The Harsh Glare of Truth

From Newsweek:

It’s a rule even political veterans sometimes forget, but that rookie candidate Meg Whitman may be about to learn a hard lesson on: damaging revelations are much less damaging than a bungled response.

It doesn’t get much more California than this story: a former Silicon Valley CEO running for governor is in hot water over allegations involving an illegal immigrant brought forward by a Hollywood lawyer. Whitman, the Republican candidate, is struggling to answer allegations that lawyer to the B-list stars Gloria Allred leveled against her on Thursday. Allred represents Nicandra Diaz Santillan, an illegal immigrant who worked as a housekeeper for Whitman and her husband, Griff Harsh; Diaz was fired after confessing that she didn’t have papers, but she now alleges that a letter from the Social Security Administration in 2003 should have tipped Whitman off. In essence, she’s accusing Whitman of knowingly employing an illegal immigrant.

Original DVD cover

[A]s Whitman’s response has evolved, it’s looking like a more serious issue for her campaign. The AP says the gubernatorial race has been “upended.” She initially rejected the claims entirely, saying she had no idea Santillan was illegal and denying she or her husband had received the SSA letter. She even offered to take a polygraph […].  Maybe it’s a good thing she didn’t take a test, because Allred then produced a copy of the letter with a note on it that she said was from Griff Harsh. By Friday morning, Whitman was conceding that the writing was indeed probably Harsh’s.


It doesn’t appear that Whitman has a personal legal problem, according to experts contacted by the San Francisco Chronicle. And just employing an illegal immigrant might not be fatal, either. It’s been some time since Clinton nominees Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird were forced to withdraw over revelations that they had employed illegal immigrants, and immigration alone doesn’t seem to sway a huge number of voters (see, for example, Tom Tancredo’s abortive presidential run). On the other hand, immigration has been a heated issue in the last few months; polls show mixed reaction among California voters to Arizona’s strict new immigration law (Whitman has opposed that law).

But Whitman does have a hypocrisy problem: not only has she campaigned in favor of a tough immigration policy, but she has explicitly argued that employers need to be held accountable if illegal immigration is to be stopped.

And the timing is very bad. [Her opponent, Jerry] Brown, a longtime figure in California politics, struggled to find his footing in the race and appeared to not be taking Whitman seriously enough; poll averages show him leading a very tight—and volatile—race. But he’s now getting geared up and finding some momentum.  […]  Whitman’s stumbles put some wind at his back going into a debate Saturday, where the Santillan allegations are sure to be a major issue. Even worse for Whitman? The debate is sponsored by Spanish-language network Univision, meaning it should reach a sizable Hispanic audience.

Beside the hypocrisy, what should end Queen Meg’s chances is that she didn’t hesitate to imply that Nicky Diaz intercepted the letter sent to her and her husband and hid it away. She supposedly had warm feelings for Nicky, but she didn’t hesitate to throw her under the bus, back it up, and then drive over her again. There’s also the question why she didn’t use any of her billions to take Nicky to an immigration lawyer to see if she could help her stay here legally. If that’s how she treats people for whom she purports to have affection, why would anyone think she’ll give a damn about nameless, faceless citizens she wants to govern?

UPDATE: stagemom at the Big Orange asked for a pic of Queen NutMeg as Norma Desmond, so I photoshopped a quickie (and I do mean quickie, so don’t look too closely). I figured I’d add it here.

Original image


Filed under Bill Clinton, California, humor, Immigration, John McCain, parody, politics, Republicans, Scandals, snark, television, Tom Tancredo, Wordpress Political Blogs

18 responses to “The Harsh Glare of Truth

  1. Love the Harsh head on the cartoon!

    The final paragraph has the points that I hope hit home with Cali voters.

    • dr. katz was one of my favorite shows. i hated harshing dr. k’s head, but i bet ben would think it’s funny.

      queen nutmeg is a liar. she doesn’t seem to be able to think on her feet, and that’s not a very good trait for someone who wants a job that entails making decisions for millions of people every day.

  2. jeb

    It’s so patently unfair to expect her to be held to the same laws and values that she represents. Be careful or she’ll sic Chris Christie on you.

    • i forgot that mega-rich people are allowed to lie whenever they want.

      i’m not afraid of chris christie. he’s from joisey, but i’m from new yawk, and i can scream a helluva lot louder than he can.

  3. i feel sorry for dr.harsh…he has to live with a woman that just blew 120 million dollars….

    • i’m thinkin’ he was grateful that it kept her out of the house and away from him, even if it cost $120 mil. maybe that can be a mastercard ad:

      trying to buy a governorship…$120,000,000

      not having that exile from easter island in the house, yelling at the help and bugging the shit out of me…priceless!

      • “Exile of Easter Island”

        😆 bwahahahahahahahahahahahahah! 😆

        • her family lived right next door to jon cornyn’s family. there was a falling-out, and they said to each other there’s not room here for all of us. they looked at the size of each other’s heads, and nobody could argue.

          i’m surprised you never heard that story. 😉

  4. She doesn’t even have the compassion of BP; at least they say they care for the “little people.”

    • let’s help her get her life back and send her off to go yachting with tony awkward…i mean, haywire…i mean, hayward.

      • I think Whitman and her husband going yachting with Tony Hayward would be an improvement for everyone but Tony. He’d probably think her too declasse.

        On another subject, is it possible to come up with something funny about Carl Paladino? I suggest a Sopranos or Goodfellas cover.

        • is it possible to come up with something about carl paladino that’s not funny? he’s been in my sites, but i’m trying to think of a movie that will do him justice. he was the star of one movie before the primary.

  5. I thought you’d be right on top of covering this story…. Ha!

    I want to see this debate in the Hispanic realms.

    Meg will be doing her best

    Si se puede (hire illegal immigrants!)

    Yes we can hire illegal immigrants!

    Will she play the *humanitarian card*?
    I was only trying to help her out….

    Or will she play the *gotcha media card*
    I am a victim of the media……

    Or will she play the *I take full responsibility card*?
    Coming clean for all to see, because she has to.

    Megs! Sooooo lacking in the Stepford wives realms.

    This should be curtains for her political career.
    Say buh bye Megs….

    • she has no cards to play. she couldn’t have even said at the beginning that she felt sorry for nicky and didn’t want to get her in trouble, because she had already fired her. she can’t plead ignorance, because the husband signed the paper. she can’t plead compassion, because she dropped her like a hot potato when she decided to run for office. she’s digging a very expensive hole, and i hope she keeps digging.

  6. The last time I live in CA old Edmund Brown had lost the race to some B actor and the cool word in common use was “bitchin”. Going back in 2 days and I expect Jerry Brown to be the elected and the new phrase on everybodies lips to be “legal weed”. When JB served the first time he refused to live in the new executive mansion that Ronnie had erected remarking that it looked like a Safeway store. And Arnold really outdid himself on the evil Texas oilmen speech, not all oilmen, but the creepy ones he mentioned trying to undo CA environmental laws in place. Sure won’t be a slow news day when those returns start coming in. Will the nutjobs prevail? Will arrogant stupid be the new order? Will Paladino realize he is the living caracture of Tony the gangster on the Simpsons? So many questions!

    • i think the media have been acting like fan clubs. they breathlessly report every single blip in the polls and declare them to be indicators of what will happen in november. i think the anticipated rethuglican coup isn’t going to happen. the more the rethugs talk, the more the reasonable voters realize that they’re dangerous and just plain nuts. the teabaggers may be loud, but they’re too spread out to do too much damage. there may be pockets of them in some states, like south carolina, but they’re too few and far between in california and new yawk.

  7. Let’s be honest about it …

    Virtually no one who isn’t a hard-core bigot (Tom Tancredo, for example) really cares about illegal immigration. We all either think we should be more welcoming, or at least enjoy having cheap lettuce and laundry service (depending on whether we’re humans or Republicans).

    Pretty much all rhetoric on immigration is an attempt to fuel fires, get people worked up, and do nothing. Actually doing anything about illegal immigration would make life difficult … and if there’s anything we know about rich Republicans, it’s that they don’t want their lives made difficult.

    So of course Meg Whitman had an illegal immigrant working for her. And she didn’t care. And no one else cares.

    If we could all admit that we don’t really care, we could then get some real meaningful reforms passed … but the Right has enough of those hard-core bigots and those who pretend to care that that won’t happen.

    • illegals are bearing the brunt of anger against all immigrants and people of color. a lot of white people are pissed off, because they feel that they’ve lost their jobs or got denied promotions, because someone of color or who has an accent stole their opportunities. that’s been the story for a century. people hate the irish, the italians, the chinese, et al, because they saw them as taking the jobs that people who were already here were entitled to. with so many jobs being shipped overseas (thanks to ceos like queen nutmeg and carlyfornia), the resentment is even higher. if people understood that lifting everyone up makes things better for everyone, they’d stop being so hateful. most people who are resentful now are descendants of people who were hated when they came to this country, because they were perceived as the undeserving ones.