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Fiorina-led HP sold to Iran, Boxer charges

September 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A group of Jewish leaders is denouncing Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, claiming she traded with Iran when she was in charge of Hewlett-Packard. There are accusations and responses from both Senate candidates.The polls show Carly Fiorina and Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer running neck and neck in California's race for the senate. With less than two months to go before the midterm election, things are really heating up.

Fiorina returned home Tuesday from a trip to Israel. Leaders in L.A.'s Jewish community are using the start of the high holidays to speak out against Fiorina and drum up support for Boxer.

On the grounds of the Westwood Federal Building, Jewish leaders in Los Angeles gathered for a news conference denouncing Fiorina. They claim while Fiorina was chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of HP products were sold to Iran, products that fell into the hands of the Iranian military.

"Imagine some of these products getting into the hands of the military of Iran," said Cantor Ron Gilperin. "This oppressive regime that oppresses its own people, that is a sponsor of terrorism, that funds Islamic jihad."

The Jewish community says Fiorina used a subsidiary company in the Middle East to sell equipment to Iran and sidestep U.S. trade sanctions.

"Carly Fiorina was figuring out ways to evade and avoid and violate the spirit of the sanctions which is for Israel one of the most important issues: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," said Howard Welinsky, chairman of Democrats for Israel Los Angeles.

Fiorina spent Labor Day weekend on a private, personal trip to Israel. However some political observers saw it as an attempt to attract Jewish voters and broaden her experience in foreign affairs.

While touring a high-tech company in south San Francisco to promote clean energy jobs Tuesday, Boxer weighed in on Fiorina's job at HP.

"She skirted the law, she sold printers to Iran, which HP now says could well have gone to the Iranian military, so I wanted to thank the rabbis," said Boxer.

While Fiorina's campaign is not addressing the Jewish community's concerns directly, it did release a statement: "It's shameful that Barbara Boxer and her cronies would mislead this group of rabbis and make them the front men for nothing more than a political stunt. Instead of continuing to grasp for baseless attacks of Carly, career politician Barbara Boxer should start explaining to Californians why she supported the failed $862 billion taxpayer-funded stimulus, which has done nothing to create jobs in the state yet unemployment has grown to a staggering 12.3 percent, with hundreds of thousands more unemployed in California today," wrote Fiorina campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul.

In the past, Fiorina has addressed Hewlett-Packard ties to Iran by saying that she was unaware that a Dubai-based subsidiary of HP sold products to Iran. During the campaign she has gone on record saying that HP complied with all export laws.


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