The US Chamber of Commerce, already committed to spending $75 million to elect pro-corporate candidates this year, is now on the air in California slamming progressive Senator Barbara Boxer. Their new ad, Tom Hamburger of Los Angeles Times writes, “represents a first in this Senate race for the national and state Chamber of Commerce.” The Chamber asserts that Boxer prioritized the protection of an endangered species of fish over supplying water to California’s Central Valley—a line of attack identical to Republican nominee Carly Fiorina’s criticism of Boxer’s handling of water issues.
But the Contra Costa Times found that the right-wing attacks on Senator Boxer to be way off base: “Delta pumps were never turned off last year. They were dialed down, but that was mostly because of dry conditions and not endangered species rules.” In fact, the state Department of Water Resources claims that the permits to save the endangered species from extinction “were responsible for just one-fourth of the shortages last year.” An independent study from Jeffrey Michael of the University of Pacific’s Business Forecasting Center demonstrates that environmental and economic factors, not the Endangered Species Act, are responsible for higher unemployment rates.
By resuscitating erroneous and discredited arguments from agribusiness and conservatives such as Sean Hannity in order to smear Barbara Boxer, the Chamber hopes to replace her with a new Senator beholden to corporate interests.