Left-wing ‘The Nation’ suggests Lou Dobbs an American hypocrite – uses illegal aliens

We’ve got mail! Actually, we get a lot of mail, but anyway… Kevin from Manchester, Conn. sent us a aloof e-mail suggestion we would not discuss this story since it was posted on a liberal website. The Nation – a left-wing liberal online magazine – has charged Lou Dobbs is an “American hypocrite” since he has “relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his” various properties. But … there is always a but.

I’m not sure why Kevin thinks we would not talk about this. It’s not like we have not written about the Nicky Diaz story out of California. Maybe Kevin does not count the Diaz story since we totally crushed it? Well, we’re on to crush this one next!

The Huffington Post referred to the investigative report by The Nation using the catchy headline: Lou Dobbs Hired Illegal Immigrants. The problem is the original article, written by Isabel Macdonald, does not even come close to proving Dobbs hired any illegal aliens. I’ll go as far as suggesting it does not even imply he hired illegals. To avoid burying the lede, every self-described illegal alien interviewed by Macdonald worked for a company contracted by The Dobbs Group.

Got that? Macdonald spent an entire year investigating this story and spoke to five illegals. I guaranty you Macdonald’s investigation went on and on in an attempt to find one illegal worker – any illegal worker – who was actually hired by Dobbs and paid directly by Dobbs.  They found nobody, so therefore they run with the story that has no legs, and the Huffington Post twists the story to state Dobbs “hired illegals.” Totally false.

Let’s use an analogy shall we?

I bought a new house a few years ago … the lot and construction was managed by a builder, who in turn hired contractors and some of them in turn hired sub-contractors. During the five months of construction, my guess is there were more than 40 people who worked on the house. Framers, roofers, electricians, sheetrockers, painters, plumbers…

Am I responsible to ensure every one of them was legally working in the USA? No, the builder, contractors and sub-contractors are responsible. I’m quite certain I could not even legally find out if they were all legal.

It certainly may be true that companies hired by Dobbs went out and hired illegal aliens, but that’s a far stretch from stating Dobbs hired illegals like the HuffPost claims. Now, let’s go through the examples Macdonald uses detailing how “Dobbs” relied for years on illegal aliens.

A 36-year-old Mexican immigrant I’ll call Marco Salinas was working with a group of horses in a stable at the bustling Wellington Winter Equestrian Festival when I approached him for an interview. (Fearing deportation or job loss, Salinas, like the other workers interviewed for this story, asked that neither his real name nor the name of his employer be used.)

Got that? “Marco” specifically did not want his employer’s name used. He works for someone other than Dobbs. Dobbs may have hired that someone, or maybe someone else who eventually hired Marco.

When Gomez worked for the Vermont-based stable contracted by Lou Dobbs, his wages were $500 per week, and he typically worked sixty-five hours, meaning he was earning only slightly above minimum wage.

So Gomez worked for the stable contracted by Dobbs.

Speaking with The Nation in a Mexican restaurant where Univision blared in the background, Ortega, who had worked for a Florida company contracted by Dobbs to do garden maintenance on his West Palm Beach property, described himself as “an immigrant who doesn’t have papers.”

Ahh yes, someone else who works for a company contracted by Dobbs.

In a telephone interview, Jorge Garcia, a 24-year-old Guatemalan immigrant who worked for seven years at the same landscaping company, said that he and his brother had also regularly worked on Dobbs’s property.

Yup, Garcia is another illegal alien hired by a landscaping company. Are we seeing a pattern here? Eventually, Mcdonald names and speaks with the companies who were hired by Dobbs – and many other people – not owned by Dobbs.

I asked Mike Sedlak, the owner of Sedlak Landscaping, the contractor that maintains the grounds on Dobbs’s West Palm Beach property, whether Dobbs has ever inquired about the status of his employees. Sedlak said only, “I don’t feel comfortable talking about it,” and quickly got off the phone.

I also asked Missy Clark, the owner of North Run Farm, the stable in Warren, Vermont, where the Dobbs Group horses are housed, whether Dobbs or his daughter had ever inquired about the immigration status of the workers caring for Hillary’s horses. She said, “They’re very well aware that the people taking care of the horses are 100 percent legal,” and said she’d given the Dobbs family assurances to that effect. But she later described her difficulty obtaining work visas for many of her employees. “It was a big process and a total pain in the neck,” she said. “I had been working on it for years.”

During Dobbs’ radio show today, he  interviewed Mcdonald. Mcdonald is clear, she’s trying to be an activist instead of a journalist. She says she wants people to know the truth, and the original story is somewhat truthful since Mcdonald never states – like HuffPost does – Dobbs hired illegal aliens. But the article is a totally biased hit piece since just about anyone in the USA could be hit with these types of allegations.

From CBS News.

Dobbs, who called the story a “fairly typical hit piece, a smear piece,” interviewed the reporter behind the story, Isabel Macdonald, on the radio show. He repeatedly asked Macdonald if he or his company had ever hired illegal immigrants.

Macdonald eventually allowed that Dobbs and his company had not – but she said that his contractors had done so. She pressed Dobbs on why he had not checked the status of the workers.

Dobbs, who was calm throughout the interview, responded that he does not have the standing to check the status of anyone – and said Macdonald sounded like a “nativist” for asking him to do so. He insisted that he wanted to have a friendly conversation with Macdonald despite her “outrageous claims,” and said she was trying to “deflect and avoid” his questions.

The two discussed the details of the article, and Macdonald indicated that she believed Dobbs was trying to distract from the main point of the piece, which is titled “Lou Dobbs, American Hypocrite” – that Dobbs employed (albeit indirectly) illegal immigrants even as he railed against them publicly.

“You have actually contradicted not one single claim that was made in that article,” Macdonald said, adding: “Your listeners deserve to know the truth.”

This type of I caught you game is quite stupid. It’s to the point where if you are a regular American guy or gal and you’re unable to pay the mortgage for two months during a rough period, get pulled over 20 years prior for a DUI, drop out of one college and go home for a couple of semesters before returning, or fall behind on your student loan payments you are automatically the most evil person in the world who should never be entrusted as a politician, local community leader, or conservative talk show host.

How many of you could live up to the standards? If you think you can … you best inquire and demand proof concerning immigration status of every employee who works for your favorite restaurant, automobile service center and landscaper you’ve ever done business with.

Posted in

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Anne-EH on October 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Steve, I wonder if instead of one BIG October surprise, there will be a number of LITTLE October surprises. What we are seeing is not only gotcha politics, but going so low in the process that it reaches the level of the gutter. This is IMHO, the politics of personal distruction in full view. As you have said Steve, this is "quite stupid" indeed.

  2. Dimsdale on October 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    It is interesting that the left won't let Arizona legally check the immigration status of people in a lawful encounter "because it is the federal government's job", but an individual like Dobbs or you or me is expected to thoroughly vet contractors and subcontractors, even though it is the fed's job.


    Neither Arizona or Dobbs' contractor issues would exist if the federal government simply DID ITS JOB.

  3. winnie888 on October 8, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Holy, holy, holy…this is too much.  The closer we get to Nov. 2nd the more you're going to see the lefty troglodyte "columnists" slithering forth from the primordial mud with their half-truths and lies.  ANYthing to discredit ANY conservative.

    I wonder if McDonald bothered to investigate whether or not Lou's horses are registered in the state where he lives….or is he "docking" them elsewhere to avoid sales tax?  (enjoying the irony that McDonald's first name is "Isabel"…same as Kerry's now-infamous yacht)

  4. chris-os on October 8, 2010 at 4:08 am

    "but an individual like Dobbs or you or me is expected to thoroughly vet contractors and subcontractors"

    Dims, torn on this but….thinkin…if I made a career out of bashing the hiring of illegals, I would make damn sure all workers on my property were checked out via the contractors I hired.

    Wouldn't you?

    Like Whitman, she never asked the maid who she called "her friend" where she was from and why she never went home?

    Also Dobb's wife is fluent in spanish-the hours that they spend at the venues showing the horses each month, she never asked the stable workers any questions?

  5. Dimsdale on October 8, 2010 at 4:53 am

    While I fully agree with the concept of "bashing illegal workers" (the operating word being illegal), how does a regular person do that?  If you ask, and they say everyone is legal, do you take their word or do you call them a liar?  Given the government's reticence about asking illegals if they are illegal, how will that work.  As I said before, it isn't our job to filter them out and kick them out, it is the government's.  If they don't want the job, then let some private company do the work.  Then it might get done.  At least until the ACLU and the other race baiters got to work.


    As for Whitman, if the maid produced all the correct documents, albeit fraudulent, what is she supposed to think?  Is she supposed to automatically assume that since she is Mexican, she is illegal?  Isn't that the dreaded "profiling" bogeyman the left is always throwing out there?   Is there an office you can call at ICE to verify and/or turn in illegals?


    Bottom line: the government needs to do its job, and quit playing politics, and all of this becomes moot.

  6. chris-os on October 8, 2010 at 5:29 am

    if I made a career out of bashing the hiring of illegals, I would make damn sure all workers on my property were checked out via the contractors I hired.

    Wouldn’t you?

    Simple yes or no answer, Dims??

  7. Steve M on October 8, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I don't accept the premise Dobbs "made a career" from bashing the hiring of illegal aliens. That's just not true at all. I'm against hiring illegal aliens … can you tell me what system is in place for me to check ensure every employee the landscaper I just hired employs legal workers? How about my car dealership? Favorite restaurant? Contractor who built my house?

    Should I ask for Social Security numbers, drivers licenses and birth certificates? Would we even have legal standing to ask for that information? I'm not sure we do.

    As a independent contractor in a previous life, I have no issue proving my status to my employer, yet there is no way I would hand out my SSN, passport and birth certificate to the more than 1,000 students I had. Even eVerify – the system in place to help employers – approves as legal half of the illegal aliens run through the system.

    Partisan hit job on Dobbs … plain and simple.

  8. Dimsdale on October 8, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I think Steve hit the nail on the head.  Do we scrutinize all of our employees that "look" like illegals, i.e. "hispanics" or Chinese or Indians?  Or do we scrutinize all of them?  Again, this is the job of state and federal authorities to find, prosecute and deport illegals.   Unfortunately, they will not.  Both this and previous administrations are really soft on this, to our detriment.  Arizona is trying to do what you want chris: "mak(ing) damn sure all workers on my property (state) were checked out via the contractors I hired (and the state/federal resources and citizen's rights they receive)."   Look how they have been treated by the left, and in particular, the president and his "justice" department.


    Which way do you want it, chris?

  9. rickyrock on October 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Here is a simple fact ..the employers aren't stupid,they know damn well that if you have employees of dubious backgrounds willing to work for next to nothing then you know damn well somethings' wrong.You aren't just getting a deal.So you are complicit in the hiring of this illegal.Whether you want to admit it or not. The problem would be tremendously alleviated if employers who hire illegals were jailed ,but they'll never do that and lose all that cheap labor. Hypocrites …absolutely.

  10. chris-os on October 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Steve, you obviously have never watched Dobbs on CNN.

    It was his main schtick, the employers hiring illegals. Again …

    If you made 6 million a year bashing employers who hired illegals, wouldn't you make sure that everyone working on your property was legal?

    Simple question…







  11. Steve M on October 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    No, I would not. I would hire the company after getting the owner's/manager's assurance his employees were legal … just like I would ensure his company was licensed and bonded as necessary, and was qualified to do the work. I'm not going to hold anyone else to a hire standard just because they are a talk show or TV host that happens to complain about folks who break the law.

    As a matter of fact, the article states the stable owner/manager said she provided assurances to Dobbs the employees were legal. What the hell was he supposed to do Chris? Call ICE himself and demand they check out the staff that look like and sound like they don't belong here? Then he would be branded a racist profiler … but that's what you want right? How much you want to bet those self-described illegal aliens – we don't know that for a fact they were illegals do we – would have passed the eVerify check?

  12. Dimsdale on October 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I would do exactly what the law requires and what the law limits me to.  Regardless of how much I make or how much you resent it.  If he hires a contractor for a negotiated price, the onus falls on the contractor to ensure that his/her workers are legit.  Dobbs' responsibility is to hire legitimate contractors.  Now if Dobbs knew that the contractor had illegals on his/her payroll, then you might have an argument, but that was not demonstrated.


    Now you can answer my question four posts back, chris.

  13. Dimsdale on October 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Chris?  I really would like the courtesy of an answer.  Do we do what the Democrats condemn Arizona for, or do we cower in fear of being called "racist"?


    I understand that you have painted yourself into a corner here, but an answer would be nice.  A non answer is an answer too…

  14. Steve M on October 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    @Dims … this is one of the reasons why I do not want back and forth conversations. I don't expect anyone to come back here to keep monitoring a thread more than three days old, so please no more asking someone else to respond.

  15. Dimsdale on October 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Sorry, Steve.  She just keeps asking me to respond to her questions, but never seems to be able to answer any of mine.  I guess that IS my answer!


    Look at the bright side: obviously nobody but me (and apparently you), go back to the old posts!


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