Union behind attacks on Meg Whitman for employing illegal immigrant maid 

If you wonder how it was that Meg Whitman's former maid got top-notch legal representation and became a major part of the California gubernatorial election with practically overnight, well wonder no more. The California nurses' union was behind the whole thing

In early September, Diaz turned to a friend who knew a member of the powerful, Oakland-based California Nurses Association, The Chronicle has learned.

The union called in two lawyers for Diaz: Marc Van Der Hout, a longtime immigration attorney in San Francisco, and celebrity feminist attorney Gloria Allred, a fierce workplace rights litigator who arranged for Diaz to tell her story in a live-webcast news conference.

Asked to confirm her organization's role in Diaz's case, Rose Ann DeMoro, the nurses union executive director, said Monday, "I won't deny it, but I prefer not to comment directly on the case."

Whitman, a former eBay CEO, has alleged that Diaz was used by unions backing her Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown, and engaged in "the politics of personal destruction." Her campaign said the California Nurses Association's role was suspected after its spokesman, Chuck Idelson, turned up at a widely watched Diaz news conference - and refused comment on the matter.

But several sources close to the matter, speaking on condition that they not be named, have now confirmed the union's role in Diaz's emergence, a moment labor leaders hailed as a watershed in the immigrant-rights movement - and political opponents have called a classic campaign dirty trick.

The whole article is a pretty fascinating look behind the skullduggery of modern political campaigns.

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Mark Hemingway

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