California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is fighting "startling accusations" that she knowingly employed an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper, even though she publicly advocates tougher penalties for businesses that hire undocumented workers. Gloria Allred, a high-profile Los Angeles attorney, held a press conference with Whitman's former employee, Nicky Diaz Santillan, sobbing at her side, and accused Whitman of ignoring a warning from the IRS that the woman's name didn't match her Social Security number, then firing Diaz and tossing her out like "garbage" when, after nine years of service, she confessed she was in the U.S. illegally. Whitman called Allred's charges a politically motivated "lie." Will the accusations hurt Whitman's campaign?
This is bound to hurt Whitman: With polls showing Whitman, a Republican, running neck-and-neck with Democrat Jerry Brown, says Liz Goodman at Yahoo! News, this bombshell can only do Whitman's campaign harm. Any hint that Whitman knew her Mexican housekeeper was here illegally will cost her support from "conservative anti-illegal immigration voters." But if she pushes back too hard against Diaz, Whitman can say goodbye to crucial Latino voters.
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Voters will see this for the hatchet job it is: Gloria Allred isn't pushing this lawsuit out of concern for Whitman's former maid, says B. Daniel Blatt at Gay Patriot. She's a longtime "Jerry Brown supporter" out to sabotage his opponent. Allred has pulled "such a stunt" before: When Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger first ran for governor in 2003, Allred represented a woman who sued him, unsuccessfully, for sexual harassment. Whitman has documents to prove Diaz used fake documents to get her job, so no one will be fooled by this smear.
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Allred's motivation doesn't excuse Whitman: Even for those of us who still prefer Whitman to "Jerry Moonbeam Brown," says Michelle Malkin at her blog, this "scandal" is bad news. Yes, Gloria Allred is a politically motivated mud-slinger, but Diaz's story "will only serve to spotlight Whitman’s politically expedient flip-flops and double-talk on immigration." And if Whitman really did receive a letter from the IRS casting doubt on her housekeeper's legal status, her "credibility goes out the window."
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