Tag Archives: Carly Fiorina

Follow The Money — It’s All About The Self-Interest

This post originally appeared at Speak Out California

Much is finally being written about the money behind the candidates as well as the initiatives these days. Finally I say because money buys word-smithing and that buys people’s hearts and minds. Not that the ideas propelling the candidates and ballot measures couldn’t do that on their merits, but it’s the money that motivates these self-serving people/corporations. Money pays for the glib sound-bites that become the message and the PR firms that then shape the opinions and alas, the votes of an often unsuspecting electorate.

With all the money being poured into our elections this year, and the misdirection of the voters, it is not hard to understand that the Republicans are poised to recoup most, if not all of their lost gains from the 2008 election that catapulted Barack Obama and the Democrats into power. What IS hard to understand, is how the American people are looking to these very same people, with the very same ideas that put our communities, our state, our nation and even the world on the brink of economic disaster.

I was confounded again today, listening to Mitt Romney, of all people, disparaging the Democrats view of economics; if Romney and his buddies had had their way, the world would have collapsed into depression after the Bush policies of less oversight, greater private enterprise without accountability and all the other disastrous approaches to prosperity and opportunity that accompanied the Gingrich, Bush and Cheney years. One disaster after another:

  • Iraq
  • Wall Street
  • Housing collapse
  • High unemployment
  • Out-sourcing jobs to China and Asia
  • Huge deficits
  • Afghanistan
  • Guantanemo and the loss of civil liberties.

The list truly goes on and on, yet with the incredible chutzpah of arrogant, wealthy, deceitful, expediency-driven people like Mitt and the Koch brothers, we’re seeing the resurrection of the failed policies that President Obama so aptly expressed as the “guys who drove the car into the ditch”. As he pointed out, now they’re asking for the keys back. What the President was slow in realizing (or maybe does now), is that there may be enough Americans willing to do just that!

Back to the Koch Boys ……. these multi-gazillionaires born into extraordinary privilege, with no moral compass, have dumped millions into California for purposes of realizing their libertarian, polluting, anti-worker dispositions to assure that their climate threatening, dirty air creating industries continue to pollute our air and risk the future of our health and our planet. They’ve found a willing ally, it seems, in Carly Fiorina—who probably wishes she could be them—if only she knew how.  (See Fiorina’s billionaire backers in today’s LA Times.)

While a recent study named Koch Industries one of the top 10 air polluters in the United States, and they have been cited by organizations that monitor employment practices as “m>one of the most ruthless exporters of American manufacturing jobs to foreign countries”, Carly earned the distinction of being one of the country’s top twenty WORST CEO’s of all time. So they do have a lot in common–and are in sync on both opposing our critically important model air-quality legislation which also creates hundreds of thousands of green jobs for Californians (many of which have already begun) and in off-shoring American jobs.

It is important in politics to go beyond the rhetoric to who is funding what and why. Once the fluff and hype is dissected, the real story of a ballot measure or candidate’s expected behavior can be identified. With all the polling, focus-groups and testing of “messages”, the public tends to be inundated with language designed to bamboozle, not educate. This makes following the money trail all the more important.

In the case of the Koch Brothers, their millions have been funding the “tea party” and major Republican candidates nationwide. They’ve also put millions into Yes on Prop 23, along with two Texas oil companies that believe they should be able to force us to breathe dirty air.

While truth has never been of concern to the Libertarian, filthy air producing Koch boys (I will not make any comment about any possible racism or bigotry they may have inherited from their father who was one of the original members of the John Birch Society), they have gotten solidly behind Carly and Prop 23. Those facts, alone, should be enough to make sure we say NO to both Fiorina and Prop. 23. While they may have tons of money, once you follow it, you see that it leads straight into a self-serving stew of pollution and greed.

We can do better— a lot better!

Boxer Opens Small Lead

4Yesterday, we got the Field Poll’s take on the Governor’s race, and today we get the state of the Senate race.  While there wasn’t any major movement in the head to head, Sen. Boxer picked up 3 points to open a 47-41 lead, there were some other interesting statistics.

First, as you would expect, both candidates are doing similarly well within their own party, hovering in the upper 70s.  But while nonpartisans are split at the Governor level, Boxer holds a 6 point lead here, 46-40.  

But what is worth noting is that while Carly Fiorina hasn’t really inspired anybody, Sen. Boxer gets people moving one way or the other.  2/3 of her supporters are voting for her, for her.  Meanwhile, over 60% of Carly’s supporters are motivated by their dislike for the incumbent.  In California, Boxer has been an occasional lightening rod, but one thing that you can say for her is that she has the support of the grassroots base.  What is expected and nurtured in the Republican party, is typically shunned within the Democratic Party.  But Senator Boxer embraces the grassroots. She supports marriage equality, and has worked passionately for years on the climate crisis.  She is giving Democrats something to fight for.

Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina’s unfavorables continue to rise. Since July she has hovered at 34% positive, but her unfavorables have grown from 29 to 38.  There is still a lot of room for growth with 28% undecided, but California voters have not liked what they have heard about the failed CEO of Hewlett-Packard.  

The Bee has a pretty picture of much of this data here.

Will Whitman Join Prop 23’s Climate Zombie Supporters?

Call me shocked, just shocked to find that there’s gambling with California’s future in this election.  

The state legislator responsible for placing Proposition 23, the anti-climate measure, on the ballot is…a climate zombie.  And one of Proposition 23’s out of state dirty energy supporters, Koch Industries, Patient Zero of the climate zombie infection is holding a fundraiser Thursday night for climate zombie Senate wannabe Carly Fiorina.

WWMWD?  Will Meg Whitman endorse Proposition 23 and its oil-soaked supporters, or will she join the forward-thinking California businesses who urge a no vote?  

Proposition 23 seeks to “suspend” AB32, California’s landmark global warming law, until the Twelfth of Never unemployment reaches 5.5% for four quarters.  Proposition 23’s money is coming almost exclusively from out of state oil interests such as Valero Energy, Tesoro Energy, and Koch Industries.  As a proxy for a national climate fight, the initiative is drawing national attention. A Koch-funded astroturf group, Americans for Prosperity, calls Proposition 23 our highest priority.

Officially, Proposition 23 is the product of Dan Logue, a Republican member of the state assembly.  Logue thinks global warming could be a scam.  At a debate last week, he sidestepped questions whether global warming is caused by humans, then noted that he has a book where 31,000 scientists say climate change is not caused by humans.  (This is probably a reference to the infamous Oregon Petition allegedly signed by 31,000 trained monkeys climate scientists who deny science.) He doesn’t know of one person who died of carbon emissions — and who do you believe, him or the American Lung Association?

Stupid went viral and infected Logue.  He’s one of the climate zombies of the new GOP — Republicans who deny climate science.  He’s also a back-bencher who will have very little impact on California politics if Proposition 23 fails.  Far more high-profile is fellow climate zombie Carly Fiorina.

Not sure whether Fiorina is a climate zombie?  Listen:

As a true climate zombie, Fiorina flaunts her corporate ties.  Koch is one of two corporate sponsors of a fundraiser Thursday night.  (The other is a plastic surgeons’ PAC — no misogynistic/ageist jokes, please.)  All it takes to join her at an exclusive sponsor/host VIP reception is $5,000.  A certain amount of avarice-fueled stupid won’t hurt.

All eyes now turn to Meg Whitman, who would have signed AB32 in 2006, but would veto AB32 in 2010nothing like a little decisiveness in a chief executive, eh?  Will she join Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Shultz, and San Diego City Mayor Jerry Sanders, or Republicans like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell?  Will she side with Texas oil businesses or the big businesses defending California’s climate regulations?

Governors, Senators, and low-level state legislators may come and go, but the effects of Proposition 23 — whether it passes or fails — will echo in California and the nation for years.  Our choice is stark: build the clean technology future or burn the planet, leaving it fit for habitation only by the undead.

Full disclosure: as an unpaid volunteer, I wrote the No on Prop 23 for the California Democratic Party’s cool new website.  All opinions are my own.

Carly Fiorina: Fueled by Tea and Koch

Carly inviteWhile Meg Whitman was hobnobbing with Condi, Carly Fiorina is getting ready to do a big fundraiser in DC tomorrow.  It’s being headlined by that Tremendous Trio of Senators McConnell, Cornyn and Kyl.  What a bunch.  But the more interesting message comes on that left hand column, where just near the bottom comes “Koch Industries PAC.”  More from Talking Points Memo:

Republican Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina will attend a high-dollar fundraiser Thursday night that includes Koch Industries PAC, a conservative megadonor that has been the subject of some high-profile magazine pieces of late.

The Koch brothers have become conservative super-villains for Democrats this year, igniting Democrats in the same way George Soros’ spending on liberal causes enrages the right. … Koch has a storied history. TPM has followed the brothers’ involvement in funding tea party groups, among other conservative causes.

The New Yorker recently published a 6,000-word exposé detailing the Koch brothers Charles Koch and David Koch and their involvement in conservative causes aiming to defeat President Obama and his agenda. The latest iteration comes as Koch spars with the White House over corporate donations.  In addition to their role in the conservative movement, Koch Industries has long been pegged as a top outsourcer.(Talking Points Memo)

Is there any doubt about Carly Fiorina left. She favors Prop 23, and decimating our climate regulations. She is in the pocket of the Tea Party funders and Big Coal. She wants to overturn Roe v. Wade.  She is a fan of “right-shoring” American jobs oversees, and will continue to favor and advocate for that. Oh, and yeah, she was fired for poor performance at HP.

California, Carly Fiorina is unqualified, and all wrong on all the issues.

Boxer’s Hard-hitting Carly HP Ad

Even your standard right-wing Carly fan has to accept one thing, they are going to spend the next 6+ weeks trying to defend the record of a failed CEO.  Over the flip you’ll find a long listing of remarks, mostly from right-wing business types about just how bad she really was. I’ll skip past much of the list of ranking her in the top 10 or top 20 worst CEOs of all time, to something said in a book by Steve Forbes:

“Examples of business leaders who rise to the heights of corporate power only to be brought down by their egos include Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of Tyco, and Carly Fiorina, former head of Hewlett-Packard.” – Steve Forbes and John Prevas, Power Ambition Glory, Crown Business, 2009, page 7

This is a CEO who, in the words of another right-wing Republican in the form of a former GOP presidential candidate, was too ego-driven to successfully run a company.  She was a great self-promoter, but not so much on the actually getting the job done at HP thing. The board hated her, after all she was spying on some of them.  The employees hated her, she laid off thousands of them, so no surprise there. And, oh yeah, the stock value of HP halved while she was the CEO.

Certainly we can agree that the last thing California needs is somebody too concerned about their own ego to focus on the very real problems we have to deal with today.

And this ad by Senator Boxer does nothing other than turning a mirror on Carly Fiorina’s career.  She’s running as the former CEO of HP, so she has to face those facts.  She was fired as CEO, and as David W. Packard, a son of one of the founders of HP, said, nobody has hired her since.

Let’s not let Carly Fiorina use the Senate as a rebound gig.

“Let’s not forget that the HP board fired Fiorina  early in 2005, and no company has hired her since.” – David W. Packard, former HP board member and son of HP founder Dave Packard (San Jose Mercury News, “Opinion: Neither of HP’s founders would have endorsed Fiorina,” April 22, 2010)

“…Carly Fiorina was a failure at Hewlett-Packard.” – Michael S. Malone, ABCNews.com columnist and former Hewlett-Packard employee (ABC News/Money, “Carly Fiorina’s HP Legacy,” October 10, 2006)

“Fiorina’s reign at H-P…makes a great case study of exactly what not to do.” – TheStreet.com, “The Nation’s Worst CEOs,” June 10, 2004

“[H-P’s board members] lost faith in Carly…It is difficult to find anyone involved with H-P today — board member, shareholder, employee, customer, analyst — who isn’t happy that Ms. Fiorina is gone…” – Wall Street Journal, “H-P lost faith in Carly, but not in merger,” May 24, 2006

“Fiorina was bad.  Everyone seems to agree on this now… All in all, our judges seem to think Fiorina should win [the ‘Worst Tech CEO’ title].” – USA Today, “Can Fiorina trump competition for ‘worst tech CEO’ title?” February 16, 2005

“[Fiorina is] the worst because of her ruthless attack on the essence of this great company.  She destroyed half the wealth of her investors and yet still earned almost $100 million in total payments for this destructive reign of terror.” – Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale University (USA Today, “Can Fiorina trump competition for ‘worst tech CEO’ title?” February 16, 2005)

“Mass layoffs were announced at a time when we began to hear tales of lavish corporate jets and personal grooming assistants, and engineers were rumbling that they were being pushed out of decision making.  And then came Compaq…Finally the board had enough.  The value of the company had halved, staff were demoralized and sales were still not up to scratch.  Fiorina refused to resign so they gave her the boot, with a suitably huge payout.” – V3.co.uk, “Top 10 worst chief executives,” November 22, 2008

“A consummate self-promoter, Fiorina was busy pontificating on the lecture circuit and posing for magazine covers while her company floundered.” – CNBC Portfolio.com, “The Worst American CEOs of All Time,” April 30, 2009

“Examples of business leaders who rise to the heights of corporate power only to be brought down by their egos include Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of Tyco, and Carly Fiorina, former head of Hewlett-Packard.” – Steve Forbes and John Prevas, Power Ambition Glory, Crown Business, 2009, page 7

Who can prevent another 1994? Women voters

by EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock

When I first heard that this would be the “year of the woman” in politics, naturally my ears perked up. I welcomed the Republican women running – gender should be no barrier to leadership. But it was what these candidates stand for that concerns me: simply put, some of the very worst ideas and ideals in our country. Repealing health care reform. Privatizing social security. Taking away reproductive rights. And shipping jobs overseas.

But that’s just the beginning: they talk about being constitutional conservatives, but it turns out they just want to scrap the parts they don’t like. They stand with BP in the wake of the gulf disaster, and they say that unemployment insurance is unconstitutional. This isn’t about partisanship-these candidates are too extreme for any party. And what they all have in common? One Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin predicts a rising tide of women voters, but we know that the rising tide of women voters this year want more opportunity for their children, more stability for their families, more accountability for Wall Street. None of that is on the agenda of Sarah Palin or her candidates like Carly Fiorina. Carly laid off tens of thousands of people, many of them families right here in California. Carly, like Sarah Palin, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending decades long independence for women, turning back the clock on our reproductive freedom and criminalizing doctors.

Like Sarah Palin, Carly sees no value in health care reform. She opposes pragmatic efforts to reduce pollution. She dismisses the significant threat of global warming. Carly called offshore drilling extremely safe-even after the BP disaster. Heck, she wants to drill right off your coast here, in California. That is the kind of radical agenda that California, and the nation, cannot tolerate.

Check out our latest video – featuring residents of California – talking about Carly Fiorina and Sarah Palin’s radical agenda.

In 1994, 16 million women stayed home from the polls – and we know what happened then. There is no time to waste. Replacing Barbara Boxer in the Senate with radical, right-wing Carly Fiorina would have devastating consequences for California, for the country, and for women in communities near and far. We need to build relentless momentum leading up to election day so that women in California know who Carly Fiorina is – and know that, like Sarah Palin, Carly Fiorina does not speak for them.

We’re proud to be working with individuals and partners throughout California on California Women Vote – we’ll be doing cutting edge research and communicating on television, in the mail, and person-to-person – ensuring that women voters know the truth about Carly’s record and her radical agenda.

This is not going to be 1994. We are not going to wake up on Wednesday, November 3rd knowing that we lost champions like Barbara Boxer because 16 million of us stayed home. We’ve got to put our shoulders to the wheel together to make sure that women – and men! – who reject the extreme radicalism of Carly Fiorina and Sarah Palin go the polls  on Election Day. Because there is no second chance here.

Carly Fiorina’s Tea Party Rally in Marin County

PhotobucketCarly Fiorina is the guest of honor at a tea party rally today in Marin. While she has apparently closed the event to the press, it is open to the public!  And it is free!  So, come one, come all, and learn about Carly’s plans for mocking climate change, and her support for overturning Roe v Wade.  And you know, bring your cell phones, flip cameras, audio recording devices.  Now, I’m not telling you to break any rules, but you know, it is a public event and everything.

Of course, Carly is trying to play both sides of the tea party coin, by officially closing the event to press:

Just when we were wondering what  — if any role — the Tea Party would play in statewide California races this fall we hear that US Senate candidate Carly Fiorina will be meeting with Tea Party grassrootsers and GOPers at noon Friday in Mill Valley at the Mill Valley Community Center.

Billed in the invite as “your opportunity to hear Carly speak and get your questions answered!” it’s sponsored by the Bay Area Patriots and San Francisco Tea Party, the Marin GOP and Novato Republican Women, Federated.

We’d love to tell you about it, but it is billed as “open to the public — closed to the press.” What’s up with that? Not very transparent, which is what the TP wants of government, no?(SF Gate)

Ooh, and you can buy a delicious turkey sandwich for $10! If you are near Mill Valley, definitely stop by.

Carly Fiorina’s Trip to Israel As a Means to Expunging Her Record on Iran

Carly Fiorina made a pilgrimage to the land of my people this weekend, certainly an interesting development with just over eight weeks left in the campaign.  (By the way, L’shanah tova!)

For the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, what happens in the Holy Land, apparently stays in the Holy Land. Fiorina had told an Israeli business magazine  that she wanted to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. But there hasn’t been a peep out of the Israeli press about any meeting between Fiorina and top officials in Israel.

Nor is Fiorina’s campaign saying bupkis about the getaway. A campaign spokeswoman says, “This was a personal trip for Carly, so it had nothing to do with the campaign.”

Over at the Republican Jewish Coalition, which was approached by Fiorina to arrange and fund the trip, they didn’t see anything campaign-like in the visit.(Daily Beast)

So, why exactly did she decide to take a vacation that is half a world away. It’s not like there aren’t relaxing vacation spots in the Golden State where she could get away and do a bit of relaxation.  But contrary to Fiorina’s campaign, this was completely about the senate race.  It is especially hard to argue otherwise when she asked the Republican Jewish Coalition to pay for it.  It’s not like she doesn’t have enough money to pay for a couple of first class tickets to Ben Gurion airport.

But while there is part of the typical foreign policy education component here, with Carly there is the question of her sales to Iran hanging over the whole foreign policy debate.  While Carly likes to claim that she had no knowledge of the Iranian sales, she was either purposefully sticking her head in the sand in order to get the money from Iranian sales or she was a terrible CEO who didn’t know what her company was doing.  As Chuck DeVore pointed out in the primary, there are simply too many questions here left unanswered.

I hope that Ms. Fiorina’s trip to Israel is a safe and enjoyable visit, but a few days in Jerusalem hardly changes her record in the Middle East.  Over the flip find a letter from several Jewish leaders in Los Angeles regarding her trip.

Carly Fiorina for Senate

915 L Street, Suite C-378

Sacramento, CA 95814

September 7, 2010

Ms. Fiorina:

On behalf of CEO Watch, we are excited that you have agreed to make an educational visit to Israel. Israel is one of America’s strongest allies in the world and we hope that you go with an open mind so you can avail yourself of the many lessons you will have before you.

However, we have learned about your behavior when you were CEO of Hewlett-Packard, which we find very troubling. Over the course of the few years you ran HP before you were fired, a HP subsidiary sold equipment to Iran. According to the State Department, Iran is a state sponsor of Hamas, Hizballah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad; those terrorist groups are targeting the State of Israel.

According to news accounts, this subsidiary was started with the sole purpose of selling HP products to Iran, and you awarded this subsidiary “Wholesaler of the Year” in 2003. Earlier this year, when your behavior was reported in newspapers, your former company HP acknowledged that some of its equipment may be in use by the Iranian military. HP has now severed its relationship with this subsidiary company. During the time you were selling equipment to this state sponsor of terrorism, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called “for the destruction of Israel, describing it as a ‘cancerous tumor’ in the Middle East,” according to Reuters.

Your decision to do business with Iran has undermined Israel’s security and important US trade sanctions. We hope you can apologize in Israel for your deplorable behavior. With the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days and peace talk resuming in Washington, we hope you will join us on the journey of real peace and security in all of the Middle East.

Safe travels,

Rabbi Steven Jacobs

Recipient of Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award, Executive Board Member of Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Founder of Progressive Faith Foundation

Rabbi Jonathan Klein

Los Angeles

Rabbi Linda Bertenthal

Managing Congregational Representative, West District

Union for Reform Judaism

Howard Welinsky

Former Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation, Los Angeles

Andrew Lachman

Los Angeles Jewish Federation, Young Leaders Division and Jewish Community Relations Committee

Ron Galperin

Cantor, Los Angeles

All Tied Up

There is a lot of work to do between now and November 2, but right now we are pretty much looking at an even  race:

 It's too close to call in California's Senate and gubernatorial battles, according to a new poll.

A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that Sen. Barbara Boxer holds a 48 percent to 44 percent margin over her Republican challenger, Carly Fiorina, but Boxer's 4-point advantage is within the poll's sampling error. Five percent of people questioned say if the general election were held today they'd vote for neither candidate and three percent were undecided. (CNN) Full results (pdf)

 Care to see a 1990s style witch hunt against the administration? Well, you are set for a fun ride.  Otherwise, it's time to get in gear and work for the Democratic ticket.

Psssttt, Carly Supports Prop 23, Opposes AB 32

At the debate last night, moderator and KTVU political editor Randy Shandobil got frustrated with Fiorina’s evasive answers on Prop 23.  Apparently the other reporters at the post-debate press conference were getting pretty frustrated with the situation as well.

Well folks, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Carly Fiorina supports Prop 23 and the death of AB 32.  She said as much in the debate. When she evaded the answer, she said specifically that it would “make sense to suspend it” or something to that effect.  Ladies and germs, that is what Prop 23 is arguing that they want to do.  Not sure how much more clear it can be made. She can hem and haw all she wants, but she can’t jujitsu this one.  She opposes Prop 23, but doesn’t want to say as much because that will turn off environmentally minded voters and signal that she isn’t some sort of moderate that she is trying to play.

Nope, Carly Fiorina is just another short-sighted CEO who couldn’t even manage the short-sighted goals of increasing stock value at HP.  She likes to posture, even going so far as hiding her impressive educational resume to build up her “rags to riches” street cred.  But, California voters can see through these charades.