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Nurses union disrupts Whitman campaign, again

October 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
With four days to the election, a new statewide Rasmussen Reports survey shows Republican Meg Whitman behind Democrat Jerry Brown by four points. Two other recent polls show the gap in double digits. Former governor and current California Attorney General Jerry Brown was not on the campaign trail Friday. Former eBay CEO Whitman was very visibly harassed by protesters.Once again, an actress calling herself "Queen Meg" was surrounded by chanting nurses outside a Meg Whitman event. The actress next to her was portraying Carly Fiorina.

But several of the nurses took their protest inside to the diners and patrons of Porto's Bakery and Cafe in Glendale, where it got loud and out of hand at times. The California Nurses Association and other state employee unions are supporting Jerry Brown.

"What you see is that the unions are fighting for control that they've had on Sacramento for the last 10 or 15 years, and no one likes to give up control," said Whitman.

Whitman says she believes the race is still wide open based on the new Rasmussen Reports poll and her internal surveys.

The unions have spent some $30 million helping Brown.

Whitman has set a record of personal campaign spending at more than $140 million.

"Jerry Brown has been a person who has been understanding of patients' issues in the state," said Jill Furillo, a spokesperson for the Calif. Nurses Assoc.

Whitman apparently has been hurt by the controversy over her hiring an undocumented housekeeper and the way she fired her. She says she fired Nicky Diaz Santillan after Diaz told her she was illegal.

Whitman told an interviewer this week her housekeeper of nine years should be deported. She was asked about it again Friday.

"On this subject, what I hear every day on the campaign trail is people want to talk about how they're going to stay in their house, not my housekeeper, so I've said everything I'm going to say on that," said Whitman.

A spokesperson for the Brown campaign said he was working Friday on state attorney general business. Starting Saturday, Brown will embark on a three-day, 12-city get-out-the vote tour.

It's estimated that at least 50 percent of votes will be submitted by absentee ballot this election.


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