by Anna Eshoo (D).

I'd like to get a sense of who is going to run against her.


Like this comment
Posted by PA-Voter
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Hi Paul,
Could you do a blog post on the upcoming race for the Assembly Seat currently held by Ira Ruskin (D)? I just met Rich Gordon and was thoroughly impressed. Have you met him yet?

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