Fiorina slams stimulus, focuses on jobs


SACRAMENTO, Calif. | Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is kicking off her general election campaign by slamming the $862 billion federal stimulus package that was supported by her opponent, Democrat Barbara Boxer.

This week, she made stops at a window-making plant near Fresno and an electrical contractor in Sacramento. It turns out that both had ties to the stimulus money – one advertising that customers could receive energy tax credits, the other receiving a big-dollar subcontract through the stimulus program.

There was another California business that also profited from the stimulus plan, one closer to Mrs. Fiorina’s personal story.

Federal data analyzed by the Associated Press show that Hewlett-Packard Co., where Mrs. Fiorina was chief executive from 1999 to 2005, has been paid $22.5 million so far in stimulus money distributed to cities, school districts, hospitals and universities across the country.

They in turn used the money to buy computers, laptops, servers and other equipment from the Silicon Valley computer giant that provided much of Mrs. Fiorina’s personal wealth.

The purchases were over the past year, long after Mrs. Fiorina left the company, but they illustrate the kind of benefit to private industry that Mrs. Fiorina says has been missing from the stimulus program.

Mrs. Fiorina refused to back down from her position that the federal stimulus program has done too little to create private-sector jobs.

“If you’re a business owner and there are stimulus dollars that might help your customers buy more of your product or help you, of course you’re going to accept the stimulus dollars,” she said Thursday to reporters during a campaign stop in Sacramento. “But that is not an argument that the stimulus package has worked. In fact, the stimulus package clearly, factually, manifestly, has failed because people are losing their jobs for every single dollar that’s out there.”

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