Whitman, Brown Debate; Whitman Hit with Immigrant-Hire Scandal


Gubernatorial candidates Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman held their first public debate last night at UC-Davis.

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Calbuzz liveblogged the debate step by step; highlights of their summation include this about Brown's attacks on Whitman:

Feisty, funny and self-deprecating about his age, Brown used rhetorical jujitsu to turn some of Whitman's attacks back on her, painting her corporate experience as too limited and too shallow to stand up to the pressures of being governor. He not only compared the business executive rationale for her candidacy to Schwarzenegger's, but also linked her both to the Wall Street meltdown and to George Bush supply side policies in Washington....

The New York Times focused on Whitman's attack on Brown for being a public union tool (since he gets much campaign cash from them, while she is self-financing hers to the tune of $119 million).

The L.A. Times noted that at stake for both candidates are a raft of undecided voters, when "Among likely voters, 45% felt favorably about Brown - the same percentage that felt unfavorably. Whitman fared worse: 37% favorable and 47% unfavorable." Twelve percent of voters seem undecided as of mid-September.

As the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the candidates offer similar solutions to overwhelming state pension obligations (raise employee contributions and retirement age) while differing on immigration (Brown supporting a path to citizenship for current illegal immigrant, with Whitman strongly opposed).

Which made it all the more interesting today when celeb attorney Gloria Allred hit Whitman with an immigration scandal, filing a very public lawsuit on behalf of an illegal immigrant housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, who Whitman fired in 2009. Whitman's campaign alleges that the firing was done as soon as she learned the housekeeper was not in the country legally.

The Diaz/Allred press conference:

(Photo: Getty Images)

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