The two leading candidates in California's GOP primary for U.S.
Senate on Tuesday defended their past support for certain tax
measures that proved unpopular with voters.
They were making what is likely their final appearance together
before the June 8 primary, participating in a debate on a Southern
California talk radio show.
Former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina defended her
support for a failed California ballot initiative in 2000 that
sought to reduce the voter threshold necessary to pass local school
bonds. Meanwhile, Fiorina questioned former congressman Tom
Campbell about his support last year for temporary tax hikes that
were designed to help California close its massive budget
Fiorina's question came from the third candidate in the race, state
Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who has tried to portray her as someone
with less conservative leanings before she decided to run for
DeVore noted that Fiorina wrote an op-ed column in the San Jose
Mercury News with venture capitalist John Doerr that supported
Proposition 26. The initiative, which was narrowly defeated, would
have allowed a simple majority to approve special taxes for
"Voters may remember that Proposition 26 had broad bipartisan
support, including virtually all of the business community,"
Fiorina said during the debate on the John and Ken Show, KFI-AM in
When DeVore interrupted, Fiorina responded by belittling his
standing in the polls.
"I'm sure it's very frustrating for Chuck DeVore to have so many
conservatives endorse me," said Fiorina, who was supported recently
by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
DeVore said Fiorina's position on Proposition 26 was important
because it gives voters an indication of whether candidates will
follow through on what they say they will do during the course of a
Moments later, Fiorina got a chance to post a similar question to
She asked about his past support for temporary tax hikes imposed
last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state Legislature,
as well as his separate proposal to raise the state gasoline tax by
32 cents a gallon. Campbell, a former finance director under
Schwarzenegger, said the moves were necessary to help California
dig its way out of a budget deficit.
He responded that past California governors, including Ronald
Reagan, had supported tax increases as a way of dealing with a
sudden drop in revenue. He also sa... more