Senator Barbara Boxer at Santa Barbara Adventure Company headquarters
Paul Wellman

As part of her campaign for reelection, Senator Barbara Boxer stopped by Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s headquarters on Wednesday and spoke to media members about her plans for the Golden State should voters decide to usher her back into office.

Choosing the site because of its alignment with her campaign platform — Boxer promises to help small business stay in the black during these financially trying times, and says she wants to preserve California’s ecologically sensitive coastline — the senator’s team chose Santa Barbara Adventure Company because it’s growing despite the downturn economy, and is in the business of allowing everyday folks to enjoy the coast’s natural beauty. She made the stop as part of a statewide tour, and visited Vandenberg later in the afternoon.

During her previous campaign stop in Santa Barbara, Boxer — who’s running for a fourth term — said she’d back policies to develop the green energy industry, increase government spending on transportation, and place sanctions against companies that export jobs.

Boxer has argued that her Republican opponent, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, has a track record of voting against legislation that would support small businesses, and said she’s a proponent of offshore oil drilling in the name of U.S. energy independence. Boxer, by contrast, opposes any new offshore drilling in California and was at the forefront of the fight for an extended moratorium.

A healthy tourism industry and an equally healthful ocean is what’s needed for California, said Boxer on Wednesday, and Fiorina — who was endorsed by Sarah Palin — simply does not have those best interests in mind. Boxer has criticized Fiorina in the past for embracing Bush era economic policies, including tax cuts for the wealthy and light regulation on the financial services industry.

Fiorina’s press secretary, Andrea Saul, had this to say after the press conference: “Despite her election year politicking, since going to Washington nearly three decades ago, Barbara Boxer has shown she is no friend of small business. Barbara Boxer has consistently made it harder — not easier — for companies to do business in the United States by voting for more than $1 trillion in higher taxes, including against much-needed tax relief for small businesses, and onerous regulations on these job creators, making it harder and costlier for them to do business and to hire workers.”

Senator Barbara Boxer and Santa Barbara Adventure Company's Mike Cohen
Paul Wellman

Santa Barbara Adventure Company owner and director Mike Cohen said Boxer was a great guest, happily touring the company’s digs and chatting with employees. Cohen said his business was fortunate to be featured as a budding venture growing in the midst of a recession, saying that it recently hired six new seasonal guides and two fulltime office staff members. And their offered trips — which include kayaking, surfing, mountain biking, paragliding, and others — are as popular as ever.

“It was an honor to have her,” said Cohen. “She was very personable.” Cohen said he tried to get Boxer into a life jacket, but she respectfully declined.


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