Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | October 1, 2010

Casting Stones at Meg Whitman

Gloria Allred has really picked the wrong fight this time.  She’ll no doubt continue to strut and fret her dwindling hour upon the stage, but hardly anyone in the California news audience can be paying attention.

Apparently she thinks California voters are as easily swayed by incoherent, emotive hypocrisy as the politics and entertainment industries.  As they say in my native Oklahoma:  Bless her heart.

Meg Whitman employed an illegal alien as a domestic helper for a while?  Whoa.  That’s never happened before.  Nobody else in California does that.

Now, we’re talking about the state in which every third household on any given middle-class block has its lawn mowed by someone who speaks only Spanish and whose name no one in the home knows – particularly in urban southern California, which granted is only part of the state, geographically, but which is also where the great majority of the voters are.  (San Francisco and the coast to its south are equally affected by the illegal-alien patterns; the rural north is a marvelous part of California, but it’s not, demographically, a representative part of California.  Where the population is, there you find illegals mowing lawns.)

This is also the state in which there would have been practically no residential home construction in the last 20 years without illegal aliens.  Road and utilities construction, contracted out to residential builders?  Done largely by illegals.  A lot of middle-class Californians have been able to afford to buy homes in the last 20 years only because illegal labor has made suburban expansion cheaper than it would have been otherwise.  This matters quite a bit around the old urban areas where land-use restrictions drive resale home prices ever upward.  Illegal labor has been the grand, nudge-wink bargain that enabled Los Angeles and San Francisco, and parts of Orange and San Diego Counties, to distort the market in favor of a settled few, but also keep their middle-class tax base.

Fruit and vegetable pickers?  Illegals.  Cotton-pickers?  Illegals.  Illegals are found in virtually every corner of the service industry, from home care to rug shampooing to landscaping to office cleaning.  Anyone in my town could tell the Border Patrol exactly where to look for the clumps of illegals waiting for day-labor jobs.  Most people know which towns have neighborhoods full of illegals; they tend to cluster, a demographic fact that residents of the region know because, well, they’re everywhere.

Plenty of people want this to stop.  But everyone south of I-80 in California also understands that he or she has probably paid an illegal to do something at some point.  You have to go out of your way to prevent illegals from showing up in your yard or at your door, if you want to contract with someone to do lawn maintenance or pour concrete.  You can take your clothes to be dry-cleaned, or have your oil changed, or buy bags of burger meals at the local joint, and not know you’re paying illegals for the services.

Sure, the employers should know.  That isn’t as simple a matter as it sounds.  But with an increase in employer-focused enforcement, they are finding out, more and more.  This leads them into the practice irrationally and hypocritically decried by Ms. Allred:  they fire the illegals who are working for them.  Just to make sure we’re all on the same page:  the reason they do that is that the law says they have to.

If Allred wants to argue that we should allow more legal immigration, she should go for it.  But she can’t have it both ways:  if it was wrong for Whitman to have an illegal working for her, then it was right for Whitman to fire the illegal.  How long Whitman knew the maid was illegal is either prosecutable or immaterial; California is not the place to parade it around, wholly without the accountability of an actual process of law, as a career-ending character flaw.

And if it was terrible of Whitman to fire her illegal maid, then what’s the beef with her employing the woman in the first place?

I can tell Allred this.  Californians are a lot more worried about illegals who commit homicides and flee to Mexico than they are about Meg Whitman and her maid.  They’re more concerned about the illegals driving around uninsured, running into them, destroying their property, and injuring their children.  They’re considerably more concerned about the illegals swelling the welfare rolls and showing up for an ever-growing list of free medical benefits.  They’re very, very concerned about the illegals in the drug trade turning parts of Los Angeles into a war zone – a pattern that falls hardest on the poor of every ethnic background – and the illegals-fueled spread of Latino gangs into the suburbs.

Moreover, many of them are worried most of all about the utter fiscal irresponsibility of the Democrat-held statehouse in Sacramento, and the business-killing, job-killing, economy-killing grip of the public-employee unions, the radical environmental lobby, and the special-interest-redistributionist lobby on the state.

Beside these actual problems, Meg Whitman’s hiring error looks about like anyone else’s minor disquiet over paying a contractor to put in a water feature in the back yard, and seeing two Spanish-speaking guys who are almost certainly illegal arrive to work under the American contractor’s supervision.  Allred picked the wrong state in which to play the illegal-domestic-help card.  Get back to us when you’ve got something that matters, Gloria.

Cross-posted at Hot Air.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JT, J.E. Dyer. J.E. Dyer said: Casting Stones at Meg Whitman: What a waste of time for Allred […]

  2. Good post! Apparently Whitman was paying the maid $23 an hour. Doesn’t sound like someone exploiting a known illegal to me.

    Also, Allred is said to have claimed to have a letter from the SS Admin telling Whitman that the maid’s SSN was no good. How can Allred have that letter if Whitman actually received it? Sounds like the maid pinched the letter from the incoming mail stream to keep it from Whitman, or else Allred managed to get a copy from someone at SS in Washington without benefit of a subpoena. Either of those possibilities involves, I would think, a crime at least as weighty as hiring an illegal.

  3. How do you know the immigrant you hired is illegal? He never asks for the day off to go deal with Immigration.

  4. The MM is treating this like a reversal of the electoral tidal wave about to occur, so I am glad to read your sober dismissal of this tempest in a teapot.

    Meg and her hubby are so rich and successful they could decide to spend the rest of their lives sailing around the world in their own $100 million dollar yacht. Instead, they are spending over $100 mil of their own money so she can try to govern California.

    I was glad to see even David Brooks supports Meg in today’s New York Times, using her as a fine example of the new class of no nonsense, practical Republicans.

  5. Obviously there is virtually no fault to find with Whitman’s actions and indeed it is Allred and her cohorts who are doing far greater damage to the woman.

    I’m curious to see wether this has any impact on the polls but in any even it did look like Jerry was taking the lead. I view myself as a bit of a jaded cynic but I am nevertheless somewhat shocked that Whitman might very well loose and even that she won’t get close to 60% of the vote. Yes the public sector unions have a lot of $$$ and a huge constituency but it is still rather amazing that the majority of Californians on whom they prey on do not realize the necessity of doing something to fix the state and would even consider Brown. Oh well.

    (I guess I sort of get the Boxer/Fiorina thing what with Fiorina sending millions of jobs out of the country and proposing to hang draw and quarter any woman that even contemplates an abortion -and who cares about the Senate anyway – but one would think that the in-State the emergency is so acute as to induce even a majority of Californians to an approximation of sanity. Perhaps not).

    BTW, good luck to the Sooners todays. As I think I’ve mentioned I’m actually a fan of both OU and Texas – the only one I’m aware of who is so disposed and I’m guessing there aren’t many of us around. However, while I have always loved OU I’ve been a little hot and cold on Texas and just the last couple of years or so they’ve been getting on my nerves – especially with all their whining that they should have gone to the MNC v. Florida. The Sooners certainly need a big win as their putative MNC challenge looks kinda shaky with all but the FSU game having been less than impressive. Anyway, the big game (no pun intended) today is Stanford/Oregon which is just about as Blue State a match up as you can get – I suppose inserting Cal in there might drive the Blue quotient up a bit.

    • “what with Fiorina sending millions of jobs out of the country ”

      Jobs with companies that want to survive flow toward where it’s less expensive to do business. Arguably Jerry Brown and his like are more responsible for sending jobs out of the country due to the unfavorable tax and regulatory environment they create.

      • Perhaps the point of my initial comment got lost in the avalanche of verbiage but that portion of the comment does contain a degree of hyperbole so extravagant as to indicate that it is proffered tongue in cheek.

        • cavalier — meant to thank you earlier for the good wishes to the Sooners. Bagged the Longhorns this time around. You truly are a rarity if you feel benign and positive toward both teams.

          Stanford-Oregon was a great game. The Ducks had to come from that early-shock deficit, but they took control and beat the spread in the end. I do think the Tide is going to take it all the way this year, but Oregon belongs way up there. Not so convinced about Boise State.

          BTW, Oklahoma’s FBS teams made it a three-fer this past week, with State squeaking out a wild one over Texas A&M and Tulsa rolling over Memphis 48-7. Go teams!

          • I’m a fan of Nebraska too (that was as you’ll remember the HUGE rivalry back in the 80s when I started following these things I guess in the early 70s as well) and the prospective Big 12 CG should be fun but the Pac 10 is very tough this year and if Oregon makes it all the way through I would be inclined to give them the edge over the winner and probably an undefeated Ohio State as well. The Nicktator does seem to have things humming in Tuscaloosa and although one never knows what kind of chaos will break out against LSU and Auburn will be tough you have to bet on them going undefeated.

            Boise is a very very well coached, talented and, this year, very experienced team and I would not count them out in a single game against anyone but no way do they have anywhere near the depth to get through the SEC or Pac 10 undefeated and cannot be given the BCSCG spot over even a 1 loss champion or an undefeated Big 10 or Big 12 winner (ACC and Big East suck). I give them a lot of credit but even in their big coming out party against the Sooners they needed overtime and every trick in the book to beat a team that was obviously not that into playing them. (See also Utah v. Alabama in the Sugar a couple of years ago).

            The notion that Boise’s victory over Oregon in last season’s opener gives them the edge is silly. Incidentally, I saw that game in Rotterdam, of all places – in the middle of the night, of course. I was there on business and I have to say that if one wants to see evidence of the coming end of western civilization the Netherlands (including Belgium) are the place to go – the situation had deteriorated dramatically in the 11 years since I last visited. Still, fantastic new innovations (like live college football on TV, in Europe – what a concept!!!) and some golden oldies (like a great performance of Fidelio) show that the old girl is till kicking, at least a little bit.

            • Sorry it took me so long to get back on this, cavalier. I guess your interest in Great Plains football goes back to before the Big 8 days — and again, if you like Nebraska AND Oklahoma, you’re a rare bird. I suppose you remember the Big Game every November in which the final minutes were enlivened by oranges raining down on the field from one Big Red side of the stadium or the other. (Those were good days. :-))

              I agree with you on Oregon. They’re awful good this year. The PAC-10 has some good teams, for sure, although I still give SEC the edge in overall quality. Washington’s got nothing this year, and Arizona’s usual suspects are “rebuilding.” Cal has dropped off the radar, and justifiably so.

              I’m not convinced we’re going to see how good Ohio State and Boise State really are during the season. Their conferences just aren’t that strong. The Buckeyes have perched atop the BCS for much of the last 4 years during the season, and then been brought up short in the bowls. They’ve got some great seniors this year, though, and obviously great coaching, so I wouldn’t count them out. Boise State, meanwhile, has few real challenges during the regular season. They were outplayed through most of the game with Va Tech, didn’t look dominating in the win. And that’s been their most challenging game to date.

              I do hear the same things you say about Amsterdam and the Netherlands in general. I haven’t been back in about 15 years now, so I’m sure it has changed a great deal. That IS sad. It was one of the more orderly and industrious parts of Europe when I used to travel there (during my tour in Italy), and always a pleasure to be in, in spite of the weather. Except for a couple of blocks right around the central train station, you felt very safe on the streets.

              Have to laugh about the NCAA football in real time in Europe. Armed Forces Network started carrying the NCAA bowl games and the Super Bowl in real time when I was there, along with some of the regular season biggies like Navy-Notre Dame, Michigan-Ohio State, Oklahoma-Texas, etc. (Plus of course Army-Navy.) Earlier in my Navy career, we didn’t see the games at all until at least a day after they were played, when the tapes landed at the closest military airfield. The scores were broadcast in the DOD message system, but a lot of people sequestered themselves from that info so they wouldn’t know the outcome before the game was set up for viewing at the clubs.

              Long time ago, for sure.

  6. Suppose, hypothetically, that Whitman were known to be exceedingly careful never to hire home help without ironclad documentation.

    Does anybody doubt that we would now see stories in the news claiming that Whitman had an irrational racial bias against Chicanos?

    • W Krebs — I certainly don’t doubt it. Allred has just been playing on irrational emotionalism with this whole stupid campaign. Welcome to the blog, incidentally, and my apologies that it took so long for your first comment to post. Comments will all post automatically from now on. Don’t be shy.

  7. My guru said we get the government we deserve:
    “The government reflects the consciousness of the people,” he said.

    If Meg looses to the Brown Clown, after spending over $100 million of her own money, she’ll have to conclude that California just doesn’t deserve her.

    The same goes for Carly. If they loose, they’d be wise to leave the California cesspool, and go to Texas or Idaho or Utah, where people could truly appreciate them for the fine citizens they are.

  8. Yeah, Lotus, I imagine a lot of folks feel the same. There are still so many good people in California, I can understand why a person who feels a commitment to them wouldn’t want to cut and run. There’s a lot of La-La-Land foolishness in parts of the state, but you probably wouldn’t believe how much of a slice of “ordinary America” it is where I live.

    Of course, voters tend to go Republican around here…

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