Via the boss emeritus, who’s not happy.
The Whitman household, contrary to the candidate’s flat denials, did in fact receive the red-flag letter six years ago. Contrary to Whitman campaign supporters’ insinuations that the maid stole the letter, she was apparently in legal, legitimate possession of it. Whitman’s husband gave it to her and passed the buck.
Will the campaign deny that Whitman’s husband’s handwriting is the real deal? Will they absolve Whitman by putting sole responsibility for the matter in her husband’s hands? Will they continue to harp on the maid’s fraudulent representation of her status in 2000, instead of dealing with the red flags [not just the no-match letter(s), but also the fact that Diaz-Santillan was banned from traveling back to Mexico] from 2003 onward?
You’ll find a PDF of the letter here, along with Allred’s observation that Nicky Diaz is the Rosa Parks of Latinas or something. Obviously there’s a question of whether the handwriting really does belong to Whitman’s husband, and at her own presser today (video of which you’ll find below), Whitman said she’s willing to take a polygraph if necessary to prove that she knew nothing about Diaz’s status until last year. It could be true: It’s not hard to imagine her husband going through a stack of bills, letters, etc, and glancing at the Social Security letter before deciding to just let Diaz deal with it. If so, that was negligent and negligence is no excuse, but it does suggest that Whitman’s not quite as culpable as Allred would have people believe. And as Whitman herself noted today, she started running for governor all the way back in February 2009 — five months before she fired Diaz. To repeat a point I made yesterday, if she had really known that Diaz was here illegally, wouldn’t she have unloaded her before the campaign to limit the political damage?
As for why she didn’t try to have Diaz deported:
Once she fired Diaz Santillan, Whitman said she told her senior campaign advisors about the matter but did not disclose it publicly because she did not want to turn the spotlight on the woman, whom she repeatedly described as a member of her “extended family.”
“I was not going to make an example of Nicky,” Whitman said, adding that this situation shows why the United States needs a temporary guest worker program and a reliable electronic method for employers to check the status of employees.
Whitman repeatedly refused to say whether Diaz Santillan should be deported, saying that was a matter for federal immigration authorities, and she acknowledged checking with her attorney to see if there was anything she could do to help legalize the woman. The attorney said no, at which point Whitman fired the housekeeper.
She’s doing the best she can here, obviously, not to lose Latino votes over this. Exit question: Is she going to lose votes over this? She fired the maid when she (allegedly) found out about her status and has been careful not to disparage her personally in talking about this. An election’s not going to turn on the fact of her husband’s negligence, is it?