GOP candidate Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown squared off for a debate before Univision Saturday. The race is much closer than Democrats counted on - even if their candidate is perennial candidate, Jerry Brown.
Jerry Brown, working with fan lawyer Gloria Allred, dropped their October surprise a bit early this electorial season. Allred, a woman who fancies herself a champion of women and women issues, brought forward the Whitman housekeeper, Nicky Diaz to cry about poor treatment at the hands of Meg Whitman. What Allred and Brown didn't count on is how utterly a failure this stereotypically dirty political trick has become. And, as it was brought out a mere matter of days before the appearance before the Univision audience is no coincidence in the land of nasty behavior by desperate politicians.
Here is how the story goes - Ms. Whitman and her husband went through an agency to hire a maid. She was to help with the house and children. Whitman specifically requested that proper hiring practices be used - make sure the applicant was legally available to work in this country. Diaz was hired after showing a social security card, a drivers license, and the proper government-issued working permit. All was good for nine (9) years. Whitman says her family considered Diaz a part of their extended family. She was paid $23 per hour for about 15 hours a week.
Diaz went to Whitman after nine (9) years of employment and confessed that she is in this country illegally. Whitman severed ties with her at that point.
As the story has developed, after the press conference called by Allred on behalf of Diaz and the announcement that Diaz is filing suit against Whitman for poor treatment and low wages with reimbursement for mileage if she was asked to drive for an errand, Allred provided a copy of a letter from the government alerting Whitman and her husband that the social security number provided by Diaz didn't match with her. There was a handwritten note at the bottom of the copy Allred provided asking Nicky to check into the matter. Though Whitman never saw the letter and her husband didn't remember it, it was her husband's writing asking Diaz to check into it. Allred considers this the smoking gun in favor of the housekeeper.
Here's the problem for Allred and Diaz: Whitman did absolutely everything right. She did everything legally required of an employer. She used an employment agency. She was provided and kept copies of Diaz's documents. Her husband asked Diaz to handle the discrepancy with the social security number. On the letter from the government, it clearly states that the employer is not allowed to fire the employee on the basis of that letter.
There is nothing more that could have been expected of Whitman or her husband. They followed the rules. Whitman and her husband also made certain that the appropriate taxes where withheld from her pay. Everything was by the book.
Then the debate before the audience at Univision. Whitman confronted Brown before he could attack. This was the best quote of the debate:
“Jerry, you should be ashamed,” Whitman said. “You and your surrogates put her deportation at risk. You put her out there. You should be ashamed for sacrificing Nicky Diaz on the altar of your political ambitions.”
Brown, not remorseful in the least, countered with this inane response: "Don't run for governor if you can't stand up on your onw two feet and say, 'Hey, I made a mistake, I'm sorry, let's go on from here." This was ironic, considering it is he that should be admitting is mistake of dragging an illegal immigrant into the campaign for his own benefit. He nor Allred care anything about this woman. She is simply fodder for the Brown campaign. So much for liberals standing up for minorities or women.
Now, what is to become of Nicky Diaz? The whole country knows of her legal status now. Will she be deported or sent to jail? What about her sister? Diaz used the social security number of her sister in her employment documents. Now, is identification theft added to the criminal activity?
Whitman told the audience, "I cannot win the governor's race without the Latino vote." She asked for their support.
Brown was busy touting his family legacy. His father is a former two term governor and Brown is a former governor and Oakland mayor. He is the state's attorney general at the present time. He is well past his prime and it is a shame he is the Democratic candidate running for the job of California governor.
Whitman is a wildly successful entrepreneur and savvy business woman. She was an economic advisor for the McCain 2008 presidential campaign. This is her first run at public office. California sorely needs a business person as the leader of the state - one bankrupt and in sad shape - not an old lifetime politician with no real world business experience. Brown feels entitled to the job - as though it is his personal legacy and not the business of the people of California.
Aren't Democrats busy touting their support for illegal immigrants? Aren't Democrats busy giving lip service to a desire for hope and change? Not Jerry Brown. He has managed to put two women in jeopardy and advanced more dirty political tricks along the way.
Shame on Jerry Brown and Gloria Allred both.