Sept. 29, 2010: Nicky Diaz, former housekeeper for California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, listens as attorney Gloria Allred talks to reporters in Los Angeles.
So it turns out that after Meg Whitman fired her housekeeper she informed her family and then... her campaign.
Whitman was already six months into running for governor. So the question is why didn't she reveal Nicky Diaz to the world before the Brown campaign (or their surrogate the famous "immigration" attorney Gloria Allred)?
Whitman, at the time, was faced with a dogfight of a primary campaign with then-Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Her opponent had one issue he thought would work against the billionaire candidate. Whitman had gone around the country campaigning for John McCain, and back then McCain was a proponent of "comprehensive immigration reform," which conservatives had a word for: "amnesty."
I'm not sure what the campaign was thinking but it may have been this: Reveal to the world the Nicky Diaz situation and you will get slammed by the right for hiring an illegal immigrant, and you would get slammed by the left for identifying her and subjecting her to deportation (as Allred has done).
So they sat on it. So are conservatives still upset? Not as much I suspect. There is no better way to get sympathy from the right than to bring Allred into the picture. Plus, Whitman's story is different from that of Arianna Huffington's in 1994. Back then, Huffington knowingly hired an illegal immigrant, which was disclosed days before election day in husband Michael's effort to defeat Dianne Feinstein for Senate. Huffington lost.
So was Jerry behind this latest revelation? It is hard to imagine the campaign didn't know about it. The timing, days before voting by mail begins (they will start being mailed out today), suggests the issue was known about while ago and rolled out just in time.
The good news for Meg is that she has time to recover.
Most people who vote by mail, except the most partisan, don't fill out their ballots until a week before election day. And there is this: . Gloria Allred may have done something that, until now, was impossible: made people feel sorry for Meg Whitman. No longer is she just the billionaire candidate. Talk to anyone who has hired a housekeeper (and there are a lot of them in this newsroom) and they will express admiration that she went out of her way to find one who was a legal resident.
As for Edmund G. Brown Jr? He should now quiet down on the issue or else people will start seeing him as too smug. Oh... and is it now fair to ask who cleaned Anne Gust's house?