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U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches Boxer attack ads

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is dumping more money into the California race for U.S. Senate, airing ads against Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Bakersfield and Fresno.

A new ad titled “Bad with Money” will air in Los Angeles. The ad attacks Boxer for bouncing checks at the House bank in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

“For 28 years, Barbara Boxer’s been bad with our money,” an announcer says as doomy music plays in the background. “Remember when she bounced 143 checks in the congressional bank scandal? One hundred and forty-three bad checks. Now she’s bankrupting the Treasury, voting to add trillions to the national debt, raising taxes, driving away jobs. Twenty-eight years of wasteful spending, 28 years of higher taxes, 28 years of killing jobs. Tell Boxer, ‘Stop killing jobs.’ ”

The Chamber would not say how much it had spent airing that ad, and the group’s public disclosure with the Federal Election Commission was not immediately available.

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Airing in Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento – at a total cost of about $380,000 -- an ad titled “Can’t Work” says Boxer is, “famous for protecting the 3-inch smelt instead of protecting California jobs and farms. She voted to cut water to the Central Valley, killing jobs and driving unemployment as high as 40%.”

The “Bad with Money” ad unearths a decades-old scandal involving 303 then-current and former members of the House of Representatives who had written a combined 24,000-plus overdrafts at the House bank. Boxer, then a member of the House representing Greenbrae, Calif., was among 187 Democrats and 115 Republicans whose overdraft history was identified in a 1992 House Ethics Committee report on what became known as the “House banking scandal.”

The scandal involved many prominent House members from both parties. Former Rep. Dick Cheney overdrafted 25 times and then-House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich overdrafted 22 times. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) had overdrafted 434 times, and Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) overdrafted 99 times.

Also identified in that report was another current Senate candidate, Dan Coats, who served in the House between 1981 and 1989. Now the Republican nominee to replace outgoing Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, Coats had overdrafted three times, the report said. The Chamber has aired ads against Coats’ opponent, Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth.

Boxer’s campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski rebutted the ads.

“Barbara Boxer’s top priority is creating jobs and turning our economy around,” Kapolczynski said. " Carly Fiorina not only personally eliminated 30,000 jobs, she also shipped thousands to countries like China and India – all while taking $100 million in pay and perks. Fiorina would have voted against every major job creation bill proposed since the recession began.”

kgeiger@tribune.com


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