Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Hope the Governor Didn't Eat the Shrimp!

Perhaps fueled by the bungled job his opponent Meg Whitman has done in responding to her housekeeper situation, the second coming of Jerry Brown has picked up steam.

Carpinteria author Ann Louise Bardach has written a story that is posted on The Daily Beast describing a trip Brown took to Cuba in July of 2000, when he was the mayor of Oakland.

Her description of the Hotel Nacional where Brown stayed had me fondly remembering my own visit there in December of 2006.

The Nacional, a knockoff of the famed Breakers hotel in Miami, was in some ways as luxurious as anything I was used to. However, thanks to the Cuban food I almost didn't make it off of the island.

Bardach was interviewed on CNN Tuesday afternoon and questioned the wisdom of Brown's use of former CIA agent Phillip Agee as his travel agent for the Cuban trip. In any event, I doubt that Brown's skirting of US travel restrictions to Cuba will have people up in arms to the same degree that some are about Whitman's housekeeper fiasco, or more specifically, the way Whitman has responded to the controversy.

By the way, there is a good article in Jerry Robert's Calbuzz blog raising the question of why neither Whitman or her husband ever signed their housekeeper's employment documents.

If nannygate proves to be the undoing of Whitman, it won't be the first time a politician has been brought down by such an allegation. In 1994 Michael Huffington, who at the time was Santa Barbara's representative in Congress, was running for Senate against Diane Feinstein. Like Whitman, he was pouring a great deal of his personal fortune into his election campaign. He likely snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with the revelation that he and wife Arianna had employed an illegal immigrant for their household help.

Huffington would later come out of the closet and then duck into a lasting obscurity. His ex-wife Arianna, would go onto become arguably the world's most famous blogger.

And for my final political thought for the day, you know that a politician is in trouble when they are compelled to say,"I'm willing to take a lie detector test." (Meg Whitman) or "I am not a witch." (Christine O'Donnell)
© 2010 by Craig Smith and