L.A. Times columnist Hector Tobar interviewed several lifelong professional women, not unlike eMeg Whitman. They all live in an area in and around upscale Brentwood, California, and they are all moms who have employed Spanish-speaking immigrants to work in their upscale Brentwood area homes.
These very same professionals-slash-moms-slash-employers of Spanish-speaking immigrants suspect that their not-so-honest counterpart, eMeg, is being not so honest when she claims she didn't know that her former housekeeper was undocumented.
"If that's true, then what a horrible person Meg Whitman is," a 49-year-old mother of two told me as she headed to one of the Country Mart's boutiques. "How could she have this woman in her home, looking after her kids, and not have a relationship with her? You'd have to be a pretty superficial person not to know that she was illegal." [...]
The moms said they didn't understand how Whitman could consider someone a part of her extended family and then send her packing when she asked for help. [...]
We live in a country rich in hypocrisy. Here a billionaire running for governor can vow to hold employers accountable for following the law but deny accountability in her own home. And she can ask us to trust her while absolving her of any moral responsibility to try to help a woman who for so long helped her.
It's a good column, so please give it a read.
And just for good measure, here are today's L.A. Times letters to the editor on the same topic:
According to Whitman, when her housekeeper tearfully confessed that she was here illegally and begged for help to correct her status, she was immediately fired without warning or severance pay, and Whitman says she has not spoken to her in the last 15 months.
This is the treatment received by the person who Whitman says was "like a member of our family," someone who was a trusted employee for nine years, who helped care for Whitman's children?
I wouldn't treat a stranger with such cold-hearted disinterest. I fear what Whitman has in mind for the rest of us if she wins this election.
If, as Whitman says, firing her housekeeper of nine years was the most difficult decision she ever made, then what was she doing all those years as chief executive of EBay?
All partisan and policy considerations aside, the Nicandra Diaz Santillan brouhaha calls into question Whitman's suitability for public office.
A smart politician would have identified the discovery of Diaz Santillan's immigration status as an opportunity to transform a negative situation into a positive one.
Whitman could have said something like "OK, this is an unfortunate situation, but let me help you to correct your mistakes and obtain legal immigrant status."
Surely Whitman had the resources to help, and afterward Whitman could have come forth with a candid disclosure that might have gained wide approval in the Latino community.
Our housekeeper has been with us for 24 years, starting with five years as our daughter's nanny.
We helped her achieve legal status, and she has become a U.S. citizen. We helped with her daughter's college expenses (she now has a master's degree in social work).
She has never missed a day of work without giving us advance notice, and we always pay her for those days. She and her family are in our will.
This is what "like a member of the family" means to us. We wonder what it means to Whitman.