Greta and Gloria : Mano a Mano

Greta takes on Gloria Allred over the Meg Whitman housekeeper allegations. Pretty funny.

The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed immigration lawyers who say Whitman acted appropriately: [More...]

Lawyers said an employer's obligation upon receiving a no-match letter from the Social Security Administration is to check their own records for typographical or other errors, inform the employee that the records do not match and tell the employee to correct them.

"There is no additional legal obligation for an employer to follow up or respond to SSA with new information," said Gening Liao, a labor and employment attorney at the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, which defends immigrants.

The purpose of the letter is to ensure the employee's social security numbers match so that they aren't denied benefits later:

Nor was Diaz under any obligation to pursue the matter, Liao said. Correcting a mismatch is "primarily for the benefit of the employee," she said, to make sure they can collect all the benefits due them for their work.

...Not only is (accepting the documents) all the law required her to do, but there's a counterbalancing anti-discrimination law that keeps her from probing further or demanding different documents," said Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington

As for Whitman's obligations upon learning from her housekeeper that she was undocumented, those are clear: She must fire her. And that's what she did.

Whitman Greta: 1, Allred: 0

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    funny! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:40:14 AM EST
    I guess all Allred is left with is Whitman's statements to the press saying 'we' didn't know about it. No proof her husband told her about it, and even if he did, if lying to the press was a crime we'd need even more jails.

    Thanks for the SF Chronicle link. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by EL seattle on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 08:08:10 AM EST
    When I read the .pdf copy of the notice that was sent in 2003, it seemed to me that its wording went to great lengths to discourage people from thinking that it was an accusation of wrongdoing.  The Chronicle story is probably the first one I've read about the current brouhaha that provides some details as to why the letter goes the extra yard in that regard.

    Here's a link to a 2002 LA Times article that provides some additional background information (from about that time) about the notification letters.

    - - -

    From the LA Times:

    Historically, the agency has pursued only a small portion of those mismatches with query letters to employers. However, in 2001, the agency sent 11,000 letters to a select number of companies with errors in an effort to rectify mismatches, which can shortchange beneficiaries who don't get credit for all wages earned. For years, the agency has been criticized for failing to address the problem.

    Now that a push to resolve the issue is underway, immigrant rights advocates say they fear that undocumented workers using false Social Security cards could face harassment or firing.

    - - -

    According to the LA Times story, in May 2002 the SSA sent out about 225,000 letters to California companies telling them they had reported invalid numbers.  I doubt if all the dust had settled for this issue when the Whitman's SSA letter arrived in 2003.

    Since Diaz is unlikely to get (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by itscookin on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:05:46 AM EST
    any money from Whitman, does she have a malpractice case against Allred for exposing her to criminal charges?

    Why is Diaz unlikely to get (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:35:35 AM EST
    any money from Whitman?

    legal extortion (none / 0) (#11)
    by diogenes on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:41:34 AM EST
    Because this whole case was about getting an out of court blackmail settlement to "keep it quiet" and/or to derail Whitman's campaign.  Since it is all in the open and Whitman has been derailed already, Whitman would sooner spend millions than settle this case now.
    Maybe after years Diaz might get some back wages if in fact she worked below minimum for a brief period.

    legal extortion? (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:49:48 AM EST
    Really?  The maid was given the boot and told after nine years of abusive employment that there would be no help in finding her a good immigration attorney.....all this came about because her filthy rich employer decided to run for Governor playing the harda$$ Republican bullhonk while having an illegal maid working for her and such a thing could destroy her.  At least that is what we have been told so far.  Where do you pull your legal extortion baloney from?  It is totally B.S. that Whitman didn't suspect she was illegal.  And all that time working for the filthy rich Whitman, who could have easily paid her fairly but chose not to.....why would Whitman do that?  And nobody can deny that Whitman is not and was not a very powerful woman during ALL THAT.  It's pretty obvious to me who was extorting who at this point for free maid service.

    Where is the proof that Diaz (none / 0) (#15)
    by itscookin on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:03:46 AM EST
    Was forced to work beyond the hours she was paid for? All of the duties she claimed she was "forced to do" were listed on her employment application as requirements of the job. The only one we are sure is a liar is Nicky Diaz. She forged documents to get the job. I know you want to see Meg Whitman brought down, but how far across the line are you willing to go to do it?

    And I do want Whitman brought down (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:19:23 AM EST
    She is a hypocrite and the picture of everything that is wrong in this country....the oligarchy.

    Diaz worked for her for 9 years (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:20:36 PM EST
    Apparently Diaz became close to Whitman and her kids--"part of the family."

    And Whitman does not even try to get Diaz an immigration lawyer?  

    Tossed away likc a piece of garbage.

    I guess that kind of coldness sells well among some.  Among Latinos, not so much, I would venture.

    And to not know her status after 9 years and being part of the family.....and knowing that Diaz said she could not travel outside the country?


    So, can you clean a 3,700 sq ft (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 04:30:16 PM EST
    house, ferry kids to school and back, to their outside activities and play dates, and run errands for your employer in 15 hours per week?

    Because that's all Whitman told Diaz she would pay her for - and if you look at the SSA letter it reflects wages for 2002 that exactly equal $23/hr for 15 hours for 52 weeks.

    Whitman got a full-time housekeeper, nanny and errand-runner for what amounted to minimum wage, with no raises, for 9 years.

    This is the woman who made gazillions at eBay, who could have afforded a full complement of household and child-care help, but chose, instead, to work the bejesus out of a young woman she likely knew was undocumented and didn't have many options.

    This is elitist and hypocritical behavior from a woman who wants to represent the people of the State of California; it would be a huge stretch of the imagination to believe she gives two hoots about anyone but herself.

    That, I believe, is the issue here.


    Ever known anyone (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:09:37 AM EST
    personally who was here under such circumstances?

    Yes (none / 0) (#22)
    by itscookin on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:23:11 AM EST
    So do you look at them (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:47:09 AM EST
    and see nothing but a liar?  Do you know any of their stories?  How they came to be here or why they took such risks?

    there's a copy of her (none / 0) (#20)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:15:54 AM EST
    employment app and job description available?

    Yes, there is (none / 0) (#23)
    by itscookin on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:32:39 AM EST
    link doesn't work (none / 0) (#45)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:57:23 PM EST
    Maybe try this link version? (none / 0) (#48)
    by EL seattle on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 03:20:56 PM EST
    .PDF LINK HERE (I think the first post had redundant text in the http address.)

    thank you :) (none / 0) (#52)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 04:05:06 PM EST
    the pdf that i read (none / 0) (#57)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 04:59:54 PM EST
    looked more like things she was willing/able to do when she applied at the agency, not "requirements of the job" with Whitman. there is a difference.

    she also said she would be willing to work extra hours on the app. i doubt she meant for free though . . . .


    African Americans suffer (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by diogenes on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:44:09 AM EST
    Remember when African Americans could always use jobs as custodians and housekeepers as backup jobs.  Now they are unemployed because rich white Americans hire illegals.  Don't tell me that legal American citizens won't do housekeeping or custodial work.

    no human being is illegal (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:47:34 AM EST
    We use the phrase "undocumented resident" here, and you know that.

    Remember When..... (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:06:12 AM EST
    Ah, remember when the poor negros were thrown out of the warm secure plantations, and forced to have to look for work.

    Your concern trolling makes you sound like an abject racist.


    hit the ad hominem jackpot (1.00 / 0) (#63)
    by diogenes on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:02:57 PM EST
    If all you can do is call me a racist then I guess you really agree that the masses of undocumented Latinos working in household and custodial jobs effectively displaces African Americans of a similar skill level who today have very high unemployment rates.  

    Well (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:57:59 PM EST
    To tell you the truth, it is hard to tell who you are trying to demean more in your comment above, blacks or latinos.

    credit when credit is due. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ghost2 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:34:55 PM EST
    Thanks Jeralyn.  

    I have critized you a lot in the past, but in this case you are spot on.  I even like Gloria (she was one of Hillary delegates who refused to switch her vote, because California law bars delegates from doing so on the first and second ballots), but in this case you are absolutely right.

    I'll be happy to inflict a lil' (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:50:24 PM EST
    punishment at the ballot box.

    I don't think that the fact she (4.50 / 4) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 08:23:46 AM EST
    didn't fire the housekeeper is where we all think she was very inappropriate.  It was when she realized that her housekeeper was probably illegal and then decided to back her into a corner and make her work double the agreed upon hours without the pay.

    Thanks- I was trying to remember (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 09:37:31 AM EST
    What the lawsuit was about. I haven't been keeping up.

    I wonder how this will play out (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 09:43:12 AM EST
    If there is evidence of employee abuse either Whitman abused her because she was fairly certain she was illegal, Nicky knew it, and a powerful woman can get away with abusing an illegal in such a situation.  Or Whitman just abuses all of her employees.  Either way I wouldn't want her for my governor.

    $23 a hour is abusive? (none / 0) (#46)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 03:02:16 PM EST
    I know many, many, people who would love to have that job!  

    It's been mentioned on previous Whitman thread (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by DFLer on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 03:22:12 PM EST
     that it was for 15 hrs.

    was to be paid $23/hr for 15 hours of work; that's a nice hourly rate.  Except that, soon after she started working, Whitman started adding more duties beyond the housecleaning she was hired to do - nanny responsibilities, personal errands, etc., that had her working more than 15 hours, and using her own car, spending her own money for gas to run Whitman's errands and transport her children.
    -as per Anne Then W. balked at paying for the extra hours.

    Have you ever cleaned toilets, or cleaned up other people's crap for wages? I think everyone should do that work at least once in their lives for the perspective it gives you about this type of work.


    Really (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 03:43:30 PM EST
    the mentality reminds of the time I heard that waste of valuable artistic space Bruce Willis pissing and moaning about how the unions were wreaking Hollywood -- and making his 20 mil per pos movie more problematic..

    Who do these 23-an-hr-for-15 hrs beaners think they are?  



    Amen on your last statement (none / 0) (#50)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 03:38:18 PM EST
    I was a hotel maid in high school and college. Best motivation to finish school I could have had. I recommend it to parents of ditherers - get them a job at the local Motel 8.

    I tried being a hotel maid (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 05:52:51 PM EST
    one summer.  I didn't make it.  I could not convince myself to scrub nine toilets everyday for minimum wage.

    I consider it the very fair wage (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 05:50:43 PM EST
    to pay someone who you can trust with your life, your children, and your mansion.  It would seem this maid had a much better notion of what she was worth when compared to most of America.

    Status Quo (none / 0) (#7)
    by Rojas on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:01:13 AM EST
    While these particular allegation against Whitman may or may not be true, that is the state of the nation for our blue collar workforce over the last two decades.
    It appears damn hypocritical to me to single out MW for these allegations when this is the very structure that the so-called liberals have fought to become the Status Quo.

    I don't think we can claim (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:34:57 AM EST
    that making people work hours they don't get paid for is the status quo.  Are American workers largely abused at this time though by poor hourly pay and zero benefits available, and have Democrats aided and abetted us getting here?  Yes

    Whitman's success and qualifications for Governor is Ebay and good for her.  Is she someone of such wealth and now in my face an abuser of her own employees? Should someone this abusive of human beings be rewarded with a governorship now that she is exposed?  Should I just give her a pass or do I start making examples of such heinous people?  I already know my vote on this :)


    I'll claim it (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:05:15 AM EST
    and so can thousands of other state employees, in my state alone, put on "furlough" but -- in only our work group -- told that we cannot take days off, cannot cut our workload, etc., so that our public shall be served.  And so, the public does not see what is being done.  And we're told to just fib on our "furlough" sheets, reporting days off that never were days off, so that it looks good on the gummint books and pols can use us as pawns.

    These are pay cuts without workload cuts -- or, to reverse it to the terms here, extra work without pay for it, right?  By the way, the percentage of our pay cuts were calculated based on our contracts which, we are told, are for 365 days a year.  Yes, seven days a week.

    It's worse than indentured servitude, which meant a half-day off per week, anyway. . . .

    Everyone ought to see if this is being done in your name, you-the-public, in your city, county, or state to your public employees -- at least some of your public employees, when most at least get days off to go with their pay cuts.  But not all.  Not if they're not unionized, as we cannot be . . . by state law.  Cute how that works out for the state, huh?


    I have my evidence :) (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:15:51 AM EST
    They are getting blood from the turnip somehow huh?

    So what do we do to fight this?  People would have been screaming like mad back in the day....of strong union support and strong unions.    

    It is a bit of a different situation though for the hourly paid maid.  She has made no agreement to such a thing, but tried to put up with it out of fear it appears.  Has the union agreed to such furloughs or are they fighting them?

    In the military there is no limit to the hours they can make you work or when.  But we agreed to that insanity upfront :)


    Well put. (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:58:30 AM EST
    We turnips already had promises raises taken back -- also because of not being allowed collective bargaining rights to fight back -- and after years of hardly any raises at all, below inflation.

    And no, even those who were allowed collective bargaining rights could do nothing, as their agreements are overridden by state laws allowing governors, county execs, mayors, etc., to do these actions by decree.

    Now, let me point out that my problems from this are nothin' compared to those public employees who are at the level of maids aka custodians, clerical workers, etc.  They do get days off, real furloughs -- but they do not want the days off and the pay cuts, when their pay is so low.

    It's so bad for our county workers that their furlough days now are more than a month of the year -- and the county exec looks to be our next governor, who will do similar cuts to us state employees.  And of course, all of these cuts to such large groups of workers contribute to ever-reduced income tax revenues for the state, contributing to a continuing spiral of this.

    Also note that, of course, all of us workers on furloughs are considered fully employed in the employment reports.  There is a reason why even many "fully employed" folks are not spending, why consumer confidence levels continue to be so low.


    Off topic (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by lilburro on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 01:51:30 PM EST
    my mom memorably screws up phrases like "blood from a turnip" all the time.  Last time she tried to use it, she said to me "you can't squeeze juice from a turnip, that fell off the truck."  HUH?

    One of my best friends has Dutch (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 06:25:00 PM EST
    parents and her mother has never mastered the English language.  She said that one Halloween when someone was TPing the house her mother ran out in the yard yelling to get out of here and go home you kids who have sex with your mothers.

    Ha! That's so funny. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Angel on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:16:33 PM EST
    I used to work with a guy (who just fell off the turnip truck, if you will) who always said "That's so ironic!" when something was hysterically funny.  Um, no, not quite ironic, just funny.

    What do you think happens when we see (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Rojas on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:39:38 AM EST
    stats like this?
    "State employment statistics hint at a significant shift in the residential roofing industry. Between the summer of 2000 and the summer of 2005, the number of people in the overall Minnesota residential construction industry rose 30 percent. At the same time, the number formally employed by residential roofing contractors in the state dropped by 34 percent -- and it's not because Minnesotans have stopped having work done on their roofs."

    Do you think there was a 65% increase in productivity? Nope, people went off the books. Hourly employees, ya know the ones with unemployment insurance who pay taxes were replaced with contract workers paid by the square, day rate, or compensated by off the books, hourly wage.  This has become the status quo for millions of workers in manufacturing or the trades.
    It seems an incredible nit to pick of whether the piece work rate has gone down or if your wage is one third or one half of what it used to be. The only way one can compensate is to work more hours for the same wage.

    We all do have negotiation (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:44:58 AM EST
    abilities though.  Whether we use them or not is up to us.  And what we are willing to allow others to do to us is up to us too.

    Not in this economy it isn't (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 12:33:52 PM EST
    If I get tough with my employer and lose, I'm just out on the street.  The employers know this, too, and they're pushing it as far as they can, way past what they need to do for the business to survive until things pick up, because the workers are in no position to fight back.

    Who prevents us from organizing? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 05:58:41 PM EST
    It is going to take risking to get back what we so easily sold out.  And it has always been workers organizing that kept things fair.  I was worried about what I would do with myself after Joshua didn't need me anymore.  I'm stuck with what a lot of women get stuck with, reinventing myself.  But if everyone is going to be so scared to take the first steps to organizing and people are needed to encourage and greater facilitate...maybe it isn't going to be that hard :)

    There's risk and then there's risk (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 11:08:26 AM EST
    In normal, 5 percent unemployment times like we used to have, that's one thing.  There are other jobs out there if you lose.  But not now.  And those of us who do have jobs who are getting screwed by our employers are quickly running through whatever reserves we had built up for emergencies and dipping into retirement accounts just to pay the mortgage, or the rent.

    You cannot organize successfully when management knows your back is against the wall and you have practically no options.  It does not work.


    Of couse we do, it's all up to us.... (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Rojas on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:04:59 PM EST
    Meanwhile, back in the real world, the one in which the "so-called progressive" (send 'em your cash) wet dream of international wage arbitrage rules the day, there is this news.
    "U.S. injection molder GW Plastics Inc., for example, has seen wages rise substantially at its factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province, after the local government raised the minimum wage 20 percent to 920 yuan a month, or about $135."

    One Hundred and Thirty Five bucks a month! Why thank you Bill Clinton! This is the new gold standard of everything we manufacture. "What can we bring it out of China for?" That's the first question I get asked on every new product or process we introduce. "Why do we want to invest in that gizmo? I understand it will make us more money but it seems expensive. Yes, I see the pay back is less than eight months, but do we really need to do that here? No, I understand it's a critical component. Just send it over to China for a quote." Yes sir, thems the real beans there Tracy.

    And that 135 bucks a month is just a little under half of the weekly wage that I used to start a green kid, with no experience, as a construction laborer in residential construction back in 1980.


    This is news? (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:35:09 PM EST
    that American workers i.e., our fellow citizens, i.e., human beings with needs and wants as vital as our own, are viewed, under the paradigms still promulgated widely at our schools of business and economics basically as disposable tools/means to an end; best placed, for practical purposes, under the general category of the cost of doing business?

    We've accepted a status quo which basically dictates that the purpose of a very large swathe of humanity in this country is to help "create wealth" for others, who in turn trickle, from a considerable height, a golden stream down on the entire nation.  



    what's the cost of living there (none / 0) (#44)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:55:42 PM EST
    in relationship to that wage?

    i know at the factories one of my clients uses, young women work there for a couple years and then take all their wages back to their villages and settle. goes pretty far. while working at the factory, they live in dorms etc, so the wage isn't needed for housing/etc.


    Cost of living is extremely low (none / 0) (#53)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 04:25:10 PM EST
    if you translate it to U.S. bucks on the official exchange rate particularly. The yuan equivalent of our $135 a month is a very, very good wage over there.  And as you say, partial or full housing and food is often part of the deal.

    It's a very, very, very different world over there, totally different way of doing things, different expectations, etc.


    Different over there (none / 0) (#75)
    by Rojas on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 10:21:40 AM EST
    Yes, I suppose, because the concept of our children operating pre WWI machinery and equipment for 10 to 18hrs a day has not happened in the US since pre-WWII.

    I think you're operating on old (none / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 11:18:46 AM EST
    information about China.  The place is changing so rapidly, it makes your head spin.  China has opened up a large number of new "enterprise zones," they're bursting at the seams with wannabe small businessmen (still mostly men) and the population is draining out of the countryside to take jobs in those businesses.  Don't know how much child labor actually goes on there these days, but I'd be surprised if it's all that much.

    I highly recommend a recent book on China called "Country Driving" by a guy named Hessler who lived there for years, speaks fluent Chinese, and has been exploring things in depth from the ground.  The last third of his book is an absolutely mind-boggling account of the development of one of those new "enterprise zones" south of Beijing.

    Note I am NOT suggesting China has become some sort of workers' paradise.  Far from it.  But the image of dark factories full of children laboring for pennies under cruel overlords just doesn't match reality anymore.

    It's more likely to be, as Hessler profiles in his book, a small business making bra strap holders for the Bulgarian market with a single machine and a dozen or so employees of all ages and both sexes, all from the countryside.

    It's really eye-opening stuff and I recommend it highly.


    I recomend you go see for yourself (none / 0) (#82)
    by Rojas on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:42:17 PM EST
    I've been there at least once every eight months for the last eight years. We have a JV set up inside a factory there. We also bring a fair amount of tooling out of China every year although most of it comes out of more advanced areas of Asia.

    Not one who is content to set in conference room and audit a paper trail, I insist on seeing the product and the process. If that means we drive 60 miles to the factory of a subcontractor that's what we do. If it means we go to ten different shops to see every piece of a new tool being built that's what we do.

    There are very high tech, automated processes in climate controlled facilities that rival the best conditions in the US or Europe. And, in many cases, in the same factory, separated by a wall or a floor you have kids (16-18 yo) loading and unloading stamping presses, turning parts on manual lathes and other dangerous operations that would get you rash from OSHA that you couldn't shake if you got caught doing it in the States.


    Definition of "kids" (none / 0) (#89)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 07:43:47 AM EST
    is key here.  I thought you meant actual, you know, children.

    Fascinating experience you're having there, and I apologize for lecturing you on the subject.  Have you read Hessler's "Country Driving" or Fallows's earlier "Postcards from Tomorrow Square"?  I'd be very interested in hearing your opinion of them, or anything else you have to say about doing business in China.


    Yes it's all so quaint (none / 0) (#76)
    by Rojas on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 10:28:14 AM EST
    Just like the olden days.

    Actually it will be up to the voters to decide who (4.50 / 2) (#4)
    by Angel on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 08:54:53 AM EST
    is right or wrong in their actions.  I understand that a lot of Latinos are upset that Whitman 'fired her on the spot' even though she claimed that 'she was just like family to us.'  They're upset and think that if she was just like family then she should have treated her like family and tried to help her become legal.  

    I guess I'm the only one here (4.50 / 2) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 12:42:10 PM EST
    who found Van Susteren's high-decibel non-stop tirade obnoxious.  And there's also that little matter of her having turned her show into GOP-TV, where nary a discouraging word may ever be said about a Republican, which might have a teeny bit to do with why she was attacking Allred so vehemently.

    I was more impressed by Gloria just letting her rant and rant and rant, and then after Greta had accused her of basically not knowing what she was doing and essentially forcing her client into doing something that was going to hurt her legally for Gloria's political reasons-- Gloria rather quietly pointed out that Greta had no idea what her client had asked her to do for her and what her priorities were.

    I'm shocked... (none / 0) (#35)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    ...shocked (!) I tell you that $arah Palin's BFF hosts a GOP-TV show.

    I'm sure it is no conflict of interest that her husband is a GOP consultant...


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 04:33:08 PM EST
    She became Palin's BFF well after she had turned herself into a cheap partisan hack in order to keep her show on Fox, and fwiw, her husband has also been a consultant to Dems and was a major supporter of HRC.

    It's really been quite an astonishing and very improbable transformation from inner city criminal defense lawyer to smart and fair-minded TV legal analyst to pure GOP shill.


    I really think Allred/Brown shot their wad (2.00 / 2) (#33)
    by beefeater on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 12:57:00 PM EST
    way too early on this smear attempt. Ya gotta wait until just before the polls open so the opposition doesn't have time to strike back.

    Ah, but this was timed to have an impact on the (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Angel on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 01:10:28 PM EST
    upcoming debate aimed at the Latinos.  

    There's no evidence that Brown or his campaign (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by akaEloise on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 01:48:54 PM EST
    had anything to do with it.  

    But in any case, up to half of Californians vote absentee/by mail, so waiting until a few days before an election to spring an October surprise doesn't work so well any more.


    I also find the idea that (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 04:34:48 PM EST
    Gloria Allred would take marching orders from Jerry Brown hysterically funny.

    To the tune (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 05:36:47 PM EST
    of Brown's ex-girlfriend Linda Rondstadt's "Different Drum"?

    Yeh.  As if.  Allred has all the percussion that she needs.


    Depends on what the "smear" is. (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 03:08:21 PM EST
    Two possibilities as to the "smear":

      1.  Whitman is a cold, ambitious person who treated Diaz like garbage--not even trying to get her a lawyer in spite of her vast wealth; Whitman is anti-Latino who uses Latinos when convenient but then throws them away when they get in the way of her political ambition.

      2.  Whitman knowingly employed a undocumented worker and did not follow the law.

      #1 hurts her with Latinos.  #2 would matter most to the Tom Tancredo crowd.  

    Greta Van Susteren was trying to disprove #2.  So what?  #1 hurts Whitman big time among Latinos.....and is true--not a smear--from all reporting to date.


    Did Whitman HAVE to fire Diaz? (none / 0) (#27)
    by EL seattle on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:54:22 AM EST
    According to the SF Chronicle article,

    - - -
    Once Diaz announced that she was in the country illegally, it was Whitman's legal obligation to fire her, attorneys said.

    - - -

    Does anyone know if this is accurate?  That would mean that an employer would only be able to help a worker like Diaz try to stay in the USA after they'd fired them?  That'd be pretty awkward.  

    Don't understand this one (none / 0) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 12:26:57 PM EST
    how is Whitman, or anyone, going to help?

    Diaz has to follow the same path to citizenship any non-citizen follows.

    Is there some idea that Whitman could get her to the front of the line? That would be illegal, I'm pretty sure...


    Get her a lawyer (5.00 / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 02:24:36 PM EST
    Treat her better than "I don't know you and you don't know me."

    If Diaz was truly a member of the family after 9 years, Whitman could have at least followed up and stayed in touch.  But, no, she could not get away from Diaz fast enough....  


    then I would think she'd have every right to be pretty PO'd that Nicky'd lied to her for nine years...

    How realistic is it, do you think, that (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Anne on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 11:38:07 AM EST
    the employer who's described Nicky as a member of her family did not, in 9 years, have even an inkling that she was undocumented.

    I tend to put the phrase "just like a member of our family" right up there with "some of my best friends are..."

    I've tried to understand why you seem quite determined to make Nicky the villain in all of this, but now I'm starting to feel like perhaps you share the same mindset about her that Meg Whitman did.


    Personally, I think it might be realistic. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by EL seattle on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 01:40:10 PM EST

    I also think it's realistic that some employers can have someone working for them for 9 years without seriously suspecting that the worker has a severe problem with alcoholism.

    Or that someone could be (apparently) happily married for 9 years without realizing that their spouse has been regularly cheating on them.

    Unless they're paranoid, people usually don't expect the worst at every turn.  And people can be very good at concealing secrets if they feel they have to.  I think that if Whitman thought that Diaz was a Lawful Permanent Resident, she might have overlooked some little clues that, in hindsight, could have led to serious suspicions and a confrontation.

    Of course, maybe that did happen at some point.  But I don't think that  we have nearly enough actual information to say one way or the other.  


    Not sure she asked Whitman to "get her to (none / 0) (#32)
    by Angel on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 12:51:20 PM EST
    the front of the line."  It's my understanding she merely asked for some LEGAL help in dealing with the INS and gaining legal resident status.

    What legal help do you need? (none / 0) (#72)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 09:56:33 AM EST
    Don't you just fill out paperwork and wait?

    A lawyer. She was probably asking for help in (none / 0) (#77)
    by Angel on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 10:48:27 AM EST
    attaining and paying for a lawyer to assist her. It's a way more daunting task that just 'filling out paperwork.'

    OK, let me be clear. (none / 0) (#85)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 11:12:24 PM EST
    There is NOTHING Whitman could do for her. NOTHING.

    Take a gander at the citizenship process, first step is a green card.

    Diaz does not qualify in any way for a green card.

    What's a lawyer going to do for her, wave a magic  wand and pouff! Diaz becomes a person with "extraordinary ability in the science, arts, education, business or athletics, professors, researchers or a Ph.D. holder, etc?

    A person working here as a manager and/or an executive on an international transfer basis?

    A person with extra ability in the field of science, arts or business, and/or and advanced degree professional?

    A person with a Bachelor/Graduate degree, and/or other skilled worker?

    A religious worker such as a minister, priest, nuns, rabbi, ordained deacon and/or monk?

    A foreign investor who's investment will benefit the U.S. economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the U.S?

    Whitman can do nothing for her, neither can a lawyer.


    A lawyer can help her navigate the system.... (none / 0) (#87)
    by Angel on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 11:54:30 PM EST
    just because you say she doesn't qualify for a green card doesn't mean there may not be other avenues for her or that a lawyer could help her in some way.  She may qualify on a family basis - we don't really know all the facts related to her family, but it has been reported that she has legal family here.  Besides, she knew Whitman had gazillions of dollars and that equates to power, and I'm sure that the lady THOUGHT that Whitman could do something to help her.  

    If she qualified ona family basis (none / 0) (#91)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:12:21 AM EST
    she would have pursued that already. Not rocket science and all immigrants know the ropes. If they hold a winning lottery ticket, they know it.

    You DO NOT KNOW if she qualifies or not. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Angel on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 05:03:58 PM EST
    You don't know the exact circumstances of her family.  And you DO NOT KNOW what Nicky was thinking when she asked for some help.  You are speculating and projecting.  And to repeat what Anne asked:  Are you an immigration attorney?????

    adult child who's a citizen, therefor she cannot get a green card through a family member.

    We don't know if she did ask for help, all we know is she and Glo say she asked for help.

    She may, however, be able to get a green card if she's had an abusive employer. See the Open Thread...


    Are you an immigration attorney???? (none / 0) (#99)
    by Angel on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 06:18:41 PM EST
    I stand behind my comments.  You do not know the entirety of her circumstances so quit acting like you do.  None of us know everything about this case - what really happened over the 9 plus years of her employment - so we shouldn't talk in absolutes.  Sheesh.  

    Unless you have some expertise (none / 0) (#88)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 07:43:20 AM EST
    in the area of immigration law, I don't think you are qualified to make such a blanket statement; of course the process is the same whether you have a lawyer or you don't, but the advantage the immigration lawyer brings to the table is that he or she knows the system - including the people who make the decisions and can determine whether things go smoothly or completely bogged down in bureaucracy - inside and out.

    It's the same reason people charged with crimes hire a criminal defense attorney, or those putting real estate deals together have real estate attorneys, and those with estates of any size or who have complicated financial lives hire estate-planning attorneys: sure, one could attempt to navigate those waters alone, but that wouldn't necessarily be the smartest way to handle things, would it?

    Whitman was caught in a trap of her own making: she was on the record as a vociferous opponent of ANY breaks whatsoever for undocumented residents and their children, she was on the record in favor of penalties for those who employed the undocumented - so, having employed one herself, what was she going to do - make a mockery of all of that?  Be an actual human being about it?

    Hell, no - she was going to fire her as swiftly as possible and hope that it would all just go away; what was Nicky going to do, anyway, make some fuss that would have her on the next place back to Mexico?

    Well, I guess ol' Meggles made the wrong bet, and now she's been exposed as just another uber-rich Republican hypocrite who put her own craven interests ahead of all else - what a shocker!

    However much truth there is on either side of this, Whitman made the wrong bet - and I don't think there are too many shedding any tears over it.


    It's not rocket science. She knew it, and there is nothing any immigration lawyer could have done about it. I presume the same is true today, despite her new-found notoriety, but who knows.

    Again: are you an immigration lawyer? (none / 0) (#92)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 09:42:25 AM EST
    If not, I don't think you can speak to what is and isn't possible, and you certainly don't have enough information in any event to make this kind of pronouncement.

    The truth of the matter, as I see it, is that Whitman couldn't help Diaz because doing so would go against everything she is on record saying about immigration - and she would deem it worse for her own ambition if it was discovered that this vociferously anti-undocumented candidate for governor had actually tried to help the undocumented worker she employed for nine years - forget about whether she "knew" or not, because even if she didn't know, helping someone like Diaz was against every public position she had taken on the issue.

    And even if there turned out to be "nothing" an immigration lawyer could have done, putting Diaz in touch with one would be the humane option for someone who claims that Diaz was "like a member of her family."

    Like many Republicans, Whitman chose to toss Diaz aside like garbage and hoped no one would discover just how cold and heartless she is.

    And nothing she said in that debate with Brown changed that.


    Diaz does not qualitfy for a green card (none / 0) (#94)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:00:41 PM EST
    under any scenario. She knows that. Unless you are suggesting there are illegal ways of getting a green card and that Whitman should have helped her with that, there is nothing Whitman could do for her. Whether you think Whitman should have tried to do something for her is a completely different topic and one I'm pretty sure we all know your position on.

    Time line (none / 0) (#64)
    by denise k on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:10:29 PM EST
    I must be missing something.  I thought this woman worked for Whitman for 9 years or something.  And that she was fired well after they knew or should have known that she was not documented.  

    If my understanding is correct, firing her just before Whitman starts to run for governor, does not seem very exculpatory.  Like I said, though, I have not followed this and don't know the timeline.

    There is a missing piece to the timeline. (none / 0) (#68)
    by EL seattle on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 08:58:28 PM EST
    The Whitmans received one letter in 2003.  But what happened next?

    Maybe someone notified SSA with acceptable numbers.  Or maybe SSA just forgot about this issue.  Or maybe SSA sent more letters and notices that are unaccounted for.  I think that the answer to the "what happened next?" mystery would probably provide some valuable clarification for this story, beyond the she-said/she-said echo chamber that it seems to have become.



    I thought I saw a comment here (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 09:41:17 PM EST
    (or somewhere, lol!~) that they only send out 2? this isn't like the irs hounding folks for money, it's more about verification for the employee's sake/future benefits. with SS now sending out routine reports to people about where their benefits stand, they may not go overboard trying to verify discrepancies and leave it up to the person?

    3 months after Whitman announced her candidacy.

    And, assuming she see spent at least 3 months before she announced setting the foundation for running, it would seem Diaz was fired at least 3-6 months after Whitman was involved in the race.

    Seems odd to me that she would wait any length of time all, never mind 3-6 months, if she knew Diaz was undoc'd...


    I'm also wondering why (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by christinep on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:40:12 PM EST
    you seem so determined to spit against the wind on this one? Anne raises some interesting points above. For me, if you are only looking at the "evidence" on the leaves on the tree of a forest, why would you not examine the other leaves? That is to say: You seem to be digging for any scrap or ort of info that buoys up the Republican gubernatorial candidate? If it is because you support her politically, then this type of selective evidence makes sense. Or, if it is just to argue the other side, it also might make sense. As it is, tho, the kind of response immediately above, suo, causes me to say "So?" (Nothing odd about the additional 3 months; what is "odd" is waiting the several years in the first place.)

    The whole thing smells to me. (none / 0) (#86)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 11:23:45 PM EST
    I don't believe every single utterance from Meg and her hubby on this, but, also, I certainly don't believe the whole Glo/Nicky story either.

    I think their story has a basis in the truth and then the two of them "tweeked" it in many ways.

    If you want to believe Glo and Nicky are as pure as the driven snow on, that is your right.

    Forgive me if I heap a healthy dose of cynicism on the whole thing. Or don't, as you wish...


    Would it be justifiable cynicism (none / 0) (#93)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 10:34:21 AM EST
    to point out that Whitmans' offer to take a 'lie detector' test also stinks to high heaven?

    The results aren't even admissible in court, and at best would only demonstrate that she thinks she's telling the truth, not what did or didn't happen with regard to her and her housekeeper.


    No one is "as pure as the driven snow." (none / 0) (#98)
    by christinep on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 06:00:40 PM EST
    I feel (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 07:12:53 PM EST
    sorry for Californians if they have to choose between Moonbeam and Meg. For once, I'm glad that's not a choice I have to make.

    The "Moonbeam" thing is long, long gone. (none / 0) (#84)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 06:52:13 PM EST
    He's been mayor of a mid-size city that shall go nameless, and he's all about nuts and bolts now.

    Don't feel sorry for us.  Brown is going to be just fine.  If Whitman wins, then  you can feel sorry for us.


    Being dismissive of Gloria Allred (none / 0) (#71)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 07:39:19 AM EST
    only makes the dismisser look small, not Ms. Allred.

    Should Have Helped Her (none / 0) (#95)
    by DaveCal on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:18:35 PM EST
    I keep seeing comments form people here that Meg should have "helped" Diaz in the immigration process.  

    She clearly has no obligation to do that, but people seem to think she's a bad person because she didn't use all her resources to "help" her.

    OK, so why the heck isn't Gloria Alred catching the same scorn among the posters?

    Not only is Alred "not helping" Diaz, she's practically guaranting Diaz' deportation.  

    What a horrible thing to do Diaz to gain a political chit against Meg.