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A Packard contributes to Fiorina’s rival [Updated]

January 29, 2010 |  4:50 pm

When it comes to fundraising, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina may be outpacing her opponents in the GOP race to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer, but her rival Chuck DeVore managed to grab one donation that could make Fiorina's supporters cringe.  

It takes the form of a $2,400 check to the Irvine assemblyman from Arianna Packard. She is the granddaughter of the founder of Hewlett-Packard and the daughter of David Woodley Packard, who fought Fiorina when she as CEO engineered the merger of HP and Compaq, a decision that partly led to her firing by the board of directors.

The donation is a reminder that Fiorina, who says her experience as a CEO positions her to be a strong political leader, was far from universally adored at her old company. While some in the high-tech industry and media praised her performance, Portfolio magazine crowned her one of the 20 "Worst American CEOs of All Time."

Fiorina, does however, have a lot more in the bank than DeVore. Her coffers are flush with $2.7 million – most of it money she kicked in herself – while DeVore ended the year with just $143,000 left. The third GOP contender in the race, Tom Campbell, a former Northern California congressman, did not have to file a report because he entered the race only weeks ago.

The reports show Fiorina and DeVore spent their money very differently.

Much of Fiorina's $830,000 in spending between August and Dec. 31 was directed to campaign consultants who crafted political strategy and created events to introduce the candidate to the state's voters. Sacramento firm Wilson-Miller Communications and its employees receive about $157,000; another $87,000 was spent on surveys and $166,000 was spent on fundraising. DeVore spent about $360,000 throughout 2009, mostly on direct mail and Internet outreach to voters.

[Updated at 6:11 p.m.: Incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer, whose campaign released its documents late Friday afternoon, is crushing her GOP rivals in fundraising and spending. She spent nearly $5.8 million in 2009, and has nearly $7.3 million cash in the bank, including a $10,000 contribution from the Hewlett-Packard Co. political action committee.]

-- Seema Mehta in Los Angeles 

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