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Candidates weigh in on Obama’s gun orders

DONALD TRUMP, to CNN: “Pretty soon you won’t be able to get guns. … It’s another step in the way of not getting guns.”

TED CRUZ, on Twitter: Fight back against @BarackObama’s unconstitutional #2A executive actions! #ComeAndTakeIt

HILLARY CLINTON, on Twitter: “Thank you, @POTUS, for taking a crucial step forward on gun violence. Our next president has to build on that progress—not rip it away. –H … .@POTUS is right: We can protect the Second Amendment while protecting our families and communities from gun violence. And we have to.”

MARCO RUBIO, to Fox News: “It undermines the Second Amendment and it will do nothing to keep people safe. Barack Obama is obsessed with undermining the Second Amendment. … Now this executive order is just one more way to make it harder for law-abiding people to buy weapons or to be able to protect their families. This is going to do nothing to prevent violence or crimes, because criminals don’t buy guns that way. They buy from the black market.”

JEB BUSH, in the The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa: “Barack Obama has proved again why he will go down as one of the most liberal and divisive presidents in the history of our nation. Obama’s declaration that he will impose his gun control agenda by executive order shows an utter disregard for the Second Amendment as well as the proper constitutional process for making laws in our nation.”

BERNIE SANDERS, in a news release: “A vast majority of the American people, including responsible gun owners who are sickened by the deaths of so many innocent people, agree with the common sense reforms announced today. As president, I will continue these executive orders because it’s past time to end the moral outrage of Aurora, and Newtown and Charleston.”

BEN CARSON, on Twitter: “We the People have a Constitutional right to bear arms and it is the President’s responsibility to uphold that right. … Pres. Obama has told us to trust him on gun rights – just like “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. … Any executive order President Obama signs that regulates firearms transactions will merely regulate the freedom of law abiding citizens. … The President’s actions have everything to do with advancing his political agenda & little to do with actually protecting American citizens.”

CARLY FIORINA, on Twitter: “Another lawless, unconstitutional overreach. The 2nd Amendment is an individual right. Mr. President, how about enforcing the laws we have?”

RAND PAUL, to Breitbart: “If Obama was planning infringement of the First Amendment, the media would be going crazy. But we should never let any president abbreviate any part of the Bill of Rights. No matter what amendment it is, we should never allow it to be abbreviated by executive order. … I’m going to fight him tooth and nail.”

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PANDER WATCH: Carly Fiorina goes for the gusto

Pander WatchIn every campaign, there comes a moment when the candidate is sorely tempted to toss aside his or her heartfelt beliefs in favor of a statement that’s surer to please – and sadly, it’s all too rare an occasion when the candidate resists that temptation.

But Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina might’ve taken it to new heights (or depths?) on Twitter on Friday, at least as far as many in the Bay Area are concerned.

Fiorina, of course, is the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and former Los Altos Hills resident who received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and medieval history at Stanford University in 1976. The Stanford Cardinal is playing the Iowa State Hawkeyes in today’s Rose Bowl game (and, at this moment, Stanford is up 14-0).

Fiorina no doubt hopes her ersatz Hawkeye spirit will improve her odds in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus, coming up on Feb. 1. She certainly needs some sort of boost – she’s currently in a three-way tie for seventh place in Iowa, with 2.3 percent support, according to the latest average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics.

But do Iowans want a president who roots for their team simply in order to get their vote, or one who sticks by her fellow alumni? Where’s the loyalty, the fearless honesty?

The Twitterverse was not kind.

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The Year in Trump

I’m hoping that by posting this end-of-year retrospective before the actual end of the year, the universe will reward me with at least one more outrageous Donald Trump quote before 2016 ends.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” – at his candidacy announcement at Trump Tower in New York City, June 16

“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” – speaking of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a former prisoner of war, at a GOP presidential forum in Ames, Iowa, July 18

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her… wherever.”
— speaking of Fox News GOP debate moderator Megyn Kelly on CNN, Aug. 7

“I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” – speaking of two Boston men, one of whom had claimed they were inspired by Trump when they beat and urinated upon a homeless Latino immigrant, Aug. 19

“When these people walk in the room, they don’t say, ‘Oh, hello! How’s the weather? It’s so beautiful outside. Isn’t it lovely? How are the Yankees doing? Oh they’re doing wonderful. Great.’ [Asians] say, ‘We want deal!’” – at a campaign rally in Dubuque, Iowa, Aug. 25

“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” – speaking of Carly Fiorina in Rolling Stone, in September

“They’re going to build a plant and illegals are going drive those cars right over the border. And they’ll probably end up stealing the cars.” – speaking of Ford Motor Co.’s plan to build an manufacturing plant in Mexico in Burlington, Iowa, Oct. 22

“It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper or temprament. That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that, that’s like, I could say, they say you don’t cure, as an example: child molesting. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.” – speaking of Ben Carson on CNN, Nov. 12

“Look, I’m a negotiator like you folks; we’re negotiators … This room negotiates perhaps more than any room I’ve spoken to, maybe more.” – addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C., Dec. 3

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” — at a rally in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Dec. 7

And a video bonus: Trump mocks a reporter with a physical disability at a rally in South Carolina, Nov. 24:

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Carly Fiorina to raise funds Dec. 14 in Palo Alto

A lawyer who helped then-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina beat back a lawsuit that aimed to prevent 2001’s HP-Compaq merger now is about to host a fundraiser for Fiorina’s presidential campaign.

Carly FiorinaBoris Feldman, a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and his wife, Robin, will host a reception for Fiorina on Monday, Dec. 14 at their Palo Alto home. Tickets for the “New York Deli style luncheon” cost $500 per person – here’s hoping that pastrami is excellent – or $2,700 for a host-committee reception and photo opportunity with the candidate.

Fiorina will head to Las Vegas the next day, Dec. 15, for the next Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNN, Facebook and Salem Media; CNN personality Wolf Blitzer will be the moderator, joined by correspondent Dana Bash and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

Fiorina, a former Los Altos Hills resident who proudly touts her time at HP’s helm despite experts’ questioning of her business record, last visited the Bay Area in early October, for a fundraising reception in Piedmont.

According to the 2008 edition of Northern California Super Lawyers, Feldman usually defends “companies and senior executives facing shareholder suits and SEC investigations involving alleged violations of securities laws.

Boris Feldman“One example is a court victory that prevented a shareholder and former director of Hewlett-Packard from stopping the company’s merger with Compaq Computer,” the publication reported. “At the trial, Feldman put then-HP CEO Carly Fiorina on the stand. By carefully preparing her, he made Fiorina a knowledgeable, persuasive witness. ‘Too often litigators allow [senior executive] clients to look stupid for tactical reasons,’ he says.”

Feldman told the New York Times in mid-September that Fiorina’s first foray onto the prime-time debate stage would be “a defining moment in Carly’s career.” Her poll numbers did improve sharply after that first show-down with frontrunner Donald Trump, but the surge didn’t last: After a brief stint in third place nationwide with 11.8 percent of the vote in late September, she’s now in sixth place with 3.7 percent, according to an average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. In Iowa, she’s ranked sixth at 3.7 percent as well; in New Hampshire – where she’d been ranked second for a while – she’s now tied for eighth, at 4.3 percent.

Before Fiorina gets here, Marco Rubio will step up to the Bay Area campaign ATM with a fundraiser next Monday, Dec. 7 in Mountain View (as previously reported here).

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Fiorina calls HP/Compaq merger ‘highly successful’

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said Thursday that the Hewlett Packard/Compaq merger she engineered as HP’s CEO in 2001 has “been described as the most successful merger in high-tech history,” but there are plenty who say exactly the opposite.

Fiorina was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when she took a question from Yahoo news and finance anchor Bianna Golodryga.

“You scored a lot of points yesterday by honing in on phony capitalism and focusing on the mergers that we’re seeing between large companies across the board that’s really, in your opinion, disturbing the smaller companies that are still trying to stay afloat,” Golodryga said. “We’re seeing a potential merger at Pfizer, we see health care mergers left, right, and center. Looking back though, you know, people talk about your record at HP and the merger with Compaq. Do you regret that merger now?”

“No, not at all,” Fiorina replied. “That was a highly successful merger. It’s been described as the most successful merger in high-tech history. It was.”

Wait, what?

Even before Fiorina was fired by HP’s board in 2005, Fortune did a cover story on “Why Carly’s Big Bet is Failing.”

Fortune Fiorina cover 2005“Beneath the public image are the yardsticks against which executives are — and should be — measured. So it is right to ask whether this whirlwind has succeeded. And inevitably that question must be answered in two parts. First, under the only lens that matters, did the famed merger that Fiorina engineered between HP and Compaq produce value for HP’s shareholders? Second, with that merger nearly three years past, is HP in shape to thrive in its brutally competitive world?

“The answers are no and doubtful.”

CIO in 2011 listed the HP/Compaq merger in its article “Match Made in Hell: 7 Worst Tech Mergers and Acquisitions.”

“The merger made HP more narrow and shareholders and Wall Street did not like it. After the deal, HP’s share price dropped by a quarter,” the article said. “In 2005, CEO Carly Fiorina was forced to step down with shares at half the price they’d been when she started in 1999. The Compaq deal is seen as the genesis of Fiorina’s troubles.”

Tom’s IT Pro in 2013 listed the HP/Compaq merger as one of the “13 Worst Tech Industry Mergers and Acquisitions.”

“The ‘surprising success’ attributed to the merger of the company most responsible for the growth and success of the personal computer industry, with HP, is perhaps on account of a heartening realization that nobody died.

“It would be both unfair and incorrect to say that neither party to the most spectacularly celebrated merger failure in tech history did not see the culture clash coming (I count AOL + Time Warner as a media merger). Indeed, HP under then-CEO Carly Fiorina performed extensive due diligence in investigating the various cultures of competence in both companies. The thing is, its investigation used HP’s classic scientific methods, which may be as thorough yet as effective as an IRS audit of the IRS.”

And ZDNet just last week listed the HP/Compaq merger among its “worst mergers and acquisitions in tech history.”

“Under Carly Fiorina’s reign, the merged ‘New’ HP lost half of its market value and the company incurred heavy job losses. Fiorina stepped down in 2005.

“Since the Compaq merger, HP has endured numerous problems with failed initiatives, dubious acquisitions (3COM, EDS, Palm, Autonomy) and has been plagued with ineffective management, including two major ethics scandals that have forced Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and two CEOs in succession, Mark Hurd and Leo Apotheker to resign.”

[snip]

“On August 1, 2015, HP split into two companies — HP Enterprise, which is keeping the servers, storage, services and software businesses, and HP Inc., which will sell PCs, printers and other consumer products.”

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Meg Whitman to host Chris Christie fundraiser

Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman will host a fundraising reception for a Republican presidential candidate next month – but not for her HP predecessor and 2010 ticket-mate, Carly Fiorina.

Meg WhitmanWhitman and her husband, Griff Harsh, will host a $2,700-per-person fundraiser for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 19 at their Atherton home. Whitman signed on to Christie’s campaign in June as a national finance co-chair.

This event’s host committee includes real estate developer Steve Eggert and his wife, Pam, of Sacramento; businessman and Wall Street heir Nick Loeb of Florida; Bullpen Capital managing director Paul Martino of Mountain View; Palo Alto Networks chairman, president and CEO Mark McLaughlin and his wife, Karen, of Saratoga; real estate investor Carole McNeil of San Francisco; and GOP strategist Jeff Randle and his wife, Kellie, of Sacramento.

Christie currently is ranked ninth in the GOP field, with 2.4 percent support, according to an average of five recent national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. Fiorina is in sixth place, at 5.4 percent.

Whitman and Fiorina made their first runs for public office at the same time in 2010 – Whitman, who had been eBay’s CEO from 1998 to 2008, ran for governor of California while Fiorina, HP’s CEO from 1999 to CEO, challenged U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Both lost – Whitman by 13 percentage points, Fiorina by 10 – with Fiorina garnering more raw votes than Whitman.

Fiorina has raised $317,879 and Christie has raised $37,200 from the greater Bay Area this year, according to Federal Election Commission data crunched by the Center for Responsive Politics.