Video: Meg Whitman Denies Ever Receiving a No-Match Letter on Her Former Nanny (Updated)
The stars have aligned and the national press corps is screaming to push the story that Meg Whitman broke the law by employing an illegal immigrant nanny, then cold-heartedly firing her to get her out of the way of her run for governor of California.
Thus, lawyered up with Gloria Allred in tow, an unknown nanny went viral tabloid style, claiming that she was"exploited, disrespected, humiliated, and emotionally and financially abused,” and "treated like garbage.’'
The story at this point hinges upon a supposed "no-match" letter sent by the Social Security Administration to the Whitman household several years ago. At a news conference today, Whitman offered up a very strong denial:
Whitman: “If there is a letter out there, I don’t know how they got it, it’s not in our house. … We never saw that letter.”
As Ed Driscoll pointed us to the "Obi-Won Kenobi" of campaign predictors, this October surprise has been an expected wild card in the California electoral playbook. Political geeks in the audience will recall that a similar Nannygate flap killed candidate Michael Huffington’s 1996 California Senate run. Yes that Huffington, in case you didn't know. Likewise, Bush appointees Linda Chavez and Bernie Kerik were both felled by the Nannygate-sword.
To cross the hypothetical bridge to nowhere in Whitman’s Nannygate we are offered inch-thick, mile-wide evidence, anecdotal, tabloid, and otherwise.
1). Show me the papers! Yesterday Meg Whitman offered that she had no idea that her maid was an illegal immigrant and that a valid Social Security card was presented from Santillan's hiring agency. Attorney Gloria Allred countered this, claiming that the Social Security Administration sent a letter to the Whitman household in 2003 red-flagging Santillan’s Social Security number. This is key to this case. Whitman says she never got it and has put that ball back in Allred's court. Will Allred produce this letter? Or will she dangle it up high above election heads and then drop it, say, Halloween day? Boo! If Allred produces it, the fickle finger of blame gets pointed right back at her and the nanny: How did they get it? Did the nanny add mail theft to immigration law violations?
2). Hell hath no fury like the ego of a woman desperately seeking the spotlight. Gloria Allred has a colorful history of pulling last minute, ego-stroking stunts like this. Allred attempted to derail Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2003 recall election by drumming up sexual harassment charges and a lawsuit from a Hollywood stuntwoman named Rhonda Miller. Miller claimed that Schwarzenegger “pulled up her shirt” and “suckled her breasts” on the Terminator 2 set. She also alleged that Schwarzenegger fondled her during the filming of True Lies. Despite the salacious allegations, Rhonda Miller's suit was later dismissed. For more on this listen to Hugh Hewitt's interview with Allred yesterday.
3). It’s all in the timing. Santillan was fired from the Whitman household in 2009. How long has her attorney Gloria Allred been in contact with her? And why the October surprise bombshell, one month before the election? The appearance of political timing on Allred's part, nearly a Democratic operative in her own right, is suspect at best. There is either a substantive issue of law here or a timed political move, one or the other. On queue, the maid's story reads like pure political chicanery and Gloria Allred's side in the letter is even worse. It reminds me of "Shadow Party" behavior that Bryan Preston has written about here at Pajamas Media.
Clifton B. at Another Black Conservative found a very interesting discrepancy in the Santillan/Allred letter as well:
The maid's (Nicky Diaz Santillan) story reads like it was written for maximum effect. Even the sob story about the extra chores she had to do:
Never mind that on her application the extra chores she complains about are checked as things she would do:
4). If the nanny provided false information on her application for employment at Casa Whitman, then isn't she actually the one that is guilty of a crime here? Forgive me if I am wrong, but the Whitman campaign released documents specifically showing paperwork that Santillan signed, stating under the penalty of perjury that she was a "lawful permanent resident" of the United States. According to pages 12-14, the documents show an allegedly fraudulent Social Security card along with a California's driver's license, an IRS W4 form, and an INS verification form. Is Allred therefore harboring a document-forging criminal? Attorneys in the audience -- speak up.
Nannygate is a salient example of just how bizarre politics and the Democratic Party's stranglehold is upon my once-proud and prosperous state. Moonbeam himself picked up the story and spread it like a Los Angeles brush fire on a 115 degree July afternoon. There is even a Jersey Shore connection to the affair. All aspects of the account, from the second rate gossip rag TMZ breaking it, to ambulance-chaser Gloria Allred's accusations, to the tear-soaked "press conference" today, are florid and idiotic and fit for the National Enquirer cover, next to headlines of “Obama’s Mistress” and “Three-headed Baby Found on Mars.”
Yesterday Nannygate hit the wires as Meg Whitman hosted a jobs-related news conference with Cisco System's CEO John Chambers. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes her as saying to Chambers that "politics is a bloodsport."
More like a tabloid freak show, in this case.
We'll see how it all plays out in the state home to the highest unemployment in the nation.
Update (Bryan): Well, Allred has produced what she says is the SSA letter, complete with a hand-written note from Whitman's husband on it ordering the nanny to check it. Here's the letter itself, and it's dated April 22, 2003.
And the ball is back in Whitman's court.
Update (Bryan): While we await the next volley from Whitman, I find this interesting. It's from the SSA letter
You should not use this letter to take any adverse action against an employee just because his or her Social Security number appears on the list, such as laying off, suspending, firing , or discriminating against the individual. Doing so could, in fact, violate state or federal law and subject you to legal consequences.
So...what are employers supposed to do when they get one of these letters? DHS tried clearing this up and ended up thwarted by the usual suspects, and then the Obama administration came in and dropped the matter entirely, according to Mark Krikorian. Of course they did. Obama is entirely disinterested in having anything to do with border security. Krikorian also notes that one of those who fought the 2002-2003 crackdown on hiring illegals now works for the Obama White House. How nice!
So the Democrats are reduced to using an illegal alien and probable felon, whom Allred is absurdly comparing to Rosa Parks (an insult to Parks, by the way), against a Republican candidate so they can hang onto the governor's seat in a big blue state, even though the Democrats themselves put advocates for illegal immigration high up in their own administration. Can you spell I-N-S-A-N-E? Then you can spell the one word that best defines our current political predicament.
Update (Bryan): Team Whitman volleys back, saying that the husband thinks it could be his handwriting, but the letter doesn't really prove what Allred insists it proves. Here's part of their statement:
“While I honestly do not recall receiving this letter, as it was sent to me seven years ago, I can say it is possible that I would've scratched a follow up note on a letter like this, which is a request for information to make certain Nicky received her Social Security benefits and W-2 tax refund for withheld wages. Since we believed her to be legal, I would have had no reason to suspect that she would not have filled it in and done what was needed to secure her benefits.
“It is important to note what this letter actually says: 'this letter makes no statement about your employee's immigration status.'
I have to say, I think the Whitmans have the better argument here. The SSA letter specifically states that it says nothing about the nanny's immigration status. It says they should take no punitive action against her. It's entirely plausible and likely that Whitman's husband saw the letter in 2003, scribbled his note to the nanny, and then forgot about it. Absent something more damning, Allred's gone all in and turned out to be all wet.
But -- she's still harboring a known illegal alien and probable felon, the idiotic "Rosa Parks" bit notwithstanding. So I suppose the difference between Allred and Jerry Brown on the one hand and Whitman on the other, is that both Allred and Brown know they have an illegal alien presently working for them.
Book 'em, Dann-O.