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Local Democrats Call Out Fiorina on Schools

Art Torres at anti-Fiorina rally
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Art Torres at anti-Fiorina rally
Jobs creation and funding for schools are focus at morning rally in San Francisco

Supporters of Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer are taking aim at Repubican candidate Carly Fiorina’s record as CEO of Hewlett Packard and her stance on a multibillion-dollar jobs bill recently signed into law by President Barack Obama.

At an event Monday morning outside Sherman Elementary School on San Francisco’s Union Street, former California Democratic Party chief Art Torres, flanked by teachers, parents and students, said he wanted to “highlight Carly Fiorina’s wiliness to protect tax breaks of companies sending jobs overseas rather than protecting teaching jobs here at home.”

This is “hardly surprising,” Torres said, given Fiorina laid off laid off more than 30,000 workers when she was CEO of Hewlett Packard.

Teachers and parents who attended the press conference said they came out because they’re worried about what will happen to public schools if Fiorina is elected.

Fiorina has called the jobs bill Obama signed in August “disgraceful” because it would run up the deficit.

The National Education Association estimates that the jobs bill has saved nearly 2,000 education jobs in the Bay Area.

And even with that help, the parents who gathered in front of Sherman Elementary noted that the San Francisco Unified School District still faces a $113 million deficit.

Lisa Hoyos, whose 5-year-old son Kai is a kindergardner at Flynn Elementary in the Mission District, said that in order to save the library staff, the school had to “zero out expenses” on everything else, from textbooks to janitorial supplies.

Claire Watsky, the librarian at Sherman Elementary, criticized Fiorina for wanting to run government more like a business.

“There are some things that have to be funded by taxes for the public good” she said, “like public schools, public libraries and public transportation.”

Local PTA leaders who attended the press conference said teacher layoffs have been prevented at Sherman because parents have come up with more than $300,000 to help the school over the last year.

“Not all communities are this affluent or this lucky,” Watsky said.

In response to e-mailed questions, Fiorina spokesperson Andrea Saul declined to defend her candidates opposition to the jobs bill or the layoffs she oversaw as CEO of Hewlett Packard.

Instead, Saul focused on Democrat Barbara Boxer, who is running for her fourth term in the Senate.

“Barbara Boxer’s out-of touch policies of outrageous taxes and impossible regulations have helped kill more than 400,000 jobs in California despite her promising the exact opposite,” she said.

Saul also reiterated statements, made first by Fiorina last week, that Boxer is a hypocrite for criticizing the former HP executive for laying off tens of thousands of workers when Boxer accepts campaign contributions from a host of companies who have engaged in outsourcing.

“It is the height of election-year hypocrisy for Barbara Boxer to attack Carly for making the tough decisions many American companies are being forced to make while Boxer extends her hand and happily accepts the same companies’ cash,” Saul said.

The latest Rasmussen Poll on the race, released October 3, puts Boxer and Fiorina in a dead heat. The poll shows Boxer at 49 percent and Fiorina at 45 percent. The the poll’s margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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