AP reports via CBS4 Denver, Rep. Mike Coffman is campaigning today with former Republican presidential candidate, briefly Ted Cruz’s vice-presidential candidate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina:
Coffman and the former CEO of Hewlett Packard are among the speakers at the Working Women Event & Panel at CSU Global Campus in Greenwood Village…
Organizers say the Coffman and Fiorina event is by invitation only.
Now, beyond the superficial appeal of a high-profile female politician as a campaign surrogate, Fiorina boosting Coffman is consistent with her apparent desire to succeed Reince Preibus as chairman of the Republican National Committee. Fiorina has been spotted recently stumping for a number of Republican candidates around the nation.
The question for local consumption of course is, is Fiorina good for Mike Coffman? As you can imagine, NARAL Pro Choice Colorado doesn’t think so, slamming both Fiorina and Coffman in a strongly-worded statement this morning:
“It’s interesting that Mike Coffman is holding a “business” event with Carly Fiorina, since both of them believe it is government’s business to get between women and their health care decisions,” Middleton said. “Mike Coffman’s voting record clearly shows a pattern of trying to deprive Colorado women of the right to control their own bodies and make their own healthcare choices. He voted to ban abortion. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He even voted to redefine rape to make it harder for survivors to get an abortion. Mike Coffman stands with and behind Donald Trump when it comes to punishing women who have an abortion.
Carly Fiorina is not only anti-choice, she repeatedly lied about Planned Parenthood and then doubled down on the lie when she was called out on it. Neither of them can be trusted to tell the truth on women’s health care.
And as resident of CD 6 myself, I can say that women in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District deserve someone who represents our rights and respects our pro-choice Colorado values. That’s why NARAL Pro-Choice America has endorsed Senator Morgan Carroll to replace Mike Coffman. She is one of us, and we will let voters know who truly stands for them. Keep government out of ‘our business.’”
Still from Rep. Mike Coffman’s 2014 ad using Planned Parenthood’s logo.
Fiorina’s controversial statements about Planned Parenthood during her presidential run, roundly condemned as fabrications which she refused at embarrassing length to disavow, aren’t the only reason why the choice of campaigning with her seems questionable to us. During Fiorina’s tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she presided over huge layoffs and other disruptive changes to that company, which historically employed thousands of workers in Colorado. A 2005 Northern Colorado Business Report story described some of the damage to HP in Colorado under Fiorina:
Fiorina, recruited in 1999 from Lucent Technologies Inc., disrupted the culture of HP, which for decades prided itself on the “HP Way,” a philosophy that promoted innovation, a collegial respect for employees and great value for customers.
Instead, Fiorina implemented the “Fiorina Way,” amassing power in her own hands, laying off tens of thousands of workers, muzzling employees and creating a general climate of angst within the company…
Fiorina proceeded to lay off thousands worldwide. More than that, she consolidated power in her own hands. Recently, when the board promoted a plan to disperse some of that power in three other executives, Fiorina battled back, leading to her departure.
…Layoffs have been plenty in Northern Colorado, but Fiorina’s desire to control everything makes it tough to gauge exactly how many workers have been eliminated. That’s because she has banned public-relations officials from revealing how many employees work at a particular plant. [Pols emphasis]
Fiorina’s tenure as HP’s CEO was frequently used against her as a presidential candidate, but the story was never fully revisited in Colorado largely because her campaign never really became viable. But there are literally thousands of current and former HP employees in Colorado, and among them we fully expect are folks with a particular dislike for their old boss. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them speaking out once they hear she’s in town campaigning for Coffman.
In the context of Coffman’s desire to present himself as a superficially re-invented candidate on a broad range of issues, bringing in Fiorina with all of her baggage is, any way you look at it, counterproductive.