I'm trying to recall if I've ever seen anything like the campaign tactics of a few Democrats this year, and I'm coming up blank. But that's not keeping me from finding it amusing as hell.
In Florida, renowned Democratic
nutjob Congressman Alan Grayson is fighting like hell to stave off a Republican challenger whose name warms the heart of this proud son of New Hampshire. Grayson put out an ad attacking Daniel Webster that was one of the most dishonest and misleading ones ever aired, taking a Webster quote completely out of context (a Bible verse, cutting out the part where Webster said "don't say this"). The ad has gone viral, leading to Grayson literally becoming a laughingstock and putting the finishing touches on his dismal political career -- but possibly freeing him up for a job at MSNBC.
And now we have the unfolding saga of Meg Whitman's maid. As my colleague Kim deftly covered, about a decade ago Whitman hired a maid for her home (and paid her quite handsomely). She worked for the Whitman family for years, until it was discovered that there were some questions about her immigration status. Whitman eventually fired the maid, who now has Gloria Allred as her attorney and is announcing to the world that the maid in question is an illegal alien and Whitman is an awful person for paying her for all those years.
Well, that's one way of looking at it. Here's one closer to reality.
Whitman found the maid through an agency, and at the time conducted all the diligence she was obligated to as to ascertaining the woman's immigration status. The woman lied on the forms and possessed fraudulent documentation. Then, years later, Whitman got a letter from the government saying that the Social Security number the woman was using had some problems, but she should NOT do anything under the presumption that the woman was an illegal. Whitman's husband turned the letter over to the maid, with instructions to "take care of this" -- apparently under the assumption that it was a typical government clerical error. The verbage of the letter certainly would lead a reasonable person to also think so. From the letter:
"This letter does not imply that you or your employee intentionally provided incorrect information about the employee's name or SSN. It is not a basis, in and of itself, for you to take any adverse action against the employee, such as laying off, suspending, firing, or discriminating against the individual. 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. Moreover, this letter makes no statement about your employee's immigration status."
There's also another line that jumped out at me: "...ask the employee to give you the name and Social Security number exactly as it appears on the employee's Social Security card. (While the employee must furnish the SSN to you, the employee is not required to show you the Social Security card. But, seeing the card will help ensure that all records are correct.)" Hello?
Well, the maid didn't take care of it and was duly fired later.
Fast forward until now: Whitman is the Republican nominee for governor. The maid wants a bit of payback for losing her job, so she gets hold of Gloria Allred (a lawyer who's made a career as a feminist and Democratic activist) and dumps the whole thing in her lap. Allred starts trumpeting loud and clear to anyone who will listen about the whole mess, hoping to scuttle Whitman's campaign.
Think about this for a moment. Allred, the attorney of record for this maid, is announcing that her client has committed numerous serious crimes over about a decade, purely to advance Allred's political agenda. She's an illegal alien (immigration laws) who presented false identification documents (forgery, possibly identity theft) and said she was legally entitled to work in the US (fraud) and worked for Whitman for years (many probably tax law violations there). And if at any time she used the Postal Service for filing tax forms or statements, toss in mail fraud as well.
What the hell kind of lawyer would do that to their client?
That's rhetorical, but I'll answer it seriously anyway: the kind of lawyer that knows that the Attorney General of California (Jerry Brown, who's running against Whitman) and the Obama/Holder Justice Department won't do a damned thing about this lawyer holding press conferences to list in detail all the crimes her client has committed.
What Allred is doing is showing just how lax our system is in dealing with illegal aliens, even when caught, and how tough it is for most people -- even people with the financial resources as Meg Whitman and her family -- to obey the spirit of the law because the letter is so damned convoluted. And she's showing just how desperate the Democrats are to win.
Allred has, quite possibly, violated several tenets of the lawyers' code of ethics (yes, there is such a thing) by doing all these things that are decidedly against her client's best interests. And the client (at least theoretically) is facing some hefty fines, deportation, and possibly jail time based on the statements her attorney has made on her behalf. All in the name of an attack that is failing miserably.
Allred and the maid are setting themselves up for the kind of failure and ignominy that Congressman Grayson (D-Arkham Asylum) is headed to -- both driven for the desperate, frantic, and (hopefully) ultimately futile attempt to keep a Republican from winning election.
Let them serve as a role model for many other Democratic activists: please, continue to set yourself on fire in attempts to burn down Republicans. Your self-destructive tactics are as entertaining as they are futile.