* Remember Kina Collins? She’s the JB Pritzker campaign worker who quit her job after the FBI tape was made public with Pritzker saying what was deemed “racially insensitive” things about some black politicians.
Here’s an excerpt from Collins’ latest Facebook post…
During my time in the Pritzker campaign, the mid and senior level leadership did absolutely nothing to correct the culture of sexism, homophobia, and racism that ran rampant among staffers. There were racial slurs that were use, sexist jokes that were made, and the voices of women and staffers of color were being ignored. When I made my exit from the campaign and told my side of the story, instead of people believing me, I was told that I was seeking attention and “would be black balled or possibly sued for speaking out”. So not only was I working in poor conditions, but there was also an attempt to bully me into silence.
As a former staffer on this campaign I can assure readers that without a shadow of a doubt everything that I have read thus far in the suit can be corroborated from my time on the campaign and can be corroborated through other former staffers.
* Meanwhile, it’s no surprise at all that Pritzker did this event today with these three folks…
As Mary Ann Ahern notes, the media was not advised about that appearance. Also not a surprise.
* Gov. Rauner did do a media availability today, of course…
The only people claiming Rauner involvement today are hyperpartisans and mad tinfoil hatters. He somehow convinced 10 Democratic minority staffers to file a lawsuit against their boss three weeks before an election? Right.
* The number of minorities Rauner has hired for his campaign doesn’t really matter at the moment because this story isn’t about quantity, it’s about how their respective campaign staffs are being treated. Last I checked, no Rauner campaign staffers had sued over discrimination and retaliation…
He could’ve at least mentioned his running mate when asked about his campaign’s highest ranking minority. Not sure why he didn’t.
* Meanwhile, the Daily Caller is its usual self…
The staffers say they are suing Pritzker for multiple comments he allegedly made throughout his campaign.
The plaintiffs never alleged that Pritzker himself said anything untoward. This is about upper-level staff.
Shay Allen, a Chicago-based civil rights attorney who represents the plaintiffs, says Stratton’s statement is false, adding that Stratton has never reached out to any of his clients despite their complaints to the campaign.
“I have no idea how the person who made that statement could make those claims,” he said. “I’m positive that she’s never spoken to my plaintiffs.”
Allen said his clients were treated poorly.
“There were instances where they were spoken to very unprofessionally,” he said. “There were instances of physical intimidation.”
Allen said his clients are asking for more effort on behalf of Pritzker’s campaign to include minorities in positions of consequence, something he claims has almost exclusively gone to white staffers.
“Almost all of them have prior [campaign] experience,” he said. “A couple have come from other states to help with the campaign.”
I’m not sure why the running mate should be involved in a low-level staff issue.
Here’s the allegation of “physical intimidation”…
Once seated, [Field Operations Director] Caitlin Pharo intentionally positioned herself between two Black males in an attempt to further intimidate and silence them at cultural sensitivity training.
And as far as including “minorities in positions of consequence,” the candidate’s running mate Juliana Stratton, his deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks and his deputy field director for the South and West Sides Ebonee Dawson are all people of color. Also, his campaign spokesperson is Jordan Abudayyeh. I also don’t recall a major campaign with so many women in top positions.
Three weeks before Election Day, staffers who have worked for J.B. Pritzker’s campaign have filed a federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in their months on the job, accusations the Democratic governor candidate quickly called “just not true.”
The lawsuit comes in the final stretch of an increasingly bitter campaign between Pritzker and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner that has seen both sides break spending records and accuse one another of criminal activity.
Weird enough for you yet?