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Meg's Maid Went Public With Help of Nurses' Union



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    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's former housekeeper Nicky Diaz Santillan, who is represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, attends a press conference at Allred's offices on September 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. In the news conference Allred claims that Whitman knowingly employed an undocumented worker, Santillan, as her housekeeper for nine years and then fired her a few months after Whitman began her campaign for governor. Allred said she will file a claim for unpaid wages and mileage reimbursement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    It's not a surprise -- given the appearance of a California Nurses Association official at the initial press conference, as I reported at the time -- but the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Meg Whitman's former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz Santillan, came forward with the help of the nurses union.

    The Chronicle's report adds important new details to one of the year's most interesting political stories. It also adds a bit of labor politics intrigue to the story, since the huge international union known as SEIU -- a rival of the California Nurses Association -- recently put out statements praising Diaz Santillan that seemed to portray that union as a backer.

    Why would two unions want it known that they helped the woman who felled Whitman? Certainly, one answer lies in the old expression that victory has many fathers (and defeat is an orphan). Here's my theory: Because both unions are organizing workers, particularly immigrant workers, they want to showcase their support for an immigrant worker such as Diaz Santillan.