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California and the West | CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS

Rhetoric Grows Sharper as Election Nears

Lungren, Fong blast Democrats Davis and Boxer. Four GOP senators and Clinton pay visits in bid to boost contributions, support.

October 25, 1998|CATHLEEN DECKER and MARK. Z. BARABAK | TIMES POLITICAL WRITERS

"She is a left-wing radical," he said, using some of the strongest language of his campaign. "She has a resume filled with votes that have made life tougher for working families and senior citizens, with tax increase after tax increase."

He also contrasted his service in the Air Force Reserves with Boxer's moves to cut defense spending.

"When it comes to national defense and foreign policy, Barbara Boxer has her head in the sand," he said.

Fong was joined onstage by four other Republican senators, Majority leader Trent Lott of Mississippi, Missouri's John Ashcroft, Jim Jeffords of Vermont and Larry Craig of Idaho. They entertained the crowd with barbershop-quartet tunes, most of them patriotic and one of which--"Little Darling"--was pointedly dedicated to President Clinton with his sex scandal in mind.

Boxer had her own out-of-town visitor in the person of Clinton himself. Two fund-raisers Saturday night in Brentwood and Bel-Air were expected to raise $1 million for Boxer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Another $1 million was due to be raised today for Boxer and California Democrats.

"I believe in her," Clinton said of Boxer at the first Boxer fund-raiser, held at the home of director James Brooks. "I believe in the depth of her passion and the purity of her heart. I believe in the quality of her service."

When he encouraged the entertainment industry-laden crowd to vote, calling the election "a big deal," Boxer jumped to her feet and said "Yes, it is!"

Clinton, in making the case for Boxer, said her continued presence in the Senate would help him pass legislation governing areas such as education, HMO reform and the environment--not incidentally the issues Boxer has pressed against Fong. Boxer returned the favor with effusive praise.

"It's hard to even put into words the job he's done," she said as she introduced Clinton.

Decker reported from Costa Mesa and Barabak from Long Beach. Times staff writers James Gerstenzang, Richard Marosi and Tony Perry contributed to this report.

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