Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Must Read: Another Whitman Ex-Nanny Comes Forward; And Both Whitman and Brown Avoid Tough Questioner

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 7:08 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A second former nanny employed by Meg Whitman tells the Chron that she believes the story told by Nicky Diaz about being allegedly mistreated by the ex-eBay CEO. Jill Armstrong, who worked for Whitman and her husband Griff Harsh for a short time in the late 1990s, said Whitman viewed household employees as “disposable,” and that she balked at paying Armstrong what she was owed. Diaz, the illegal immigrant maid employed by Whitman for nine years, also said she wasn’t paid what was promised. Armstrong also said she doesn’t believe Harsh’s assertion that he doesn’t remember a 2003 letter he received from the feds, questioning Diaz’s social security number. “Harsh would not forget something like that,” Armstrong said. “He had his thumb on everything.”

2. Both Whitman and Jerry Brown canceled a debate scheduled for today on KGO radio, the Chron adds. Whitman’s cancellation is understandable, considering the miserable week she’s had with Nannygate. A new poll by conservative leaning Rasmussen, which is Fox News’ pollster, shows her now trailing Brown by 5 points. As for Brown, he canceled apparently because he’s too afraid of tough questions by KGO host Ronn Owens.

3. The state Supreme Court upheld Governor Schwarzenegger’s decision to furlough thousands of state employees, saying the Legislature had also tacitly approved the move, the Sacramento Bee reports. However, the high court’s decision also was a setback for the governor because it rejected his claim that he can furlough state employees on his own.

4. Storm-water runoff from cities and suburban areas creates more toxic pollution for San Francisco Bay than Central Valley agriculture, the Chron reports, citing a new study. Runoff from cities and suburbs also pollutes the bay with garbage, particularly plastic bags, according to the report from the Oakland-based San Francisco Estuary Institute.

5. Michael Rains, the attorney for ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle, is asking for a new trial, saying that the jury should have heard evidence about a Kentucky cop who also shot a suspect with his gun when he meant to use his Taser instead, the Chron reports. A Kentucky grand jury refused to indict in that case.

Must reads from the weekend:
1. Oakland police Chief Anthony Batts had to issue another contrite message after city cops shot and killed an animal for the second time in five months. This time, a cop killed an arthritic, 11-year-old Labrador, while responding to a burglar alarm, saying the old dog appeared to be a threat. Batts called the incident “unfortunate” and said the department is investigating.

2. Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders struck a tentative budget deal that apparently includes some very creative accounting. According to the Chron, the deal assumes that the economy will rebound more quickly than economists predict and that state revenues will be higher than expected. The rosy numbers were the result of Republicans refusing to raise taxes and Democrats refusing to make deeper budget cuts.

3. And Schwarzenegger signed a bill, raising the age level for kids beginning kindergarten to five, AP reported.

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