The Battle for America 2010: Red October

CALIFORNIA

Key Races: Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House

Tim Daniel reporting:

Nannygate this, Nannygate that, Nannygate here, Nannygate there, Nannygate-Nannygate everywhere.

Nannygate drowned out the week that was, in politics and in California. A timeline:

September 29: Gossip rag TMZ pops out the headline: "Meg Whitman's Housekeeper --- 'Explosive' Allegations." Camp Whitman sounds out the sleaze alarm. The news then breaks at 11 a.m. PST that Meg Whitman "exploited, disrespected, humiliated and emotionally and financially abused" her illegal alien nanny from 2000-2009. Gang, meet Nicky Diaz Santillan and her spotlight-chasing sidekick, Gloria Allred. The story moves fast -- before noon the Whitman team releases documents from the hiring agency that coordinated Nanny-Nicky's hiring proving that she lied about her immigration status and provided a false Social Security card. Allred says that she can prove that Whitman did know Nicky's illegal status and will prove so with a SSA letter. Later that evening, Moonbeam channels Buzz Aldrin Nicky the nanny and praises her for her contribution to his campaign.

September 30: Meg Whitman jumps back into action before California's high noon. She claims that she never saw the Social Security Administration letter Allred claimed was sent to Casa Whitman red-flagging Nicky's immigration status. Whitman accuses Nicky Santillan of stealing the SSA letter and says that the entire affair is trumped up by Jerry Brown and Allred. She offers to take a polygraph to prove that she had never seen the SSA letter. Now the story hinges upon Gloria Allred releasing said letter. A bombshell is dropped by the attorney for "the courageous Rosa Parks." The SSA letter has Meg Whitman's husband's handwriting on it. "Nicky, please check this," it says. Meg Whitman's husband, Dr. Griff Harsh, counters that he may have seen the letter and forgot but says that "it's important to note what this letter actually says: 'this letter makes no statement about your employee's immigration status.'"

Sam Foster, writing at the Daily Caller, offered up perhaps the best big picture dissection of the Nannygate affair. Aside from the myriad minutiae, he narrows in on not the Nannygate details themselves but the "bait and switch" approach that the liberal press pushes during a story like this. Also, Dan Riehl noticed that Allred named Mark Van Der Hout as Santillan's immigration attorney. Read more on this. And don't miss Gloria Allred on Mark Levin's show and being interviewed by Fox's Greta Van Susteren, plus damning evidence that Allred is a Democratic hack.

Exit points: How did Allred get her hands on the SSA letter? Did Nicky intercept it, which is a crime? How can Allred approach her breach of ethics and "significant legal jeopardy" (see below) by outing an illegal alien who broke federal law via the false Social Security card?

T. Christopher at Republican Redefined notes that the SSA letter specifically states: "This Letter does not imply that you or your employee intentionally provided incorrect information about the employee’s name or SSN. It is not a basis, in and of itself, for you to take any adverse action against the employee, such as laying off, suspending, firing, or discriminating against the individual. An employer that uses the information in this letter to justify taking adverse action against the employee may violate state or federal law and be subject to legal consequences. Moreover, this letter makes no statement about your employee’s immigration status.” Smoking gun? More like a cheap water pistol.

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection touches on the legal side of Nannygate that the press has ignored:

The other interesting aspect, quite apart from politics, is Allred's willingness to expose her client to legal harm even though the client does not have any meaningful legal claim. This is not a case where Allred's client is a crime victim who comes forward to the police. There does not appear to be a violation of any law by Whitman, but there do appear to be both immigration and possibly criminal violations by Allred's client, who filed false documents with the government. By going public as she has, Allred has exposed her client to significant legal jeopardy in order to score publicity and political points for Allred.

Also, I can see Nannygate as having the opposite intended effect as independent, conservative and moderates less-than-enthusiastic about Meg Whitman see through the charade and rally to her side. A commenter on my Pajamas Media piece said as much:

"If I lived in Cali, I would have probably voted 3rd Party in the governor's race. Now, I’d crawl over broken glass to vote for Meg."

Indeed.

Quicklinks lost in the Nannygate shuffle:

You paid for it so you should watch it -- Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer debated midweek on public radio. More combative than the last debate, Fiorina was on location and Boxer was "boxed" in via satellite. Go here for the audio link and highlights. An Army of Davids citizen journalist also caught some very suspicious activity taking place before the debate.

Vietnamese are coming! -- Great new web ad from the Van Tran campaign in California's 47th Congressional District. They used a recorded message left at their office from Loretta Sanchez's communications director wherein she claims that Sanchez "doesn't have the time to debate" Van Tran. Watch it here.

Bubba (not Gump) is California-bound -- Clinton is coming to a troops-rallying event at the Old Orange County Courthouse to GOTV for Loretta Sanchez. The Democrats are afraid of losing this seat, thus the showing of "big-guns" Democrat Bill Clinton. The Conservative Hispanic Society also condemned Loretta Sanchez this week.

Fishing for victory with Sarracuda -- Ironically, Sarah Palin is showing up in Orange County one day after Bill Clinton for the RNC's "Victory 2010."

Pre-election high times -- Ahead of Proposition 19, the Governator signed SB 1449, which allows up to almost one ounce, up to 28.5 grams of pot possession to be classified as an infraction, on par with littering.

Dead Trees for Jerry Brown -- The Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, and the San Francisco Chronicle say yea.

Moonbeam V. Whitman en Espanol -- Don't miss the highlight from the Brown/Whitman debate on Univision.

CONNECTICUT

Key Race: U.S. Senate

Jane Genova reporting:

“No story has had as big an impact” on Connecticut U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Richard Blumenthal as the New York Times May article outing exaggeration of military service.  That’s what Politico's Alex Isenstadt reports with only a little more than four weeks left in the campaign.

As CT voters well know, Blumenthal suggested he was on the ground in Vietnam. Actually he was in the Marine Corps Reserve.  That catapulted his GOP opponent, unknown former WWE executive Linda McMahon, into the spotlight and up in the polls.  The latest Quinnipiac poll puts McMahon only three points  -- 46 to 49 -- behind Blumenthal.

However, it ain’t over until it’s over. For instance, labor in CT, as around the globe, is uniting in protest of unemployment.  Lowering the federal minimum wage could create jobs. But that’s not how workers and their unions might have interpreted McMahon’s remarks at a press conference that the nation should review the whole issue of the minimum wage. In addition, she stumbled when a reporter’s questions revealed she didn’t know how much the wage was. More recently, it was disclosed by video that McMahon lied about spending money lobbying Washington, D.C., when at WWE. In 2001, she used lobbying firm APCO to present WWE’s position on legislation about the entertainment industry’s marketing practices.

On the other hand, McMahon does know how to create jobs. No one disputes that. As for Blumenthal, well, the very question of job creation literally stumps him. McMahon owned him with that direct question.

McMahon’s deep pocket is funding escalation of television attack ads. Blumenthal, who wants to be known for being there for the little guy, is being depicted as not that at all. The phrase “tax and spend” could stick on him. Meanwhile his camp has responded with a 30-second TV spot labeling McMahon as “a bad CEO” who could evolve into “a worse senator.”

The possibility of a major announcement on more CT layoffs or more jobs created could be the tipping point in this election.  How the two candidates frame that development could decide the election. Another factor could be the influence of the Tea Party, which McMahon hasn’t courted.  In addition, actions on the national level by both parties could impact CT voter attitudes.