Carly Fiorina Didn’t Pay Several Workers From Her Previous Campaign

Branko Marcetic

She also refused to pay $30,000 in back wages to the widow of someone who literally died while poring over polling data. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Our most important fundraising drive of the year is now underway. After you're done reading, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to ensure that In These Times can continue publishing in the year ahead.

Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign is running largely on the back of her highly dubious business record as CEO of HP. While Fiorina claims to have single-handedly turned the company around, others say she was a stubborn and irresponsible leader who couldn’t handle criticism and fired tens of thousands of people.

Turns out, however, that Fiorina might have even more in common with your least favorite boss — she also didn’t pay her employees.

According to a Washington Post report released Sunday, Fiorina had around $500,000 worth of unpaid invoices owing after her failed 2010 Senate bid, most of which she only settled in January as she prepared to launch her presidential campaign. One of these invoices was a final paycheck of at least $30,000 for pollster Joe Shumate, who died of a heart attack one month out from the election. Although she wouldn’t give Shumate’s widow what she was rightfully owed, she did have a lot of nice things to say about her husband:

Upon his death, Fiorina praised Shumate as the heart and soul” of her team. She issued a news release praising him as a person who believed in investing in those he worked with” and offering her sincerest condolences” to his widow.

It’s an interesting display of morality from a candidate whose campaign is being fuelled partly by a breathtakingly dishonest stand against the moral depravity” of Planned Parenthood.

According to the report, it was small businesses — doing everything from sending mailers to building stages — who had to wait the longest for their money. Explained Fiorina’s operations director for her 2010 run: If we didn’t win, why do you deserve to get paid? If you don’t succeed in business, you shouldn’t be the first one to step up and complain about getting paid.”

Fiorina has spoken previously about the importance of getting small business in America back on its feet, calling it the economic growth and innovation engine of the nation.” But if she can’t even fulfill her promises to small businesses as a candidate, it’s not clear how she’ll manage to do so if she’s president.

Support progressive media

As a nonprofit, reader-supported publication, In These Times depends on donations from people like you to continue publishing. Our final, end-of-year fundraising drive accounts for nearly half of our total budget. That’s why this fundraising drive is so important.

If you are someone who depends on In These Times to learn what is going on in the movements for social, racial, environmental and economic justice, the outcome of this fundraising drive is important to you as well.

How many readers like you are able to contribute between now and December 31 will determine the number of stories we can report, the resources we can put into each story and how many people our journalism reaches. If we come up short, it will mean making difficult cuts at time when we can least afford to do so.

If it is within your means, please make a tax-deductible donation today, to ensure that In These Times can continue publishing in the year ahead.

Branko Marcetic is a staff writer at Jacobin magazine and a 2019 – 2020 Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting fellow. He is the author of Yesterday’s Man: The Case Against Joe Biden.

Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue