October 4, 2010
What Next in California's "FireGate?"
Jerry Brown's catspaw, Gloria Allred, still refuses to say in what legal action she "represents" Nicandra "Nicky" Diaz Santillan, erstwhile housekeeper for Brown's opponent in the California gubernatorial race, Meg Whitman. One can only assume Allred intends to file a lawsuit against Whitman for -- what, rightful termination?
Allred (and Santillan) appear to be charging our next governor with waiting until good evidence of Santillan's illegality appeared before Whitman fired her, rather than seizing the opportunity to fire her years earlier on the basis of flimsy inuendo.
Then in the English-language debate held between Brown and Whitman, Jerry Brown -- the state Attorney General -- accused her of violating federal immigration and Social-Security laws, state disclosure law, and perjuring herself.
Once the absurdity of the charge is manifest, any slight advantage it affords candidate Brown dissipates. Then what to do, what to do?
There is only one course open, when the present alarums and excursions go pfft, like a snuffed candle: Jerry Brown, acting in his capacity as the chief law-enforcement official of the Sovereign State of California, will have to indict his electoral opponent for not having fired Santillan in 2003:
- Brown can argue that any reasonable person would have inferred from the letter sent by the Social Security Agency -- the letter which included the admonition, "Moreover, this letter makes no statement about your employee's immigration status" -- that Santillan was an illegal alien.
- Brown can cite legal cases, "points and authorities," to the effect that the phrase "Any employer that uses the information in this letter to justify taking adverse action against an employee may violate state or federal law and be subject to legal consequences" requires the employer to take adverse action against an employee using the information in that letter.
- And he can conclude that by obeying the law, Whitman has proven herself a menace to society who should be locked up.
Besides, think how much an October-surprise indictment will damage Meg Whitman's campaign -- and by an amazing coincidence, propel AG Brown into the governor's mansion!
Snidery and sarcasm aside, in reality, I believe indicting Whitman would be the most politically foolhardy move of all of 2010... and that's saying quite a lot, since it competes with Rep. Loretta Sanchez's (D-CA, 90%) heartfelt cri de coeur:
The Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, trying to take this seat from which we have done so much for our community -- to take this seat and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic.
...As well as Rep. Alan Grayson's (D-FL, 100%) attack on his Republican opponent, Daniel Webster, as a draft dodger, as blatantly unpatriotic, as a man who does not love America, and as "Taliban Dan Webster."
...And who can forget the third nominee in the category of self-immolating campaign buffoonery below and beneath the call of duty: Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC, 95%), in a drunken stupor, physically assaulting a student journalist for daring to ask Etheridge, "do you fully support the Obama agenda?"
...Heck, it would even beat out every exaggeration, every puffery, every weirdity, and each and every nuttery utterance of Republican congressional nominee Christine O'Donnell!
It's hard to think of anything that would backfire quicker than Jerry Brown indicting his own Republican opponent for governor. And the truly creepy element is that we're seriously discussing such a banana-republic gambit... from a former two-term governor of California.
I am unalterably convinced that if Brown were to push for an indictment or arrest of Whitman on this bogus charge, Meg Whitman would win the race in a landslide -- even from a jail cell. But even if Brown can control himself for the next four weeks, the fact that he appears to have focused his entire final push on snapping Ms. Whitman with a wet towel named Nicky Santillan tells me that he is utterly desperate.
My guess is that Brown's campaign mangler showed him the campaign's own internal polling... and ordered Brown to pull a rabbit from his hat immediately. Alas for the Democrats, the only rodent that Brown could find in his Sordid Hat was a gerbil.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 4, 2010, at the time of 2:44 AM
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