Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

What's the Truth of Boxer's Attack on Fiorina?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    U.S. Sen Barbara Boxer's new attack ad (below) on her Republican challenger Carly Fiorina would be fine if it stopped after pointing out that Fiorina laid off thousands of employees while running HP. But it goes further, and makes misleading claims about Fiorina's salaries (it did not triple, as the ad says) and about planes (which were HP's, not Fiorina). Politifact has an excellent review of what's true and what's not here.

    Of course, since this ad is grounded in reality, it's a far better and more honest attack ad than what we're seeing from either side in the governor's race. It also raises important questions for businesses that also apply to governments: when are big layoffs appropriate? And when do they work?

    Fiorina has argued that the jobs cuts helped make HP stronger for the long run, thus creating wealth and preserving the jobs of others at the company. Boxer is arguing they were callous and unnecessary. I've yet to come across anything that offers a clear verdict on these job cuts. If you find something valuable, please post it in the comments section here.