Whitman calls out SF and immigrants, and karma calls back

The gubernatorial debate highlighted stark contrasts over immigration, taxes, independence, and qualification for public office.

During last night's gubernatorial debate, Republican nominee Meg Whitman bashed “illegal” immigrants and singled out San Francisco as the state's worst coddler of those without proper immigration papers. But today, it was revealed that Whitman employed an undocumented Mexican immigrant as her housekeeper and nanny from 2000 until last year. Ah, karma, the great leveler.

After being asked what California should do about immigration issues, Democratic nominee Jerry Brown gave a reasonable answer that should have appeal to people of all political stripes, calling for halting illegal immigration by securing the border with fences and modern technology that electronically verifies the status of visitors, but bringing the state's 2 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows by creating a way for them to achieve legal residency status.

“We can't just round them up and deport them like they did in Eastern Europe,” Brown said, an incendiary analogy that was nonetheless true, reminding voters of the police state implications of the right-wing approach to the immigration issue.

Yet Whitman then essentially called for doing just that with increased enforcement, albeit with a slightly more polished approach than most angry nativists, saying the presence of “illegal immigrants” was a serious threat to California. “We have got to eliminate sanctuary cities,” Whitman said, naming San Francisco as the worst culprit, and saying, “We have to hold employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers.”

So should Whitman be held accountable for employing Nicandra Diaz-Santillan for almost a decade? Maybe not to legal authorities, but certainly to voters who will now question her integrity and whether she has been hypocritically grandstanding on such a politically divisive issue.

Whitman's excuse is that she didn't know her housekeeper was undocumented because she was provided false paperwork, an excuse that most California employers could also offer, showing just how ridiculous Whitman is for pretending that being “tough” can solve this “problem.”

That was one of many Whitman forays into fantasyland, such as equating with “independence” a campaign funded almost entirely with her Wall Street windfalls, one she is using to advocate for aggressively cutting taxes on big business and the rich. And then pretending that's somehow a plan to close the state's massive budget deficit. Pure nonsense.

By contrast, Brown seemed firmly grounded in reality, leveling with viewers that the state faces difficult problems that will require hard work and experience fighting with the “sharks in Sacramento” and calling for “the powerful to sacrifice first.” On the whole, the debate made clear the stark differences between these two candidates, which is perhaps the best we can hope for during a dismal political year.


Meg and Jerry are both crap. They both sound like Republicans. Those of the Democratic Religion (even some of those who are registered as "decline to state" but are really Democrats) are of course for Brown because he's from their "faith." If Jerry was a registered Republican would they feel the same way about him and vote for him? Interesting how party registration is usually the determining factor for one's choice of candidate. I'm for open borders and not for fences and walls and screening technology and other waste of money things, so I can't stand what either one of them says on immigration. Stupid. Right-wing tactics. From what I've seen there is little difference between Meg and Jerry... so what does it matter?

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

Karl Marx would seem like a right wing nut job to you.....extremist, sound familiar?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

Like Humphrey complaining about the new Nixon in 68, who is Jerry Brown today?

The 70's country rock gov who was pals with Schlocky Eagles members.
The 80's quester looking for some awakening
In the 90's he was the angry populist that had Gore Vidal writing speeches for him
the 00's he tried to pass himself as the competent civic manager.

What Brown do we get as Gov? Who knows?

On the other hand Whitman never voted for 30 years and now wants to buy the office of gov.

It's a shame that Barry Goldwater, Jr. left the state, more liberal than Brown and more conservative than Whitman.

Posted by matlock on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

I had no interest in watching this "debate." The article does not say and I'm curious about this.... While both were scapegoating immigrants did either of them say anything about the millions of jobs having been outsourced/offshored from this country (currently at a record level) to other parts of the world? Looks like Whitman was the only one to say anything about holding employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers. Was she serious about that or was that just lip service? Of course she has hired an undocumented worker and claims she didn't know the worker was undocumented. I have a Republican Religion relative who is very much opposed to undocumented immigrants. She has employed an undocumented worker as a housekeeper under the table for years. She knows that the woman working for her is undocumented and doesn't see anything wrong with that. It's all right because she's doing it, but other people shouldn't...seems to be her thinking.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

Report her!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

Barbara, I find it amusing that you proudly proclaimed your lack of interest in watching the debate after saying earlier that you saw no difference in the candidates. If you'd actually watched the debate, I don't think you'd have made that comment. Say what you want about Brown and the Democrats, and I've expressed plenty of my own disappointment in this blog over the years, but they just don't represent anything close to the danger that Whitman does to California. She's proposing to add $5 billion to our deficit with tax cuts to the rich, money that Brown pointed out will come directly from money that could and should go to education. She wants to eliminate the capital gain taxes, fer chrissakes, something Brown spoke passionately against. The bottom line is we have two choices for governor, only two that can win, and this is going to be a close election. You don't need to drop your critique of the Democratic Party, but it's just intellectually dishonest to say there's no difference between these candidates.

Posted by steven on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 10:05 am

So it's best of the worst once again just like in every other election. What's the point? We see that we continue to go down hill with that repetitive thinking regardless of what party gets in. That thinking has gotten us to where we are now especially at the federal level. I don't take part in the best of the worst any longer. It is nonproductive. That thinking has gotten us so low that we really can't go much farther down. The politicians at the state level are also part of the corrupt national parties. Brown in particular has been so many different personalities within the one person one does not know which personality they would be getting with him. Again, did either of them talk about the millions of jobs having been outsourced/offshored? That was my question which has remained unanswered.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

Yes, Barbara, Jerry Brown did make that same point during the debate, noting that Whitman's business tax cut plans wouldn't include a provision that would discourage the practice. And even if you're right about the need for better candidates, simply not voting in this election doesn't help make your point or solve the problem, a problem that will get worse if Whitman is allowed to further weaken government and empower big corporations. For better or worse, at this point there are only two viable choices for this important office, and if progressive people stay home because they're mad at the Democrats, then Meg Whitman will successfully buy this powerful post for her Wall Street cronies.

Posted by steven on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

Clearly, Brown is obviously the better of the two but that doesn't matter. The powerful and omnipotent corporations that run the nation will tell these politicians what to do, when to do it, where to do it and how to do it regardless of what side they are on. Both Brown and Whitman will get their orders from the corporations. Just like Bush got the same orders as Obama has received and acted upon accordingly. For example, with the Democrats in the majority in DC, you see the outcome is the same regardless of which party is in office. This is much deeper than "And even if you're right about the need for better candidates," (I can't believe anyone would say that there's not a need for better candidates!) this is about corruption. It's more of a police matter or an AG's responsibility to get rid of all this corruption which isn't going to happen. Where did you get the idea that I will be "staying home?" I never said I was "staying home" or not voting. I do vote from home but I will voting. I just won't be voting for governor or Lt. governor and some other things. I will be voting on propositions such as against sit-lie. If a true progressive politician were to show up I would of course be voting for that person. But going along with the herd just makes things worse and worse (and it falling right into the corporate plan isn't it?). I understand that very few people, if any, will understand this because it makes too much sense. For those who may have missed this news item today...In a stunning alliance between Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans, Senate Democratic leadership quietly agreed Wednesday evening to block President Barack Obama from making recess appointments while senators return home to campaign for midterm elections, according to a Congressional newspaper. (Keep in mind that the Democrats are in the majority). When Bush was in office, he got what he wanted whether the Republicans were in the majority or the minority. One can read the full article at Rawstory by putting this title in their search engine...Democrats agree to block Obama nominees.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

Maybe people should question why Meg Whitman is spending all this money to get a job that will never pay back what she has spent to try and get it. Why does she want this job so bad. She didn't care enough to vote for almost 30 years, so what is this job going to be worth for her and her rich friends. She balked at paying back money that wasn't rightfully hers. She's lied to us so many times, I doubt if she knows what the truth is! It's like she has a fencepost stuck up her butt and switches back and forth depending on how the wind blows. All she really seems good at is making money for herself. Why is she so against getting rid of the Bush Tax cuts for the rich. They have most of the money, and want more. If this keeps up, all we'll have is the rich and the poor. The rich, like Meg Whitman will be the ruling class, and everyone else will be the Peons! Wake up people, before it's too late. We have enough big business in the government now. Why should we vote for Meg Whitman, or Carly Fiorino for that matter, and let even more Big Business intrude in our lives?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 2:34 am

In my opinion, given that this woman is represented by Gloria Allred, people won't think the story has much credibility. I watched the press conference and it was pretty pathetic.

Posted by The Commish on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 6:47 am

This Whitman situation illustrates the problem of illegal immigration perfectly.

Corporations, businesses, and people, many of which have huge financial resources, refusing to hire legal qualified citizens in lieu of exploiting the undocumented.

Why would someone with Whitman's millions, engage a nanny with exceedingly poor English language skills instead of a more qualified, professional candidate, with clear roots in the community? Because she would have to pay a little bit more and provide a good working environment. Whitman would rather have her kids tended to on the cheap by someone she can treat poorly. Despite her "pro-American, Pro jobs" claims, in the end, its all about greed.

I guess she needs every little dime she can get to buy her way into the governor's office.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 9:51 am

I have to agree that the minute Gloria Allred got involved, the bottom fell out of this story. Really, couldn't they have gotten someone less ... regrettable to represent this case to the public?

I hope this will open some eyes to Whitman's gall and goal for herself and California. I hate having to vote for yet another lesser evil but frankly, when I put Whitman next to Brown, Jerry suddenly seems like the ONLY HOPE.

Oh well... "dismal political year." Yeah...

Posted by DollParts on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 9:56 am

This Whitman situation illustrates the problem of illegal immigration perfectly.

Corporations, businesses, and people, many of which have huge financial resources, refusing to hire legal qualified citizens in lieu of exploiting the undocumented.

Why would someone with Whitman's millions, engage a nanny with exceedingly poor English language skills instead of a more qualified, professional candidate, with clear roots in the community? Because she would have to pay a little bit more and provide a good working environment. Whitman would rather have her kids tended to on the cheap by someone she can treat poorly. Despite her "pro-American, Pro jobs" claims, in the end, its all about greed.

I guess she needs every little dime she can get to buy her way into the governor's office.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 10:01 am

I fail to see how paying somebody $23 /hour for domestic work is exploiting them. Further, using an employment service to find a domestic worker seems like a logical way to avoid hiring an illegal. Afterall, should Meg have hired a PI to investigate this woman just because the woman is a minority? The domestic worker lied, and falsified documents. Allred is a pubicity whore and a parasite.

Posted by eurosnbaht on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 10:13 am

Whitman denied receiving letters from the IRS or Social Security Administration saying that Nicandra Diaz's name did not match her Social Security number.


It was sent from the Social Security Administration to Whitman and her husband Griffith Harsh on April 22, 2003. It advises the couple that the Social Security number of their housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, did not match their files ...

The copy of the letter provided by Allred instructed Whitman and Harsh to look into the problem with Diaz's Social Security number and return forms with the requested information "promptly."

Ahem--I realize that I am surely dealing with a cultist here (the 23.00 an hour figure comes from where?), but a cursory check of the employee's SSN (which apparently occurred 7 years ago reveals that the Whitman's employed the same kind of person that they want expelled from the US--and knew it.

Reality check: in 2010, no right winger will ever believe anything that contradicts their beliefs. Credulous of lies, skeptical of reality, that is today's worshiper.

Posted by Guest Johnny Wendell on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

Actually, I think you should not smear the reporter but rather continue to skewer this Meg Whitman.
The major problem from the "loud crowd complaining about illegal immigrants and not wanting to address root problems but wanting instead to get 'tough' on them and stop them with some kind of brute force" people is that they are basically full of shit!
Anger will not compensate for lack of brains and forethought.
I think YOU people need to address the fact that this stuff is embedded in our society, that we benefit from it selectively as we see fit, that we condemn it publicly, and that we don't want to see the root causes exposed.
I THINK THE POINT STANDS TALL that if the LEADER of a political movement that wants to "stop this stuff" is herself involved in that stuff, you need to realize that its not so simple and that this catchy Angry American rap is total bullshit, mere patter to confuse the people while you perform sleight of hand tricks.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2010 @ 8:10 am

I’m not sure I understand, the Bay Guardian likes Janet Reilly and

I quote “Janet Reilly should stay in the race” from the BG, 7-23-2010

She is robo-calling district 2 residents with Endorsements from the SAN FRANCISCO REPUBLICANS, and the Bay Guardian is bashing Meg Whitman, who is also a REPUBLICAN, where do you stand?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

This post on Reilly and the Republicans is not accurate. The San Francisco Republican Party endorsed Mark Farrell in D2 and is doing robocalls on his behalf that criticize Reilly for being endorsed by the San Francisco Democratic Party.

Posted by steven on Oct. 04, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

Steven wrote this to me in a comment above...>>>And even if you're right about the need for better candidates...<<< I found that stunning. Over the years I have talked with many people and one thing they have all agreed on and that is a need for better candidates. But Steven apparently questions that. I can only assume that Steven is content and comfortable with the status quo or he's been sarcastic (which I don't sense). The BG really should identify themselves for what they are....a wing of the Democratic Religion because that's really what they push for the most part...no matter how bad and corrupt the candidate is. The Guardian also uses the word progressive about as often as they use periods and commas but they do not define what they mean by progressive or how they are using the word.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Sep. 30, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

That much is true. Personally, I am willing to give Meg a try as I remember 1976 all too well and that is how I judge Jerry "never had a privite sector job in my life" Brown.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2010 @ 11:50 am

One should not blame on karma what can adequately be explained by stupidity.


Posted by Fred Fnord on Oct. 06, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

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