Stockton Record
July 8, 2010

By Zachary K. Johnson
Record Staff Writer
July 08, 2010 12:00 AM

STOCKTON – On the second day of two-day campaign sweep through California, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer stopped at the Port of Stockton to highlight job-creation projects she supported while speaking to local officials and supporters.

The port location, complete with a ship loading rice for export, provided Boxer with the backdrop to talk about jobs and to take a few shots at her Republican challenger, former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina.

“We have to stop shipping jobs overseas and start shipping goods overseas,” Boxer said. “Before (Fiorina) got fired, she laid off 30,000 workers and shipped their jobs to China.”

First elected to the Senate in 1992, Boxer noted it wouldn’t be an easy ride through the November election.

“This is a tough race, make no mistake about it, but it’s about jobs,” Boxer said on the docks. “And guess who’s on your side?”

Port Commissioner Chairman Steve Herum called Boxer instrumental in bringing a $30million grant to a project to create a marine highway system connecting ports in Stockton, Oakland and West Sacramento that would create jobs while taking big rigs off the roads, reducing traffic and pollution. “There was no stronger advocate for bringing this money to the Central Valley than Senator Boxer,” he said.

Port officials said the project, funded through last year’s $862million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, creates 276 jobs at the Port of Stockton. They also pointed to another stimulus-funded project at the port, a $1 million upgrade to its rail system that would make the port more competitive and created 16 jobs.

Herum and Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston were among the speakers to talk to the small crowd, which included other City Council members and port commissioners who had gathered to see Boxer at the deep-water port.

Before landing at Stockton Metropolitan Airport, Boxer made stops in Monterey, Fresno and Sacramento on Tuesday.

On Monday, she had been to San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. After Stockton, she headed for her final stop in Palo Alto.

Fiorina calls the tour grandstanding.

“While Barbara Boxer parades around California talking about jobs, voters take heed, as this is the same failed senator who promised the $862 billion taxpayer funded stimulus would create 400,000 jobs, yet California has seen over 400,000 jobs lost since its passage,” Andrea Saul, press secretary for Fiorina, wrote in an e-mail. “Carly Fiorina is the only candidate in this race who has actually created jobs, and voters in California will see straight through Barbara-come-lately’s grandstanding.”

Boxer defended her support of the stimulus package, saying that on this tour she has met people in jobs created by the funds. She said she wouldn’t support passing a second economic recovery act, but stimulus could be provided to the private sector through legislation promoting clean energy technology, such as the Electric Vehicles International manufacturing plant near the port.

Making California a hub for clean energy technology is part of her economic recovery plan, she said. “That would unleash hundreds of billions of dollars from the venture capitalists I’ve spoken to.”