It's not a great day for the Meg Whitman campaign. The GOP gubernatorial candidate's former housekeeper, Nicandra Diaz, alleged late this morning in a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred that she spent nine years working for Whitman's family illegally and that she was fired in June 2009 after she approached the family to ask for help gaining legal status.
The Whitman campaign, meanwhile, says that Whitman was unaware that Diaz was undocumented, and has released related documents. According to the Whitman campaign, Diaz, who is alleging mistreatment, was fired after she admitted to being in the country illegally.
Immigration has been a sore spot for Whitman, who faced Democratic candidate and state attorney general Jerry Brown in a debate at UC Davis last night. Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, has faced criticism from Latino and union groups for courting Latino voters while simultaneously campaigning on an immigration platform that includes tighter border security, a ban on admissions of undocumented students to state colleges and universities, and a stated opposition to bilingual education.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that registered voters who identified themselves as Latino in a poll backed Brown by a 19-point margin over Whitman in the governor's race.