- A Path with Heart: Why Whitman Lost (the Latino Vote)
- A PATH WITH HEART: The Perils of Reporting on Drug Trafficking
- A PATH WITH HEART: What a relief!
- A path with heart: The Kissing Disparity
- A PATH WITH HEART: The Kindest Neighbor
- Los que se quedan
- A PATH WITH HEART: Not an easy job
- A PATH WITH HEART: Bipartisan Shmipartisan
- A PATH WITH HEART: Four years at the Capitol
- A PATH WITH HEART: The Nation’s Capital
- A PATH WITH HEART: Two dissapointing candidates
- A PATH WITH HEART: A Hard Decision
- A PATH WITH HEART: The crash
- Through a glass wall: a visit in jail
- Vote or you Don’t Count
- A PATH WITH HEART: Sand from Acapulco
- The Mummies of Guanajuato Stole my Hat
- A Path with Heart: La Peña de Bernal
- Un Pan de Dulce (A Sweet Bread)
- A Path with Heart: The courage of Adriana
- A Path with Heart: A Great Daughter
- A Path with Heart: Bus Robbery
- A Fat Man in a Plane (A Path with Heart)
- A Path with Heart: Not One Crooked Tooth
- A Path with Heart: Attack Against Journalist is no Surprise
- A Path with Heart: A Real Treasure
- A Path with Heart: A Tsunami that Never Arrived
- A Path with Heart: 17 amazing things about Singapore
- A Path with Heart: The woman in black
- A path with heart: Passionate defense
- A Path with Heart: Corpse flower
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I have heard many theories on why Meg Whitman did not win California’s gubernatorial election: she failed to communicate with independent voters; she didn’t properly handle the controversy over her undocumented housekeeper; she saturated TV with ads; she told lies in her ads; she did not convince voters with her message and so on.
Some experts say that her opponents’ campaign was smarter. They point to a TV ad showing clips of Whitman and Schwarzenegger saying the exact same campaign slogans and even using the same words “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” The ad says, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for different results.”
Meg Whitman once told me in an interview for La Opinion that she could not win without the Latino vote. In the last election, Latinos represented 21% of the entire electorate. Despite the fact that she invested historic amounts of money – more than $142 millions from her own pocket – trying to get the Latino vote, sixty percent of Latinos voted for democrat Jerry Brown.
Whitman always insisted that her offers to Latinos were jobs and education.
In contrast, Brown said he was in favor of immigration reform and the Dream Act.
Until September 29th, I felt a certain kind of admiration for Whitman because of her accomplishments in the business world. It’s not easy for women to be successful in the corporate world.
Then, on September 29th, I saw a televised interview with Whitman’s former housekeeper and nanny, Nicky Díaz Santillan, whom Whitman fired in 2009 after learning that she was undocumented.
Santillan had worked Whitman for nine years before confessing to Whitman that she was undocumented and asking for help to become legalized. In response, Whitman fired Santillan and said, “From now on, you don’t know me, I do not know you.”
Santillan said, “I felt like she was throwing me away like a piece of garbage.”
When listening to that interview, I felt very disappointed by the Republican candidate.
What bothered me most about the situation was discovering that on a human level, Whitman was a cold and lacked compassion. In a press conference, Whitman said that Nicky was like a member of the family and that letting her go was a hard decision.
In Latino culture when somebody is a part of your family, you do the impossible for them. Whitman could have fired Nicky with more dignity and more compassion. She could have at least helped her find an immigration lawyer.
Whitman’s treatment of Nicky revealed that she and her expensive advisors don’t understand the Latino community. Whitman refused to accept that immigration was as important to Latinos as the economy. When it came to immigration, her only focus was border enforcement and security. What made Whitman lose the Latino vote wasn’t Nicky (though that didn’t help either), but Whitman’s strong opposition to the legalization of undocumented immigrants and to the Dream Act.
Future gubernatorial candidates, take note: for Latinos, immigration is as important as the economy and a candidate’s personality is also very important.
As a friend of mine said of Brown and Whitman, “It is clear that one candidate is there for the community and another is there for the businesses.”
Editor: Maria Ginsbourg, Journalism graduate
from San Francisco State University.