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In endorsement of Carly Fiorina, Marilinda Garcia borrows some lines

Last modified: 5/3/2015 5:26:08 PM
Former state representative and congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia announced her support for Carly Fiorina’s prospective presidential campaign in an opinion piece published on the Monitor’s website yesterday. Soon after, an outside reporter noted that it repeats several lines verbatim from a widely used biography of the potential candidate.

When asked to explain the similarities between her column and the other passages about Fiorina, Garcia said she asked for the information directly from Fiorina’s team because she was trying to be as accurate as possible in summarizing Fiorina’s accomplishments.

“I listed concrete facts about her record at HP and would expect them to always be the same,” Garcia wrote in an email. “That’s the compelling thing about Carly – she has clear, concrete accomplishments that one can point out, among other great leadership qualities.”

During her campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster last fall, Garcia faced allegations that she had plagiarized parts of a floor speech she delivered in the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2012 and during a debate in New Boston.

In the op-ed, Garcia praises Fiorina as a candidate with “an astonishing record of leadership and achievement that is grounded in sincerity and conviction.”

The verbatim sentences appear in a portion where Garcia describes Fiorina’s career trajectory.

“She started out as a secretary for a small real-estate business. She then joined AT&T in an entry-level sales position,” Garcia noted later in the op-ed. “Fifteen years later she led AT&T’s spin-out of Lucent Technologies and then Lucent’s North American operations. In 1999, she was recruited to Hewlett-Packard, where she would become the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business, taking HP from the 28th to the 11th most profitable company in the United States. In her six years as chairman and CEO of HP, she would double its revenues to $90 billion; increase growth to 9 percent; triple the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day; achieve market leadership in every product category and quadruple cash-flow.”

Those sentences mirror lines that appear in other official biographies recapping Fiorina’s career, and also appear on websites for the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, among others.

“Carly started out as a secretary for a small real-estate business. She then joined AT&T in an entry-level sales position,” the Southern Republican Leadership Conference biography notes. “Fifteen years later she led AT&T’s spin-out of Lucent Technologies and then Lucent’s North American operations. In 1999, she was recruited to Hewlett-Packard where she would become the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business. In her six years as Chairman and CEO of HP, she would double its revenues to $90 billion; more than quadruple its growth to 9%; triple the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day; achieve market leadership in every market and product category and quadruple cash-flow.”

The similarities were first noted publicly on Twitter by Andrew Kaczynski, a researcher for Buzzfeed Politics.

Katie Hughes, the communications director for Carly for America, said the group approached Garcia to ask for her support if Fiorina seeks the presidency.

“We were glad to provide Marilinda with the biographical information on Carly, we’re happy she included it in her op-ed and we’re exceedingly thankful for her support if Carly runs,” Hughes said in an email.

Allegations of plagiarism raised during Garcia’s campaign were brought by Granite State Progress, a liberal-leaning organization based in New Hampshire.

At the time, Garcia acknowledged that she did not fully “verbally attribute” parts of her floor speech and apologized for the instance noted with regard to her floor speech. In response to the second allegation, according to past Monitor reporting, Garcia’s campaign accused Kuster of plagiarizing information about pieces of legislation in press releases and on her websites.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story referred to Carly For America as a campaign. The candidate has not yet finalized a presidential campaign. The story has been updated to reflect that distinction.

(Casey McDermott can be reached at 369-3306 or cmcdermott@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @caseymcdermott.)


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