Politics

1,100 nurses protest at Meg Whitman's home

Thursday, July 15, 2010

California's largest nurses union is taking center stage in the race for governor. More than 1,000 members demonstrated in front of the Atherton home of Republican candidate Meg Whitman.

While Whitman was in Southern California on Thursday, 1,100 nurses came calling at her home in Atherton.

Members of the California Nurses Association completely filled the street for more than a block, demonstrating their opposition to Whitman's run for governor.

In a parody of the now infamous Whitman eBay shoving story, the nurses' union character known as "Queen Meg" shoved a woman in a state of California costume to the ground saying, "I am going to do away with the protections that keep you safe."

The union leaders say their biggest concern is that Whitman does not support the state's nurse to patient staffing ratios. Whitman has said she does, but the union isn't buying it.

"What Meg do we get? The one in the primary who refused to come out and unequivocally say she supported it or the one who now all of a sudden suddenly supports them?" asked Geri Jenkins, the nurses union co-president.

In Southern California Whitman responded.

"I am still quite surprised that they have come after me in many ways because I support the nursing staffing ratios. I am deeply concerned about the business climate and the jobs climate in California and nurses will obviously benefit from a much healthier economic climate," said Whitman.

Whitman added it's the union bosses not the nurses that oppose her.

"I think what voters need to understand is that what's going on here really is Jerry Brown Inc.," said Whitman.

The nurses point out their leadership is elected and Jerry Brown said his campaign depends on support from groups like the union.

"This is a grassroots campaign, we don't have a $1 billion account in offshore bank accounts and other kind of Wall Street bonuses to deploy in this campaign," said Brown.

The protest in front of Whitman's house lasted about an hour. The nurses came in on 34 buses. They had a plane flying overhead towing a sign saying, "No to Whitman." It was all provided by the union.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
meg whitman, protest, atherton, gubernatorial race, jerry brown, politics, mark matthews
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