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An Ad Fiorina Should Disavow

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Everytime you think political communication in California can't get any lower, someone pops up -- and dives under the bar.

The latest example of rank dishonesty on the airwaves is this attack on U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer from one of those mysterious independent expenditure committees that don't disclose their donors. (Crossroads GPS is affiliated with President George W. Bush's political advisor Karl Rove.)

The ad attacks Boxer for cutting Medicare, adding the outlandish claim that Boxer is trying to keep seniors out of nursing homes. It's a strange attack, since cutting government programs is the sort of thing conservatives such as Rove support, but this ad isn't about ideas or intellectual honesty. It's about messing with Boxer during her re-election campaign.

The supposed Medicare cuts here were part of the new federal health legislation that expanded coverage to milions of Americans. The attack ad is backwards, since one problem with the legislation, according to any number of independent analysts, is that it doesn't do enough to control the growth of health spending. Essentially, the Republicans behind this are attacking Boxer from the left to benefit Boxer's challenger, Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina would be wise to demand that it be taken off the air. The GOP candidate for Senate has been building a case that is the opposite of this ad in the campaign -- that Boxer is committed to too much federal spending. That's an attack with some basis in fact.

The Republicans should stick to claims that resemble the truth.

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