Dear Big Daddy,
A straightforward question: Will eMeg be done in by Nannygate?
–Domestic in Dinuba
Funny, how this maid situation got so, well, messy. A pity, too. Given my past with the Brown family and with Gov. Moonbeam in particular, I was hoping to see the bald one sweat until the wee hours of Nov. 3 before pulling off just enough of a victory to keep Meg’s legal team from deploying.
If the latest polls are any indication, it appears more likely that Brown’s cash-bar victory party will be over by a 72 year-old’s bedtime and most of us will spend the rest of the evening playing Proposition bingo and cracking Christine O’Donnell jokes (How many wiccans does it take to screw up an election?).
So yeah, I think the tall lady’s in trouble. Don’t take my word for it. Look at where she’s been putting her money in the last few weeks. All that Spanish-language advertising was starting to have an effect, too. The Democratic establishment was nervous. People were starting to gripe about the Brown non-campaign. The stage was set.
Instead eMeg is $140 million wise and $6,210 foolish. That’s what Nicky Diaz says she’s owed in back wages. If you ask me, if you’d put poor Nicky up in a resort costing that much every week for the last year plus, it would have been cheap compared to this train wreck. Instruct the staff to bring her another Mai Thai anytime she glances at the telephone or mentions any variation of the term “lawyer” (and if the word that comes up is “Gloria Allred,” make that Mai Thai in a 50-gallon barrel).
Whitman has thrown money at every other problem that has come up during this campaign, but failed to do so in a situation that could have been fixed for the kinds of sums that constitute pocket lint in her world. Any politician who doesn’t know the power of a good bribe isn’t ready to chair the what-should-we-order-for-lunch committee, let alone lead the nation’s biggest state out of this financial cluster-fondle. Besides, this one would have been legal — and in the Silicon Land of Golden parachutes, miniscule compared to say, what eBay paid Whitman herself when they thought her product had expired.
Now if you want to talk about a member of Whitman’s domestic staff who shouldn’t get the back wages owed them, that would be “campaign advisor” Mike Murphy. Sure, they knew about all of this back in June. Yes, they were ready to go with documents and counter-arguments. I can even see the strategy of pretending it had never happened and hoping you could beat the clock. But pay the lady to clean up one final mess, and we’re not even having this conversation.
The folks in the media are all caught up in the game of what-did-Meg-know-and-when-did-she-know-it? Was Diaz really “like a member of the extended family”? But she’s about to be the member that gives us four years of crazy old Uncle Jerry, because out there in the public, particularly among el publico, there’s a much simpler idea that’s taking hold.
That idea, simply, is the very one that eMeg has spent several social programs worth of money trying to combat — the notion that she is an out-of-touch elitist who has a tendency to be kind of mean and not even realize it. Anyone who has experience with Jerry Brown knows that these words can apply to him too, though nobody cares when the object of an abuse is a reporter (not even reporters, who secretly signed up for that sort of thing).
But when your cluelessness results in a face that is earnest, brown, sad and crying all over the airwaves, it’s time to start preparing for your name to replace that of Al Checchi in Golden State political lore.