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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Night Card Game (Gloria Allred Jumps El Race Card Tiburón)

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

Gloria Allred earns a special place at the Saturday Night Card Game table for her performance this week in jumping the race card shark with a late-September Surprise on Meg Whitman, who is running against Allred's long-time political friend Jerry Brown.

You know the story, about which I posted earlier.  Meg Whitman hired Nicky Diaz Santillan a decade ago through an employment agency, which verified Diaz's legal employment status.  Diaz, at various points, swore under oath as to her legal immigration status, and presented a seemingly real social security card and driver's license.

It is beyond dispute that Whitman complied with the law both in the original hiring and when a letter showed up in 2003 from the IRS Social Security Administration asking Whitman and her husband to verify Diaz's social security number.

Whitman paid Diaz a fair wage ($23 per hour) for her work as a housekeeper, treated her well, and considered Diaz a part of Whitman's extended family. 

When, over a year ago, Diaz confessed that she was in the U.S. illegally, Whitman fulfilled her legal obligation and fired Diaz, but did not take any punitive steps not required by law, such as turning Diaz in to immigration authorities.  Whitman also did not turn Diaz in to federal and state criminal authorities, even though Diaz had violated numerous laws, including filing false paperwork, committing perjury, and fraudulently using someone else's social security number.

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Whitman was rewarded with a Gloria Allred organized press conference at which, like an actor on cue, Diaz cried about the bad Whitman, and Allred announced to the world that Whitman knowingly had hired an illegal employee.

As we know, Allred's accusations were false, as Greta Van Susteren so beautifully demonstrated when Greta ripped Allred apart last night for all the nation to see:

As I pointed out previously, there is an equally important issue, which is that Allred exposed her client to serious criminal jeopardy by taking her public in this way.  No one who has seen Allred's long history of publicity stunts could doubt that Allred orchestrated this fiasco for political purposes. 

But in her interview with Mark Levin, Allred claimed that Diaz wanted to do this.  Allred refused to discuss the substance of her advice to Diaz on grounds of attorney-client privilege, so I guess we're supposed to accept that publicity-hound Nicky Diaz forced Allred to go along for the ride.  Note to Gloria - you do not have to help a client commit legal suicide any more than a physician has to help a patient commit physical suicide.

But if all there were here was another cheap Gloria Allred political stunt meant to hurt a Republican, or merely dubious lawyering, Allred would not be a topic for the Saturday Night Card Game.  More than political or legal sin is needed to gain a place at this table.

Allred earns a place at the Saturday Night Card Game table because this was all about racial politics, namely the large Latino vote in California. 

The image of a crying Latina (illegal) immigrant lodging accusations of abuse at Whitman as Allred sat by her side was -- at least at first glance -- political gold for the Brown campaign.  The image of Allred pulling out the seemingly smoking gun and calling Whitman a liar was more of the same.

The timing also was no coincidence, coming just days before the debate sponsored by the Spanish language Univision television network.  Not surprisingly, the Nicky Diaz issue was front and center in the Univision debate which took place earlier today, as reported by Bloomberg:
Meg Whitman, the Republican running for governor of California, and her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown clashed over an undocumented worker who says Whitman employed her knowing she was in the U.S. illegally.

Whitman said Brown used her former housekeeper to further his political ambitions and Brown said Whitman is “talking from both sides of her mouth.”

“Jerry, you know you should be ashamed,” Whitman said, addressing Brown directly during the second of three scheduled debates held at California State University, Fresno. “You put her out there, and you should be ashamed for sacrificing Nicky Diaz on the altar of your political ambitions.”

Brown denied that his campaign was behind the allegations and said he has never hired an undocumented worker.
Gloria Allred played the race card this week for political gain.  In so doing, Allred exposed her client to criminal prosecution and deportation.

For the unique combination of political shenanigans, race card politics, and dubious legal strategy,  Gloria Allred deserves a special place at the Saturday Night Card Game table.

Related Posts:
Saturday Night Card Game
Why Isn't The Left Screaming At Gloria Allred?
Questions for Loretta Sanchez - in Vietnamese

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  1. One can only hope that an equally publicity hungry shyster persuades Nicky to sue Gloria for malpractice.

  2. Professor, you wrote, "Gloria Allred played the race card this week for political gain. In so doing, Allred exposed her client to criminal prosecution and deportation." Hugh Hewitt, Mark Levin and Greta Van Susteren, all attorneys as well I hear, agree. That makes four lawyers astonished in public at this behavior. When does the American Bar Association act?

    Beuller? Beuller? Beuller? Mr. Zack?

    I had to find Mr. Stephen N. Zack in a search engine, it was not difficult. His bio was on abanet. I pray that he may have something constructive to say about this behavior.

    Thanks, Professor.

  3. Ms. Allred's actions do not reflect much credit or honor on the legal profession. I believe if I were a member of that profession, I'd strongly advise her to keep very, very quiet. She certainly can attract publicity with these stunts, apparently without any fear of repercussions.

    Typical Democratic smear campaign.

  4. Is there any way to get the bar to begin a disciplinary investigation of Allred? Surely this sort of conduct toward a client deserves it.

  5. This is so transparent, I would hope all Hispanics/Latinos here would be ashamed of Ms. Diaz. Not since Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart have I been so disgusted by someone blubbering after being caught in hypocrisy.

  6. Jaed, you must be kidding. For disciplinary action to be taken, the offense must first be by a conservative lawyer, and then only if it helps a Democrat in some way. Other than that, there's no reason for the ABA to act. To think that they would act against either (or especially both) of those preconditions is to assume the ABA is something other than a political organization.

  7. Much has been made (starting in the GOP primary) of Whitman's voting record... or rather, the lack thereof.

    I'm a layman, but I'm curious... how would I go about starting to look into Santillan's voting record? Should I contact the state Attorney General? (okay, that last was a bit over the top, I know...)

  8. If I were Meg, I would sue Gloria for barratry. It might turn out to be a SLAP suit, or it might not, but it would get her attention. I'd make the amount just what I'd shelled out to try to get elected...about one hundred million.

  9. I find it interesting that, according to the maid, the first thing Whitman did was to check with her lawyer to see if their was anyway she could HELP the maid, and was then informed by the Whitman lawyer that she would have to let the maid go. Another point is that the maid made $23.00 an hour, for a 15 hour week (3 hours a day, with weekends off?). Did she also work for anyone else during that time? Perhaps even through the same agency?

  10. Allred jumped the legal shark. She now is irrelevant.