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"Vote Boxer Out!" faced off with "Carly Carly Shame on You!" outside St. Mary's College in Moraga tonight, where Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer will debate Republican rival Carly Fiorina, beginning shortly.

The "'Vote Boxer Out!" side was represented by about 20 people, many with loose affiliations to the conservative tea party movements. They held up signs reading "K.O. Boxer" and "Vote Out Socialist Democrats."

The other side was backed largely by union power -- the California Nurses Association and the Service Employees International Union's janitors wing. Their message: pointing out that Fiorina was ousted as CEO of Hewlett-Packard and "Escucha! Escucha! Estamos en la lucha!"

Lino Pedres, a Sacramento vice president for SEIU, said dozens of janitors came out to protest Fiorina's support for an Arizona law requiring law enforcement there check the legal status of people they suspect of being in the country illegally.

"She's for enforcement of the Arizona law only and not comprehensive immigration reform," Pedres said. "We in the Latino community won't vote for Carly Fiorina."

On the other side of the debate, Benicia resident Kevin Nelson said Fiorina had the business know-how to create jobs.

"I'm here for the retirement party" for Boxer, Nelson said. "The big bash occurs Nov. 2."

Also in the mix were minor party activists criticizing the debate for only featuring the major party candidates.

We can only hope the debate itself will be as lively.


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