Pressure Rises in Battle Between Whitman, Nurses

Candidate declares "nurses advisory committee" to counter union attacks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Meg Whitman seems to be gambling that anti-union sentiment is stronger than pro-nurse sentiment.

    The fight between former eBay CEO and Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman and the California Nurses Association rages on, with both sides continuing to needle each other this week.

    Whitman's campaign is putting together an advisory committee of nurses to help her reach out to the rank-and-file of the CNA, which has endorsed her opponent, Attorney General Jerry Brown.

    The campaign has also stated on the "Truth for Nurses" website that Whitman supports "California's laws governing nurse-patient ratios 100%" -- an attempt by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to increase the number of patients assigned to each nurse in 2005 was soundly defeated.

    The CNA, however, has continued to hammer on the issue of Whitman's settlement with an eBay staffer whom Whitman "physically escorted" out of a conference room after a dispute.

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    To that end, the union is supporting demands by eBay shareholders for records related to that incident and any others that might present a liability for the company and its investors.

    The CNA has plans to hold a rally in front of the Atherton home of the candidate with the message "nurses won't be pushed around."

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    The fight between Whitman and the nurses dates back until June, when Whitman wrote an open letter demanding access to the addresses of members in order to send them campaign literature, and the CNA countered by inviting Whitman to unscripted question and answer sessions in public.

    Jackson West realizes the a good portion of nurses will vote for Whitman, but the union is popular with a much broader demographic.