These days, it feels like the Democratic Party is falling apart. AOC released the hilarious “Green New Deal,” Virginia leaders are a hot mess and now this?
Dem Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been accused of mistreating her staff. (That’s the nice way of putting it.) According to this report from BuzzFeed (weird– right?), Klobuchar fostered an environment “controlled by fear, anger, and shame.”
But behind the doors of her Washington, DC, office, the Minnesota Democrat ran a workplace controlled by fear, anger, and shame, according to interviews with eight former staffers, one that many employees found intolerably cruel. She demeaned and berated her staff almost daily, subjecting them to bouts of explosive rage and regular humiliation within the office, according to interviews and dozens of emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News.
According to the former employees, Klobuchar would regularly rage and throw things. One staffer was even grazed by a binder. (Although they say she wasn’t TRYING to hit anyone. You can’t really control a binder mid-flight, amirite?)
“I cried. I cried, like, all the time,” said one former staffer.
In the emails seen by BuzzFeed, often sent between 1 and 4 in the morning, Klobuchar regularly berated employees, often in all capital letters, over minor mistakes, misunderstandings, and misplaced commas. Klobuchar, in the emails, which were mostly sent over the past few years, referred to her staff’s work as “the worst in … years,” and “the worst in my life.”
When staffers made mistakes, the emails show, she reamed them out — and sometimes, emails show, threatened to fire them — over threads that included many of their colleagues.
She sounds like a peach.
Her team is obviously working on damage control. A campaign spokesperson released a big ol’ statement to BuzzFeed. In it, he (or she) claims that Klobuchar “loves her staff.”
“Senator Klobuchar loves her staff — they are the reason she has gotten to where she is today. She has many staff who have been with her for years — including her Chief of Staff and her State Director, who have worked for her for 5 and 7 years respectively, as well as her political advisor Justin Buoen, who has worked for her for 14 years — and many who have gone on to do amazing things, from working in the Obama Administration (over 20 of them) to running for office to even serving as the Agriculture Commissioner for Minnesota. She is proud of them and the work they have done for Minnesota.”
It should be noted that some staffers are coming to her defense. One said she threw her a baby shower, so that’s something.
Back to her alleged temper, though.
Most staffers who spoke with BuzzFeed News are experienced congressional employees who say they have worked with difficult lawmakers, men and women, in the past. But as a boss, Klobuchar was uniquely unbearable, most former staffers said — in a way that four staffers said was “worse” than any rumors about her behavior they had heard.
Anything could set her temper off, they said, and it was often unpredictable. Among the things that staffers said had prompted outbursts from Klobuchar: minor grammar mistakes, the use of the word “community” in press releases, forgetting to pack the proper coat in her suitcase, failing to charge her iPad, and using staples.