So late in her gubernatorial race against California Attorney General Jerry Brown, the last thing Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman needs is the words “Meg Whitman Housekeeper” as a popular search.
But that’s what happened after Nicky Diaz Santillan befriended LA lawyer Gloria Allred, called somewhat derisively a “Feminist avenger.”
Gloria Allred has scored another TV-worthy moment in a press conference that featured the tearful presentation of Ms. Santillan. What’s so damaging for Whitman is that Nikky looks like someone you just want to take under your wing and protect from harm. And what Whitman is accused of doing and has not denied saying to this writing is that she devalued Ms. Santillan, a Latina.
In the press conference, Ms. Santillan claims Whitman told her “We don’t know you,” and that Meg asked her to work longer hours than she was going to pay her for.
The underlying problem for Whitman isn’t that Santillan was illegal. The problem is that Whitman’s presented as a mean, opportunistic user of a defenseless Latina woman who needs her help. This is Allred’s best presentation of the year – light years beyond the porn star she threw in the face of Tiger Woods a few months ago.
While the Whitman campaign has released documents to TMZ.com claiming that Santillan lied on her job application. While that casts doubt on Nikky’s claim that Whitman knew she was illegal when she hired her, it still does not address the issue of worker abuse.
It would be one thing if Whitman said she didn’t know Nicky Diaz Santillan, but she admits she does. That opens the door to questions about their relationship.
Whitman’s real problem is Santillan has made her look like an insensitive bully of a Latina worker. If Whitman doesn’t address that claim, and soon, she can kiss her campaign goodbye.