Before Boxer Battle, Fiorina Got Cozy With Iran

No evidence of laws broken, but critics suspicious of Hewlett-Packard's trade ties under former CEO

By Matt Baume
|  Wednesday, Sep 2, 2009  |  Updated 10:38 AM PDT
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Before Boxer Battle, Fiorina Got Cozy With Iran

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ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 03: Carly Fiorina, an advisor to presumptive Republican presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), speaks during a press conference to defend Presumptive U.S. vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's experience on day three of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The GOP will nominate U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the Republican choice for U.S. President on the last day of the convention. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

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It's been a bumpy ride for Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard who's planning to run against Barbara Boxer for her Senate seat in California.

First there were questions about whether a company she claimed to run actually existed; then there were issues about her voting record -- or lack thereof -- and now it's emerged that under her leadership and despite a trade embargo, HP somehow found a way to sell a lot of printers and other tech gear in Iran.

Of course, Fiorina's campaign (now accustomed to damage control) insists that everything was utterly above-board, and it does appear as though the company managed to avoid breaking the letter of the law; sales were conducted through a third party, so HP managed to steer clear of the embargo.

But during her time at the helm time, Fiorina and her company's partners were making a lot of positive comments about trading in Iran; and, more broadly, Fiorina has heaped praise upon Islamic civilzation in general.

Fiorina's opponent in the upcoming primary, Chuck DeVore, has so far avoided international controversy. (He has also managed to avoid raising enough money for his campaign.) Polls show Barbara Boxer winning the election, but the margin is narrowing -- or at least is was before this latest news hit.

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