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NYC mosque issue seeps into CA Senate race

August 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The debate over the planned mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero has entered California's U.S. Senate race.GOP challenger Carly Fiorina made it clear at a Sacramento appearance that it should be moved because it isn't about religious freedom, it's about being sensitive to families who lost someone on Sept.11.

"Now would be a time for the proponents of that mosque to withdraw and say the will find someplace else, where their objectives can be met instead of continuing to inflame the passions of the people who lost and suffered so much," Fiorina said.

While President Barack Obama has said this is about religious freedom and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the mosque should be moved, incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer refuses to delve into the controversy.

"I'm going to speak as a former government official at the local level," Boxer said. "That is a zoning decision, and that decision has to be made by the city of New York."

Boxer and Fiorina also sparred on jobs, differing on how to solve the state's high unemployment rate.

Boxer toured Capstone Turbine in Chatsworth, which received a $5 million federal grant to develop low-emission microturbine systems.

"With tax incentives and measures to get credit flowing again on Main Street, we will create jobs and get California's economy back on track," Boxer said.

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO said government programs don't work.

"When the stimulus bill was passed, our unemployment rate was 10.2 percent," Fiorina said. "Our unemployment rate now is 12.3 percent."


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