California on the Verge of Going Republican

Growing up in Marin, it feels like Barbara Boxer was always my elected official. As a kid, we had a potholder that said Boxer with a box around the x, back when it only took an x or a check mark to vote for your candidate of choice. That was a long time ago, back when she was running for the county Board of Supervisors. While for the most part she’s held onto a safe seat no matter where she was, this year her job is in serious jeopardy.

Boxer has served as the state’s progressive catch all. Even when I disagreed with her politics, I’ve always felt she was doing what she thought was morally right. When there’s a horribly cold federal bill, I never worry about how California’s senators will come down. There’s no need to call their office because I agree with their positions.

Quietly, while people have been watching Meg Whitman’s campaign (or the World Series), Carly Fiorina has built up an impressive following, with polls showing her trailing Boxer only by a handful of points. It’s not clear if it’s because people want a change or if we’re actually becoming a Republican state.

What’s most surprising is that Fiorina is truly Republican, and not a California Republican who is a fiscal conservative, yet socially progressive. Fiorina has said if she could, she’d overturn Roe. v . Wade. While this isn’t a Supreme Court appointment, if elected, she could seriously impact issues like health care and the environment. She’s equated climate change to concerns about the weather. During a debate last month, Fiorina said she didn’t have a position on Prop. 23, the oil industry-backed ballot measure which could have tremendously detrimental effects on the environment by repealing the state’s emissions reductions law. What is she waiting for? She’s got to vote, herself, doesn’t she?

Our state could have a dramatically different look come September if Fiorina and Whitman prevail. To affect the outcome, you don’t need to work a phone bank or sign a petition, all you need to do is vote.

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