Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Enough, Allredy

It takes some doing to evoke sympathy for a billionaire who's trying to buy California's governorship. Way to go, Gloria Allred!

Nine years ago her client, Nicandra Diaz Santillan, falsely told an employment agency and Meg Whitman that she was a permanent resident alien and got a $23 an hour job. She made her assertion under penalty of perjury. After Whitman announced for governor last year, Diaz Santillan told Whitman and her husband that she was undocumented. They immediately fired her.

In the thick of Whitman's campaign against Democratic opponent Jerry Brown, the ex-employee turned up with Allred at a press conference today, saying she'd been mistreated. Seen that movie before? I knew that you had. Brown supporter Allred and other Whitman critics say she should've known about Diaz Santillan's status. But you have to wonder about Whitman's motive for sticking her head in the sand, since she wouldn't have had much trouble getting a documented worker or U.S. citizen to work for $23 an hour.

The LA Times thoughtfully lists three "potential threats to Whitman's campaign":
Whitman has made a point in her campaign that employers should be held responsible if they hire illegal workers....

Pitting Whitman against a Latina who says she was badly treated could undermine the candidate's extensive outreach efforts to Latino voters, a segment of the electorate critical to winning.

The issue also could hurt Whitman among conservative Republicans, some of whom have criticized her for being insufficiently tough on immigration.

Let's take those one by one.

Diaz Santillan reliably claimed to be documented, so it's hard to accuse Whitman of hypocrisy.

As for Latino voters, like other voters, they're just as likely to conclude that Diaz Santillan treated Whitman badly by misleading her about her status.

No. 3 sounds like wishful thinking by reporters

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