Only hours after the first one-on-one presidential slugfest between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton came to an end, Santa Barbara congressional candidates Salud Carbajal and Justin Fareed took to the airwaves to bombard one another with attack ads.
Carbajal’s campaign released a 30-second ad linking Fareed to Donald Trump, charging the 28-year-old Goleta resident was in lockstep with Trump on “opposing a woman’s right to choose” and in calling for an investigation of Planned Parenthood for sale of fetal tissue for profit, as alleged by right-wing guerilla activists. To date, none of those allegations have been substantiated. “Justin Fareed and Donald Trump — their ideas aren’t just dated; they’re dangerous,” Carbajal claimed in his ad. On the Board of Supervisors, Carbajal has been a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood, which — he pointed out — bestowed him the “giraffe” award for elected officials who “stick their necks out.”
Fareed has attacked Carbajal in several of his ads as being “stale,” while touting himself as a fount of “fresh” ideas and energy. Fareed’s campaign spokesperson, Christiana Purves, dismissed Carbajal’s ad as “lies and dirty tricks from the worn-out playbook of career politicians.” Fareed, she said, identifies himself as “pro-life” but also believed there were multiple scenarios in which “a woman, her family, and her doctor” might find “medically or theologically sound” reasons to abort. Likewise, she said the allegations about Planned Parenthood stirred up such confusion that an investigation was required to separate fact from hyperbole.
The National Republican Congressional Committee went on air with a new ad criticizing Carbajal as the ultimate hypocrite when it comes to taxes. Carbajal, the ad noted, has voted to increase sales, income, and property taxes while he and his wife were the focus of three IRS tax liens in the early 1990s, totaling $11,000. “Higher taxes for us, but he doesn’t pay his own fair share,” the ad stated. The Carbajals paid off the three liens in 2000. Two of the tax increases in question were for county sales taxes to cover the costs of freeway widening and other transportation improvements; one was to endorse Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed — and approved by voters statewide in 2012 — tax increase on California’s wealthiest residents.
Carbajal campaign spokesperson Tess Whittlesey obliquely acknowledged the liens, stating, “Salud had to work his way through college and endured tough financial times.” Barb Solish of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added that Trump “bragged during this week’s debate that he doesn’t pay any taxes at all.” Lastly, Carbajal’s campaign stressed that the County of Santa Barbara has posted the largest reserves and highest bond ratings while Carbajal was on the board.
Editor’s Note: This story was corrected on September 29: Justin Fareed lives in Goleta, not Montecito.