Rough night for ex-tech execs; mid-term elections are over

Despite the gains of what ABC described as “historic proportions”, the GOP victory wave bypassed hopeful ex-tech company executives running for office in California Tuesday night.

Former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina lost to incumbent Senator Barbara Boxner 52% to 43%. Former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman lost to Jerry Brown in the run for governor 54%-41%, despite spending $175M of her own money. Although I did not follow these campaigns too closely, the LA Times speculation that their association with Wall Street did not resonate with voters sounds reasonable. Both had to fight off the caricaturization of heartless corporate titans who closed plants and shipped jobs overseas and then used their excess dollars to buy elections. Tech readers did not seem to have much affinity towards either, at least judging from the lively commentary around such posts as this summer’s “Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman: could GOP do worse?

So what do the election results mean for IT, if anything?

Probably anything that will stimulate the economy will indirectly benefit IT. There was some talk of increased availability of H-1Bs and offshore outsourcing with Republican gains in Congress, which caught my attention. The tech lobby expected Fiorina to be a big supporter, but with her loss and the Senate still under Democratic control, maybe the issue is now moot. Democrat Charles Schumer won re-election in New York and will likely return to his chair over the Senate immigration committee and he’s definitely not an H-1B fan.

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