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Meg Whitman tidies up after her former maid

November 18, 2010 |  5:44 am

Turns out former EBay CEO Meg Whitman spent about $144.2 million of her own money to not get elected governor of California.

That's no doubt the most expensive personally-financed political campaign in U.S. history, larger even than the hair-care budget for Flo, the annoying Progressive insurance lady.

Now we need to up that Whitman out-of-pocket expense total by another $5,500.

The unsuccessful Republican candidate has agreed to pay off leftover financial claims from her former household maid, an illegal immigrant named Nikki Diaz Santillan.

Back in September, she just happened to come forward with a Democratic celebrity lawyer when Whitman's race was close with the old-former and now old-new governor, Jerry Brown, who also happens to be a Democrat.

At the time the maid said she had been fired when Whitman decided to run for governor.

Diaz Santillan thought she'd like to have more like an additional $8,000-$10,000 in undocumented expenses from Whitman. But after several hours of negotiation Wednesday with state labor officials in San Jose,  both sides agreed to the smaller settlement and proclaimed themselves victorious.

"We do our best for our employers," Diaz Santillan read from a statement, "and in return all we ask is to be treated with respect and to be paid for all the work we do."

Tucker Bounds, a Whitman spokesman, said the maid's claim of exploitation was political exploitation from the start. "This is the last dying gasp of a political act," he said.

After 20 years in the U.S and having two children, now American citizens, Diaz Santillan remains an illegal immigrant. She has hired an attorney to make her case for legal residency.

Whitman is packing up campaign paraphernalia to auction on EBay.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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