What is going on with the Democratic Party? In Virginia, the entire governing leadership has been engulfed in scandal. In less than a week, admissions of wearing blackface from state Attorney General Mark Herring and Gov. Ralph Northam, along with Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax being slapped with a sexual assault allegation, has brought Virginia Democrats to their knees. They’re dealing with a total dumpster fire. On top of that, Fairfax has accused the Northam camp of leaking the sexual assault allegation to the press to prevent him from taking over should the governor resign. The Washington Post has known about the allegation against Fairfax for quite some time but didn’t go with it because all because they couldn’t corroborate the story.
And now, at the federal level, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is having trouble finding someone to helm her presidential campaign because she treats her staffers like trash. Klobuchar is expected to make her 2020 intentions known later this week. Questions about whether this allegation is sexist because male bosses aren’t subjects of stories like this, but the testimonials and the rate of turnover seem to make the point. The Huffington Post has more:
1. It's true stories like this aren't written about men. But this story by @mtredden @aterkel is important because Klobuchar's behavior isn't about a woman speaking up and being framed as "mean", it's about a Senator who has a history of abusive behavior. It's been an open secret https://t.co/p9efqLBo64— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) February 6, 2019
2. Many Senate staffers I've spoken to have Klobuchar stories. Several have referred to her as the Sheila Jackson Lee of the Senate (not a compliment). And the fact that she has the #1 turnover in the Senate is very, very telling. https://t.co/qhWMiodmSB— Yashar Ali ?? (@yashar) February 6, 2019
At least three people have withdrawn from consideration to lead Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) nascent 2020 presidential campaign — and done so in part because of Klobuchar’s history of mistreating her staff, HuffPost has learned.
Klobuchar, who plans to make an announcement about a potential presidential bid on Sunday in Minneapolis, has spent the past several months positioning herself to run for president. She’s beloved in her state as a smart, funny and personable lawmaker and has gained national attention for her lines of questioning at high-profile hearings.
But some former Klobuchar staffers, all of whom spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity, describe Klobuchar as habitually demeaning and prone to bursts of cruelty that make it difficult to work in her office for long.
It is common for staff to wake up to multiple emails from Klobuchar characterizing one’s work as “the worst” briefing or press release she’d seen in her decades of public service, according to two former aides and emails seen by HuffPost.
Although some staffers grew inured to her constant put-downs (“It’s always ‘the worst,’” one said sarcastically, “‘It was ‘the worst’ one two weeks ago”), others found it grinding and demoralizing. Adding to the humiliation, Klobuchar often cc’d large groups of staffers who weren’t working on the topic at hand, giving the emails the effect of a public flogging.
What is indisputable, however, is that Klobuchar’s office consistently has one of the highest rates of staff turnover in the Senate. From 2001 to 2016, she ranked No. 1 in the Senate for staff turnover as measured by LegiStorm, a widely used database of congressional staff salaries. She’s now third, behind Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen and Louisiana Republican John Kennedy.
And this is not the first time Klobuchar has had issues building a team because of worries about her mistreatment of staff.
A former employee in her Senate office recalled her struggling to find an outside candidate to replace an outgoing chief of staff. A staffer in another Hill office recounted losing interest in a job opening with Klobuchar when a current staffer, the one conducting the interview, conveyed that avoiding Klobuchar’s anger was a significant part of the job.
So, Amy is a mean girl…allegedly. And yes, there have been stories about prominent liberal male bosses having crappy operations where the abuse was allegedly systemic. Look no further than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 2016 campaign, which was reportedly a den of sexism and sexual harassment. Why didn’t the senator address these issues sooner? Well, he was busy running for president. He couldn’t be bothered.