back to article Whitman accused of hypocrisy over servants

The most expensive election in history hit another snag this week with news that would-be California governor, and ex-eBay boss, Meg Whitman employed a Mexican woman without permission to work in the US as her maid for nine years. This wouldn't be so bad, except Whitman has run on a strong anti-immigration ticket calling for …


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  1. Chris Miller

    What goes on in their heads?

    If you've so much money that you can afford to splurge a 9-figure sum trying to emulate Arnie, why on earth would you worry about saving a few dollars an hour by employing an illegal immigrant? Did she think: "Hey, I no longer need to clean my house(s) - I can employ someone to do it, but I'd better make sure I use the cheapest possible source of labour. After all there's no chance it could ever come out and ruin my prospects of becoming Governor/President"?

    BTW Is this really "the most expensive election in history"? Surely more money has been spent on presidential elections and (if we're thinking of people's own money) by Ross Perot.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @Chris Miller, 30th September 2010 09:26 GMT

      I don't believe is have anything to do with the maid's salary, she would have gotten a Mexican maid either way and would have given her a Mexican salary. The problem here is the fact that the maid turned out to be an illegal immigrant instead of a legal one.

      as for the "most expensive election," as it was pointed out the article, it is referring to the amount of money the person have spent from their _own_ money.

      1. LateNightLarry
        Paris Hilton

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

        Very appropriate saying I saw earlier today... Money talks, ethics walk.

        Meg Whitman has spent more of her own money trying to bu...(hack, cough) win the governor's eat than ANY candidate anywhere in the history of the US, She's been caught in one lie after another, and now, what can we call it? Whitmangate?

        Paris, because, well, she has at least voted a couple of times in the last 30 years... Nutmeg Whitless hasn't voted in the last 28 years... She's been "too busy running eBay and raising her sons"

        1. Fatman

          RE: ..... saying

          I have heard it put a bit differently:

          Money Talks, Bullshit Walks!

          1. LateNightLarry

            RE:..... saying

            In Meg Whitman's case, the change is appropriate.

            She has blamed everybody else, including Jerry Brown, Gloria Allred, Nicki (the maid), Brown's campaign manager, and on and on and on... rather than accept ANY blame for herself. She hired the maid, let her work for nine years, fired the maid, but it's ALL Jerry Brown's fault... Yeah sure... and I've got a beautiful landmark bridge I can sell you...

            Hand grenade, because Meg Whitman is a FOOL for believing that any secrets will stay a secret when you run for public office nowadays.

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      You haven't met any rich people?

      In my experience they are the tightest people around. Never pay full price for anything, and never waste a penny. I guess that's why they're rich and I'm not :-(

  2. Rogerborg

    Ignorance is no excuse!

    Unless it's hers, obviously.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    a maid is not the same as a company worker

    that is my personal and biased opinion.

    especially if the maid is willing to wear cat ears ;-)

    1. J-Wick


      Who 'downvotes' this post?! It's a bit of fun. It's not like he said '... willing to wear a catholic school girl's uniform and clean everything with her tongue'

      Now, *that's* a post that needs downvoting!

      1. Lionel Baden

        @ J-Wick

        I kinda like your Idea (minus clening with tounge)

        im off to the border BRB

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Illegal immigrants huh?

    Like the native Americans I guess, who are never permitted to go into office (assuming one was mad enough to do so)?

    1. Bryce 2


    2. Anonymous Coward

      Ben Nighthorse Campbell

      Native American and former Senator from the State of Colorado. Northern Cheyenne I believe.

  5. CheesyTheClown

    Wouldn't she be the type to check?

    Seriously, this sounds like a woman that is clearly paranoid about illegal aliens... as if they're a cancer. Wouldn't she be exactly the type of person to check this out? Can anyone possibly expect us to believe that a woman that is running a campaign that clearly is hellbent on tossing illegal immigrants out on their asses didn't think in 9 years to check to see if her maid was in fact legal and paying taxes?

    If she does get into office and toss these people out. Tell me this. Who is going to wash her house and clean her dirty toilets then? Who will build her roads and who will clean the septic tanks. How many of those businesses that she's threatening will be out of business if they can't find employees willing to do shit work anyway? It's like saying "We'll close your business down if you use illegal immigrants!" to a guy who responds "If you take away my illegal immigrants, I won't have any employees left to do the work and will be out of business anyway."

    Why is this a problem? Because people legally in California would rather be a burden on society by claiming "I can't work because of my trick knee" than to take a "demeaning" job like one that would require them to ... well work for a living. The illegal aliens are working their asses off for low wages and setting examples for their children like "I'm doing this, killing myself to survive so that when you grow up, you won't have to. Go to school and get smart, don't end up like me". Instead of despising and mistreating these people, we should be using them as model citizens who show what you can achieve if you take a risk and work your ass off for what you believe in.

    These are the people who are trying to live the American dream of making a better life for themselves no matter what the risks. Living day by day to give a future to their children. These are the true Americans that we all claim to be while we sit around getting fat and complaining about how "I just can't find the right job, I'll sit here and wait for someone to come offer my a proper job".

    It seems to me that instead of either grabbing all these immigrants and hugging them and handing them a free ride or throwing them out... knowing they'll almost certainly be back in a week. We have to decide on something. Should we line them up and shoot them for making American's look bad by working so hard? Or maybe we should make some sort of work agreement with Mexico that is similar to an H1-B visa but is designed specifically for "minimum wage workers" that will allow an adult and up to two children to come live in the US so long as they are a contributing member to society and not a burden. Put them on a parole style program, make them responsible for paying taxes. Have their cases evaluated twice a year (for a small mandatory fee, therefore creating jobs for Americans) and make sure their employment record is clean, they aren't placing a burden on the health care system, they are paying taxes etc... if after a certain amount of time (5-10 years) these people have clean records, have kids that aren't causing trouble in school, are still working hard, given them a green card and let them relax a little while they work towards citizenship. After they've worked that long outside of their country anyway, we need to give them someway of collecting social security when they're older... based on the same rules we follow that is.

    Is it demeaning to these people to treat them like paroles? Probably less demeaning that treating them like toxic rodents that should be exterminated.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


      You are missing an unbelievably important thing here: illegal immigrants *don't* pay taxes. This very item; not having 1/3 to 1/2 of their gross income removed in the form of taxes is what allows them to work for a bent copper and a crust of bread. While I wholeheartedly support your idea to legalise the illegals…they would most assuredly *not* be capable of continuing to scrape by on the pittance they make if being legal meant they had to start paying taxes.

      If they have to start paying taxes, their wages must rise. If their wages must rise, then what is the point (to the self-centered rich people) of having all these people around in the first place? No; your ideas, noble as they are, cannot come without a complete re-think of America’s taxation system. Your unbelievably idiotic ideas of “give a squillion tax breaks to the rich whilst screwing the poor and raping the middle class” are what are killing your country. Let’s be honest here; anyone making below living wage needs a 100% tax exemption. The middle class need their tax burden alleviated. The Rich could have their taxes go as high as 75-80% and they would still be able to afford nice homes, two cars and a small security force to protect them.

      Listen, I don’t claim to have all the answers; but I can tell you that legalising these unfortunate souls will only mean their doom. Until you adopt the idea of a basic tax exemption, legalising them is no gift. In the meantime…please have your government talk to our government (Canada.) We could use a lot of hard working folk up here. I would like to see our government loosen our immigration restrictions quite a bit. We’ll gladly take all those Mexicans you would choose to deport back to their homeland. Similarly, any Americans who would like to flee the insanity of their rapidly collapsing socio-economic system. Hell, we have room…and plenty of resources. Let’s get some more ethnic diversity up in here and get this country rolling. Lots to do, not nearly enough warm bodies to do it all…

  6. Mark Burgum

    Sounds familier

    Strangely enough a minister of the last labour goverment who announced new measures in the house for cracking down on employers who had not checked the immigration status of employees was also caught with an illegal maid. Even worse she claimed it was a mistake, even though she had not got photo copies of the relevant documents, which was the main requirement of the law that she had introduced. Somehow she got off whic is even worse.

  7. Blake St. Claire

    surely the right thing to do---

    Would have been to help Diaz get legal status instead. Yes?

    I hope Whitman loses. I left California years ago. (Before Arnie, but crime, crowding, smog, politics, and more, were more that I could take.)

    If she wins it'll be yet another reason to be from there.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Baroness Scotland

    Not quite as good as the former British Attorney General who employed someone in breach of the very law which she had written. I remember receiving a brochure when the new law was introduced, pointing out that the ONLY defence for an employer found to be employing someone not entitled to work in the UK was to have a copies of their relevant documentation (passport, visa, work permit, etc.). The brochure stated that if an employer did not have such evidence for an illegal worker, they would have committed a criminal offence. Funnily enough, the Attorney General did not have any such evidence but she only paid a fine "for an administrative error" and was not charged with any offence.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. LateNightLarry

      Baroness Scotland..

      The most interesting part of this story to come out is that, as the CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman could have simply handed the paperwork to her Director of HR and tell that person to make sure everything is correct.. She didn't have to dirty her money grubbing little paws by actually making a couple of phone calls to get the answers... Instead she just trashed the letters from Immigration asking for clarification.

      FAIL, because I hope she fails big in her attempt to buy the governorship fo California... She has been spending money like the governship has a "Buy It Now" button on it...

  9. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    There's no proof to that statement, it could just be a slur to stop her winning the election

  10. JaitcH

    Meg Whitman and many, already elected politicians

    You may recall about three or four years ago all manner of US politicians discovered members of their staffs were illegal so this ugly tight-wad is following in a long line of slave labour employers.

    The least Whitman could have done would be to help the woman regularise her status.

    Whitman should know that 14 million Latinos reside in California; they account for 37% of the state's population; Latinos have the highest percentage of likely voters under age 35. That's a lot of people to upset.

    1. OffBeatMammal

      legalizing status

      ... there's another can of worms

      as an H-1B non-resident Alien starting down the employment based Green Card process (so doing everything by the expensive and confusing book) it looks like a 7-10 year process (for what, I can't quite work out as most of it seems to be sitting in processing/backlog not actually being actively investigated by Homeland Security or whoever)

      if they start setting precedent for illegals to jump the queue then the tax paying, by the book legals will get uppity!

  11. Stef 4
    Thumb Down

    $119 Million

    $119 Million (so far) of her own money?

    Exactly how much is the salary for the Governor of California? It must have one hell of a dental plan to be worth risking that sort of money on a post she might not even win.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What else is she going to do with it?

      It's not as if she's spending everything she's got on this election. She'll still be meag-rich when it's over, win or lose.

      You do know that you can't take it with you, don't you?

    2. LateNightLarry
      Paris Hilton

      $119 Million...

      The salary for the governor of California is $200,000 per year... Ah-nuld has refused to take the salary he's entitled to... I have no doubt that Queen Meg (one of the more pleasant terms she's been called) will take the money as a miniscule down payment on her "investment".

      She's already made it clear she wants to abolish the capital gains tax in California... a move that will benefit only the VERY, VERY rich and the obscenely rich. The average working stiff will get no benefit from that... oh, and she plans to make up the loss from that giveaway by taking still more money from the state's school system... the one that's already sunk to 49th in the country, ahead of only Louisiana in terms of spending per pupil. It's sunk even lower in terms of effectiveness. Plus, she's a whole lot better looking

      Paris, because, well... Paris has more common sense than Nutmeg Whitman.

  12. jake Silver badge

    Bottom line?

    Meg's an idiot. A rich one, perhaps, but an idiot nonetheless. She always has been, and always will be. If the fine folks in California vote her into office, we're pulling up stakes & moving our HQ to our (already existing) facility in Oregon.

    Keep on spinning, Meg. In several senses of the term. Some of us don't buy into it, but at least it gives us something to talk about at the water cooler ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And that's the point no?

      Rich does not equal capable to govern. But hey, 'merkins seem to think so, given how money is the key to practically every level of government. So it must be right, yeah?

  13. ismile

    watch the news

    If we all pay attention, this woman was hired from a service and paid $23.00 per hour. I would work for that, The agency should have checked the documents. Just another smear from another dirty politician.

  14. Adam Williamson 1

    Boo freaking hoo

    "Whitman has denied all the accusations, blaming an employment agency for failing to check Diaz's status."

    Riiight - so she believes so strongly in the wrongness of illegal immigration that she...relies on employment agencies to check on the status of her own employees for her? Something she could have done herself in about ten seconds ("can I see your work permit please?") It's never a good thing when your damage limitation exercise is so damaging.

    1. LateNightLarry

      Boo freakin' hoo...

      Nutmeg Whitman wouldn't have had to even pick up the phone to verify her employee's records... Oh, I guess she might, just to call eBay's Director of HR into her office and order him/her to get the answers... Boo freakin' hoo is right... Hopefully she'll be crying a lot more when she loses the election in a very big way.

      Grenade, because she just blew her campaign out of the water.

  15. ks2problema

    The REAL story...

    The real story, seems to me, is that a woman who is obscenely wealthy enough to be about to drop ~$120M on her sudden ambition to be a state governor didn't even bother to VOTE for the first 28 years during which she was eligible. Yet now she's dropping a huge load of money to conquer this new world... excuse me... buy it.

    Still, she comes off at least a little better than Carly Fiorina.

  16. tourist
    IT Angle

    What's it worth?

    $119 million, so far, spent to become governor? that's some narcissm there that makes you think you just HAVE TO BE the governor cause only you are equipped enough to do it - to the tune of $119 million. I'm thinking that money would have been well spent employing every mexican in california. I guess some folks are meant to be GODS - and all for coming up with one idea at the right time. Well, at least she's consistant, she doesn't believe in paying taxes to anyone - the government or her staff. But who is she going to get to dig the trenches for all the BS?

    1. Javc

      Re: What's it worth?

      >> that money would have been well spent employing every mexican in california.

      So about 4 million in California...That's about $30 each. It won't employ them for very long.

  17. tweell
    Paris Hilton

    Standard mudslinging

    First: The maid works for a service, Meg Whitman hired the service. It's the maid service that is at fault.

    Second: The fake ID's were pretty decent. Whitman's no police investigator, let alone a bouncer, so wouldn't know different.

    Third: Supposed letter was sent to Whitman in 2003. Lawyer slinging mud claims that she has the letter. How would she get this? Hmm. If you were an illegal housecleaner, bringing in the mail and saw a letter about yourself from the Feds, what would you do?

    1. LateNightLarry
      Dead Vulture

      Standard mudslinging

      Correction... the maid did NOT work for a service, she was employed directly by Meg Whitman and her husband. Supposedly Queen Meg hired her through a service, but was paying her directly to the tune of $23.00 an hour, for all of 15 hours a week. Strangely enough, she has never named the service she supposedly used to hire the maid.

      If Whitman wanted to check out the validity of the IDs, she had the entire HR department of eBay she could call on... after all, she was the CEO and their supreme master... er... boss.

      According to the maid's attorney, Whitman's husband gave the letter to the maid with instructions to take care of it... that's how the maid ended up with it. As the husband of a billionaire, he was too important to be bothered with little details like that. Obviously, she kept it rather than following up with Immigration, but that's another issue.

      Tombstone, because that holds Meg Whitman's epitath.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Meggy Whitman said....

    If you could convince Whitman that her arsehole was an illegal alien, she would deny that she ever had one too.

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