* Washington Examiner…
Five more Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffers were ousted yesterday just hours after the sudden resignation of executive director Allison Jaslow. The DCCC has been reportedly plagued with controversy over a perceived lack of diversity among its top ranks.
Jaslow, an Iraqi War veteran, was considered a close ally of DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos. She did not offer a specific reason for her departure yesterday. By the end of the day, communications director Jared Smith, communications aide Melissa Miller, political director Molly Ritner, deputy executive director Nick Pancrazio, and diversity director Van Ornelas had all tendered their resignations.
Top members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus have reportedly been fighting with Bustos over the lack of diversity, demanding more minorities comprise the senior staff of the committee. Meanwhile, an aide who came under fire for a series of past homophobic and racist tweets, Tayhlor Coleman, is still employed by the DCCC.
As the Washington Examiner reported yesterday, spokesperson for the Republican Party’s campaign arm Michael McAdams said, “Mutiny underway at Cheri Bustos’ DCCC. What a disaster for House Democrats.” Present figures, however, show the DCCC currently out-fundraising the GOP.
* Bustos statement…
“Today has been a sobering day filled with tough conversations that too often we avoid, but I can say confidently that we are taking the first steps toward putting the DCCC back on path to protect and expand our majority, with a staff that truly reflects the diversity of our Democratic caucus and our party,” Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., the chairwoman, said in a statement.
The staff turmoil follows criticism from many Democrats that Bustos has done little to address the lack of diversity in the upper ranks of the campaign arm since winning the chairmanship late last year.
Bustos also rankled some Democrats by routinely saying she was out to “finally” build a “world class” DCCC — which was perceived as a slight to the previous chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, who helped lead the party back to the majority after eight years out of power.
And lawmakers felt misled about Bustos’ handling of Tayhlor Coleman, a DCCC employee who came under fire for a series of derogatory tweets she sent nearly a decade ago disparaging the LGBTQ community and Hispanics. Coleman is still employed with the campaign arm.
A staff turnover of this magnitude seven months into the Democrats’ majority is jarring, and will present Bustos with a set of new challenges. She will be forced to rebuild the committee’s top leadership from scratch in the middle of a presidential campaign that has much of the party’s best talent tied up.
Bustos is, indeed, under a microscope. Democrats across the Capitol have privately griped about what they see as a subpar campaign committee with a chairwoman unresponsive to members’ concerns, and unable or unwilling to live up to her own promises to hire a diverse staff.