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Posts Tagged ‘Christine O’Donnell’



Babs Goes Negative (Big Time) on Carly; Flack Notes

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Barbara Boxer unleashed a forceful attack on Carly Fiorina on Thursday – a purely negative ad noting that, as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, the Republican nominee for Senate laid off 30,000 workers, shipped jobs to China, tripled her own salary, bought a million-dollar yacht and five corporate jets.

Kaboom. That’s nasty. Especially because the charges are based in fact and the star of the ad is Hurricane Carly herself, defending the “massive layoffs” she implemented at H-P. And the kicker slogan is killer: “Carly Fiorina – outsourcing jobs, out for herself.”

You can’t get too much more negative than that, unless you were to accuse her of personally stealing Christmas from the crippled children of jobless workers.

But as Calbuzz always says: an election is not a tea party. Negative is fair, if it’s true.

And the Babs campaign backed up the charges in the ad with clips, like this quote from Fiorina from Information Week 10/16/06:

When we combined the R&D budgets of HP and Compaq, we didn’t have to have two R&D teams working on industry standard servers, for instance.  We could have one. That’s why the merger was such a great idea.  We could decrease the cost structure by billions and billions of dollars.  In the course of my time there, we laid off over 30,000 people.  That’s why I understand where the anger came from.

Fiorina’s head didn’t exactly explode. But her spokeshuman called the ad “baseless, personal and deceptive” and the campaign sent out a letter to supporters seeking urgent contributions to respond. Said the appeal:  “I need your help to set the record straight. Your immediate donation will help our campaign get up on the airwaves to hold Boxer accountable for her abysmal record.”

For reporters, the Fiorina campaign sent out an exhaustive “fact check” e-mail arguing:

1. During Fiorina’s tenure as CEO, H-P’s workforce increased to more than 145,000 from 84,400.
2. After she left, CEO Mark Hurd laid off another 40,000 workers.
3. While she was CEO, H-P’s revenues grew to $86.7 billion from $42.4 billion.
4. H-P is a stronger company today because of what Fiorina did as CEO.
5. Boxer has taken large campaign contributions from companies that shipped jobs overseas.

All of which raises the question, “So what?” Because the charge – backed up by Fiorina’s own statement – is that she laid off 30,000 workers. And she shipped jobs to China, etc.

Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski would not tell Calbuzz how much money they’re putting behind the ad, which is scheduled to run in markets throughout the state. “The Outsourcing ad is in rotation with the Made in America ad.  We’ll run them together for as long as needed to reach our target audience,” Rose said.

With the increased stakes in controlling the U.S. Senate from the Tea Party victory of anti-masturbation advocate Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Republican Primary, our guess is the Boxer hit on Fiorina will get some serious air time. At least until the Fiorina-would-overturn-Roe v Wade ad comes up in rotation.

Fun with flacks: Along with toll taker and industrial paint drying time assessor, the most boring job in the world has got to be working as a spokeshuman for Meg Whitman, and we mean that in the nicest possible way, and with no offense intended to the Volcanic Pompei, Million Dollar Mary Anne or Dependable Darrel.

But really: day after day after day rolling out the heaavvy robo-recitations of “she is endorsing Meg because she believes Meg is the best person to create jobs and fight for every area of the state” and “this is the latest example of problems Jerry Brown is having shoring up his base” and “adoring crowds of Indio residents, delirious with joy, rended their hearts and their garments as they greeted Meg with chants of “Meg’s Plan! Meg’s Plan! Meg’s Plan!” Sheesh.

Which is why Calbuzz was so pleased by one of the dozen or so daily missives from Meg Com that landed in our mail box Thursday, linking to a video which not only contained humor (!) and a light touch (!!) – but also bore unmistakable signs of irony (!!!) as well.

Sent out by Andrea Jones Rivera, deputy under assistant junior vice president for eMeg’s  “Media Memo,” it made the quite piquant observation that Jerry Brown’s latest ad – in which he boasts “I’m not going to give you any phony plans or snappy slogans” – is actually jam-packed full of focus group-friendly, time tested hoary platitudes:

It won’t take playing the soundtrack backwards and at half speed to see that the same ad where he decries “snappy slogans” has 7 of them by our count. Take a look for yourself.

Snappy Slogans in Jerry’s new ad (7)
· tough decisions
· live within our means
· power from the state capital and move it down to the local level
· closer to the people
· no new taxes without voter approval
· pull together
· As Californians first.

Well done, Amusing Andrea – more like that. And tell the rest of that crowd  in the communications shop to lighten up a little, too, willya?

Speaking of flack humor: Pretty good mash-up tweaking Meg by Jerry Kid’s.

eMeg: $203,767 Per Day; Brown’s Budget Record

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

As Governor Schwarz- muscle and the Legislature grow ever closer to California’s all-time Belated Budget Record, Jerry Brown keeps promising he can do better in getting a state spending plan approved in a timely fashion.

Krusty basically says he’ll jump into the budget briar patch moments after being elected, lock Democrats and Republicans in a room and then just turn on the charm, a strategy that draws cackles of derision from GOP rival Meg Whitman, who says his record on the matter during his first turn as governor belies his promise. As she recently put it:

The best indication of the future is what you have done in the past, and seven out of eight of Jerry Brown’s budgets were late.

Inspired by the fact-checking exploits of Brooks Jackson, we set out to test the veracity of eMeg’s charge; well, to be more precise, we dispatched Calbuzz intern Emily DeRuy, a UC San Diego honors grad, to do the heavy factoid analyzing. Based on data we gathered from the California Department of Finance, Emily filed this report:

The California Legislature is required to pass a budget each year by June 15. The governor then has 12 working days, or until June 30, to approve it. The budget takes effect on July 1, at the start of the new fiscal year. However, the budget is routinely signed well after the deadline. In the last 33 years, the governor has only met the target date nine times, five of those in the mid-1980s. The 2008-2009 budget was the most delayed, at 85 days late. On average, the budget has been signed 20 days after the deadline.*

The P.J. Hackenflack Scale, a scientific measurement of gubernatorial performance which calculates the average number of days before or after the July 1 deadline by which a governor signs the budget, shows:

– Jerry Brown: five budgets on time or early, three late; average = 4.375 days late.
– George Deukmejian: three budgets early, five late; average = 8 days late.
– Gray Davis: two budgets on time or early, three late; average = 25 days late.
– Pete Wilson: one budget on time, seven late; average = 29.75 days late.
– Arnold Schwarzenegger: one budget on time, five late; average = 35 days late (this does NOT include the 2010-2011 budget which is 78 days late and counting as of today, which will drive up Arnold’s average delay if and when the 2010-11 version ever gets signed).

Does Krusty the General rank best because he was a better governor than all the others? Of course not. What the numbers do show is that getting a budget signed by the constitutional deadline has become increasingly unlikely, given the partisan divisions and gridlock in Sacramento.

Also that, once again, Her Megness has her facts wrong. If she wants to smack Brown around for late budgets again, we have no doubt that she’ll take even stronger whacks at Deukmejian and Wilson, her campaign chairman..

*(The Department of Finance chart above does not include Jerry Brown’s first two budgets. When they are included, the final numbers show the budget was signed by the deadline 10 times for an average of 19 days after the deadline).

Fun with numbers: To the surprise of no one, eMeg has already shattered New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s self-funding record for a U.S. political campaign – with seven weeks left to go before the November 2 election.

With her most recent $15 million check to herself, eMeg has now personally forked out $119,075,806.11, according to the ever-punctilious Jack Chang.

Rounding off and discounting the couch change, this means that she has spent an average of $203,767.12 on each and every one of the 584 days since she declared her candidacy.

For those keeping score at home that works out to a 24/7 average of $8490.29 per hour, $141.50 per minute, and $2.36 per second.

Talk about in for a dime, in for a dollar.

Tea Party surge surges: The brilliant Beltway pundits who totally whiffed on forecasting the victory of Palin whack job clone Christine O’Donnell in the Republican Senate primary in Delaware didn’t miss a step in pivoting to educate all of us provincial types about What It All Means.

Our three cents:

1-By essentially taking The First State off the table as a possible Republican pick up of a Democrat seat – even Karl Rove thinks she’s nuts -  O’Donnell’s nomination will likely mean Barbara Boxer’s tough race against Carly Fiorina is going to get even tougher.

Although the GOP is generally loathe to spend on longshots and lost causes in California, Babs’ seat has instantly gone from would-be-nice to must-have in their recalculations for taking control of the Senate. So look for more big money to pour in like the multimillions the U.S. Chamber just started spending to bash Boxer on the airwaves.

2-It’s not likely Fiorina will get much oomph in California from the alleged national Tea Party wave (just ask Republican nominee Chuck DeVore). The TP’s most ballyhooed wins have come in low-population states – Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and Kentucky – where what they’ve actually accomplished has been to expand the universe of GOP primary voters.

Hurricane Carly has a much bigger problem trying to get back to the political center to attract some coastal moderate and independent voters than she does in pandering further to the three-cornered hat brigade.

3-Former Delaware Governor and current Rep. Mike Castle’s defeat signals that the ancient species known as a “moderate Republican” is now way beyond endangered and is pretty defunct.

Castle, who was close to a mortal lock to capture Joe Biden’s old Senate from the Democrats, is by all accounts a decent, dedicated and effective congressman who knows how to work across the aisle – no more politics as usual! – to get important things done quietly. That his own party turned him out is testament to the blood-lust cannibalism that Fox News has wrought, and his post-election comments add further evidence in support of the Calbuzz Death of Truth theory.

This just in: Jerry Brown is up with a new 30-second positive starting today. It couldn’t be simpler: Brown looks directly into the camera and delivers a little tough love straight talk, Most interesting to us is his reference to “at this stage in my life,” which both addresses the Gandalf issue and offers a subtle contrast with President eMeg’s motivation for running.

Our state is in a real mess. And I’m not going to give you any phony plans or snappy slogans that don’t go anywhere. We have to make some tough decisions. We have to live within our means, we’ve got to take the power from the state capital and move it down to the local level, closer to the people.  And no new taxes without voter approval. We’ve got to pull together not as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Californians first. And at this stage in my life, I’m prepared to do exactly that.

Brown spokeshuman Sterling Clifford says the new ad is joining, not replacing the 15-second Pinocchio spots in rotation. 

PS: After a bit of lawyering, Comcast, at least, is reportedly going to put the California Teachers Association ad attacking Meg Whitman back on the air. Joe Garofoli of the Chron has all the details.