Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Must Read: Whitman Maid Scandal and Latino Voters; More Polls Show Boxer with Strong Lead

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Allegations that Meg Whitman knowingly employed an illegal immigrant housekeeper and then fired her when she launched her bid for governor promises to further damage the ex-CEO’s chances with Latino voters. At a tearful news conference yesterday, the maid, Nicandra Diaz Santillan, alleged that Whitman exploited her and had received several notices from the Social Security Administration raising red-flags about Diaz’s immigration status. Whitman acknowledged employing Diaz for nine years, but said she never received the notices and didn’t learn that Diaz was an illegal immigrant until just before firing her in 2009. Diaz’s attorney, Gloria Allred, told the Mercury News that she will release more “evidence” today. Either way, pictures of the weeping Mexican immigrant will surely damage Whitman’s standing with Latinos. Throughout the campaign, Whitman has called for a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

2. Two new polls confirm that Democrat Barbara Boxer has opened up a strong lead over Republican Carly Fiorina in the US Senate race, Calbuzz.com reports. A Public Policy Institute of California poll shows Boxer ahead by seven points, while a CNN-Time poll shows her with a nine-point advantage. The new polls, however, came up with conflicting results in the governor’s race. The CNN-Time poll has Jerry Brown ahead by nine points, while the PPIC poll shows the race as dead even.

3. The Oakland police union wants the city to rehire fourteen cops laid off in July to replace those who have retired or resigned since then, the Trib reports. The police union notes that the city’s authorized force is 696 officers, but there are only 682 cops on the payroll. But City Administrator Dan Lindheim said it makes no sense to hire back the laid-off officers because the city may be forced to lay off another 122 cops if Measure X, the $50 million parcel tax, fails in the November election.

4. The California Supreme Court delayed the execution of condemned murderer Albert Greenwood Brown until 2011 to provide more time to review the state’s revised procedures for putting inmates to death, the Chron reports. State officials had hoped to execute Brown this week before California’s supply of the lethal-injection drug sodium pentothal expires. The state won’t be able to acquire more of the drug until early next year.

5. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill yesterday that would have prohibited retailers from charging fees when consumers use debit cards, the Chron reports. Schwarzenegger said the bill would have forced retailers to spread the fees to consumers who don’t use debit cards.

6. And federal Judge Vaughn Walker, who overturned California’s anti-gay-marriage law in August, said he plans to retire at the end of the year, the Chron reports.

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