October 2nd, 2010
08:56 PM ET
4 years ago

Whitman housekeeper controversy looms over debate

(CNN) - California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman accused Democratic opponent Jerry Brown of orchestrating the scandal that erupted this week over her former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz-Santillan, in a debate Saturday night.

"Jerry, you know you should be ashamed, you and your surrogates," Whitman said. "You put it out here and you should be ashamed for sacrificing Nicky Diaz on the altar of your political ambitions."
In response, Brown said Whitman was avoiding responsibility for hiring an undocumented worker.

"You have blamed her, blamed me, blamed the left, blamed the unions. But you don't take accountability," Brown said.


The candidates sparred over the economy, jobs and immigration, a key issue in the border state.

Brown criticized Whitman's stance that employers should be held accountable for hiring illegal immigrants and brought the debate back to the recent controversy over her onetime housekeeper.

"Ms. Whitman obviously didn't crack down on herself," Brown said. "That is a question of talking out of both sides of her mouth."

Whitman responded that she did "hold myself accountable" once she discovered that Diaz-Santillan was in the United States illegally.

"If we do not hold employers accountable we will never get our arms around this very challenging problem," she said.

Whitman said she favors a guest worker program but does not support a path for citizenship for those already in the country illegally.

Saturday's debate was the second for the two nominees. It aired on Univision and the questions were asked in Spanish and then translated into English.

The event comes as both candidates court the Latino vote, which represents 21 percent of the electorate in California.

A Los Angeles Times/USC poll released Monday gave Brown a 19-point edge over Whitman among registered Latino voters. In the same poll, Brown held a 49 to 44 point lead over Whitman among all likely voters. The poll carried a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.


Filed under: 2010 • California • Jerry Brown • Meg Whitman
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Talk about being pathetic Ms Whitman. You hired an illegal. You were notified via letter. You not only claimed you had not received the letter. You went ahead and put out there the possibly your housekeeper (the illegal worker) had possibly stolen the letter ? Wow! Talk about taking personal reponsibility. "Lo and behold" the letter to you showed up. It (the letter) not only showed up but, it had your husbands handwritten notes on it. Gee. Maybe your husband stole the letter ? LMAO

    October 2, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  2. CathyinAZ

    The only person responsible for this is Meg Whitman. She KNEW exactly what was going on. Typical GOP response – BLAME THE OTHER GUY!

    October 2, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  3. MP

    I want that Diaz in jail right now instead of being allowed to parade around making a mockery of our legal system! Where else can an illegal immigrant be alllowed toget hired, get fired, and then come back to sue her employer? This is outrageous! Shame on Brown for putting this circus out there. I didn't intend to vote for Whitman but I may now.

    October 2, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  4. 66Biker

    "Whitman responded that she did "hold myself accountable" once she discovered that Diaz-Santillan was in the United States illegally."

    Yeah, she fired her and kicked her out on the street. And she calls that "accountability". Typical Republican.

    October 2, 2010 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  5. U.S. Common Sense

    "You have blamed her, blamed me, blamed the left, blamed the unions. But you don't take accountability," Brown said.

    Ummm, Brown? She fired her. How is that not taking accountability?

    October 2, 2010 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  6. farkdude

    no real agenda brown, taking the low road. deport the illeagal and be done with it

    October 2, 2010 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  7. Squigman

    Seems to be the same old story. A republican, gets caught flim flamming and somehow it is never their fault. The fault always lies with the person wronged, but never the republican.

    October 2, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  8. Junior

    It is so obvious that this housekeeper was manipulated by Brown and his surrogates. Did Whitman hire an illegal alien? Yes. But it is disgraceful that Alred and Brown have put this woman in jeopardy of getting deported in order to score poitical points. What did the housekeeper have to gain from this? I wonder if she was informed that she might get deported by going pulibc? What about her family, her children? As a Hispanic, I am offended that politicians continue to use immigration as a pawn. Do they really think we are tthat stupid?

    October 2, 2010 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  9. tracy

    Had she not reported it, she would have come under fire. she HAD TO report it because the housekeeper wanted to Become a citizen.

    October 3, 2010 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  10. ronalde

    people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    October 3, 2010 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  11. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    This nutcase is why I quit evil bay....

    October 3, 2010 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. BOBBB

    Jerry Brown and Gloria Allred are exagerating a falsehood for politacal manuvers-what else is new. You see they gave up talking about issues. And go on the attack over a misconception that they conjured up to throw the public off track of the real issues. GET REAL people bounce Jerry and bring Whitman home.

    October 3, 2010 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  13. Bob in Pa

    Jerry Brown is a loser, plain and simple. He brings nothing of value to the table

    October 3, 2010 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  14. carlos

    the blame and lies games are typical of the republicans.....hypocrites

    October 3, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  15. ehwilson429

    what was jerry Brown doing as a Cathlic priest trainee in the 1950's?
    was he hanging with Caridinal Mahony and the gay crowd?

    October 3, 2010 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  16. Dennis from Millbrae

    30 million people in this state and these two are the best we could come up with to run for Governor?!?

    October 3, 2010 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  17. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Fighting Words!! She should take some Second Amendment retrobution against Jerry Brown right there....take em out as the other Republicans rant....

    October 3, 2010 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  18. Marie

    Now we are learning who the real Whitman is, we cannot afford to elect another rich person that is not going to care for the poor and middle class these people are greedy and liars. They only care about how they can gain from every situation and will do whatever it takes to win. We saw this with this last govenor and now we will see it again if this person that nobody know buys this election.

    October 3, 2010 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  19. Eric of Reseda

    Meg Whitman, I hate to say, is justifying the moniker "Right Wing political scumbag" that those on the Left want to hang on her. She has been caught FAR too many brazen lies throughout this campaign. For instance, she claims Brown is bad for the California economy. But Brown left us with the biggest surplus in state history, I believe! I lived here when he was Governor. I remember. She should know about his fiscal responsibility. But she says otherwise! I think she is dishonest.

    October 3, 2010 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  20. JohnBoy

    Seriously who can take Jerry Brown seriously? California deserves the politiicians it elects...

    October 3, 2010 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Meg, Meg, Meg- This potential lawsuit being filed is not baout your hiring an illegal housekeeper. i know it in your best interest to let that be the focus since you didin;t do anything illegal there. But how about the abuse charges? And these aren't the first! It sounds like you have a violent side. Is that aprt ofthe approachyou plan to use withthe Assembly?

    October 3, 2010 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  22. David

    I wouldn't trust Whitman to change a light bulb.

    October 3, 2010 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  23. Frankie

    Whitman has some brass cajones complaining that Brown "should be ashamed of sacraficing Nicky Diaz." Diaz is an illegal. Exposing her as such is the right thing to do, whether it be Brown, the Dems, or his surrogates. She should be deported. And the letter with Whitman's husband's note sure exposes her as a liar and a hypocrite. And further, the Whitman "Clinton" ad, which has been proven to be a lie which she refuses to admit or remove from the airwaves shows her to be a typical Republican; willing to lie and cheat to win the election, claiming the other side is doing exactly what she is doing. What a hypocrit.

    October 3, 2010 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  24. Marge

    As per usual we find republicans skirting the law and when they are caught, what do they do blame everybody but themselves. She blames Jerry Brown for the mess she is in, but Allred has stated that Jerry Brown did not even know about it til she made it public. But again, that doesn't stop republican skanks like Witman for trying to slip out of a mess of their making by blaming someone else. Look at her time at ebay and they couldn't get rid of her fast enough. Now she tries to buy the governorship and wants to make it seem as if everybody else created her mess.

    October 3, 2010 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  25. key

    He is not the person that turned his back to the woman when she asked for help. Please even if he is behind it which he probably isn't what the different in what she did.

    October 3, 2010 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
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