In politics, an explosive 11th-hour revelation is commonly referred to as an October surprise. In California's gubernatorial race, the bombshell arrived two days early. On Sept. 29, Republican candidate Meg Whitman's former housekeeper appeared at a press conference alongside celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. As Nicky Diaz Santillan wept in front of the cameras, Allred alleged that the Whitman family had continued to employ Santillan after discovering her illegal-immigration status in 2003 and only fired her last year when she asked for help. Allred never produced any conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, and Whitman denied the allegations, claiming that she terminated Santillan's employment as soon as she became aware of her status. Still, the dramatic story line captivated California for days and did Whitman no favors with the key Latino voter bloc.