Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's mistreatment of her office staff began more than a decade ago and eventually caused such concerns that in 2015, Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Spoke to her privately and told her to change her behavior. several sources have confirmed to HuffPost.
Klobuchar, a democrat who plans to announce whether she is running for president at a Minneapolis Sunday meeting, has been having trouble recruiting campaign assistants because of her story of abusive staff.
A spokesman for Reid said the retired senator would prefer not to discuss private conversations with other senators. In this case, Reid also does not remember if he had this discussion with Klobuchar, the spokesman said.
"Sen. Klobuchar is one of the most brilliant, most working members of the Senate, and I was happy to serve with her," Reid said. "She is tireless when it comes to fighting for the people of Minnesota and the country, and so she is such a popular senator at home and among her colleagues."
However, Reid's 201
During the first campaign, the adjectives assembled an eight-page memo describing Klobuchar & # 39; s body subjects, the employee who oversees all the logistical and personal needs of a candidate. It was honest about the challenges of working with the then candidate.
"Especially in the car on a busy day: if she is very worried about something, let her tear through it, do not interfere with her unless it is absolutely necessary and beware when trying to calm her" the note sounds. "Often she just needs to talk things into the open and is not interested in others' opinions – it's something you will get used to and adapt to – it's just a note for the first time it happens."
In the reply, Ben Goldfarb, who succeeded in his campaign in 2006, said: "Running for political office is incredibly hard for the candidate, their family and employees, and our team was proud to help her."
[Previous: Sen. Amy Klobuchar's abuse of staff frightened by candidates to control her presidential bid. ]
During the same campaign, the president of the AFSCME local, the association representing many of Klobuchar's employees in the lawyer's office, asked the larger, Twin Cities AFSCME affiliate, not to support Klobuchar's late bid , quoting her "shameful treatment of her employees."
Klobuchar had "created a hostile work environment" and "severely damaged the office's morale" wrote James Appleby, president of the local. The letter claimed that complaints to the association rose during Klobuchar's term of office and that Klobuchar once told his own employees that they were not competent enough to work with her former law firm. It also claimed that the local had requested the association to withhold its endorsement for her county lawyer bid in 2002. "In short, Amy Klobuchar is just the kind of candidate that AFSCME should oppose," he wrote.
The letter that Appleby provided to HuffPost and reprinted under followed a controversial fight against potential wage increases for Klobuchar's staff, more than 100 of whom were represented by AFSCME. The federation claimed that lawyers from Hennepin County were among the worst paid in the state after many years of being the best paid.
At that time, Klobuchar told her a raise, but was limited by budgetary concerns, and she disputed the letter's claim that professional complaints were growing under her leadership.
Staff are staff, they are not girls. There is a difference of & # 39; Make sure I have a cookie on an event & # 39; and "Pick up my dirty clothes while waiting for me to get dressed."
She and her staff maintained that the letter was setback over the wage negotiations, according to a 2006 Star Tribune article. A county official said at the time that Klobuchar had vigorously fought for the rise, and Paul Scoggin, a lawyer at her office, praised her as a "great leader". He called the letter "transparent and angry".  Scoggin did not respond to interview requests. A former head of the office said it was difficult to imagine how Klobuchar created a moral problem, as most lawyers did not have daily contact with her. "Can she be hard to work for? Yes, because she never stops working," he said. "And it burns some people out, and that's the job."
The letter, in a passage that potentially echoes sexist stereotypes of female elected officials, also claims that Klobuchar's political ambition compromised her leadership of the office. It accuses her of honoring her hard work by being in public office and rejecting qualified jobseekers to work in her office in favor of "graduates supporting her ambitions."
Klobuchar, a talented retail politician who visited each of the state's 87 counties, won her 2006 elections easily and has been re-elected twice with wide margins.
But as HuffPost reported on Wednesday, worried about how she dealt with her staff, she followed her to Washington, where she invested in employee turnover is consistently one of the highest in the Senate.
Former members of her staff told HuffPost that Klobuchar cut down morale with constant and gruesome sennatnails and claimed that the staff were required to perform personal tasks for her – such as Wash dishes in her home – contrary to the Senate's rules and federal law against personal use of the office.
Other people in her Senate offices feel that many criticisms of Klobuchar could be a product of sexism, sources told HuffPost.
"I've heard people say she's hard to work for and I sometimes talk when I hear it because I rarely hear about male executives in Congress, despite the fact that half of Congress is difficult to work for, "said Tristan Brown, a former lawyer.
Personal requirements for staff are extremely common practice in the Senate and the body has weak enforcement procedures. Parliament, on the other hand, calls on its members to break the same federal law more regularly.
There is no comparable set of rules on the use of campaign staff. And in the frenzy of the late race, it's not unusual for campaign workers to make personal errands – to get dry cleaning, cleaning a car – that the candidate simply doesn't have time for.
When Klobuchar re-elected in 2012, her staff used the 2006 recycling announcement, an employee said in 2012. Most of the notes for the body person are typical, with instructions for which of her belongings to pack and how to politely keep her level. (A previous employee provided a copy provided HuffPost does not publish the entire note.) Memos like these are not uncommon. In 2017, Politico revealed the existence of a document eight pages from da-Rep. Todd Rokita's office dedicated exclusively to how to drive the Indiana Republicans around his district.
Still, a former long-standing foreman who reviewed the Klobuchar campaign meeting for HuffPost said it contained tasks that he felt crossed a line, and that the note sometimes breaks down as it says: "Speech only when you talk to events "not to ban a conversation unnecessarily.
The section that most disturbed him was called "Personal preferences and needs at home". It describes what the body's person should do. "In spare time or when waiting for her room (changing room / bedroom)":
- Hang up clothes she leaves to lay on the floor and her chair
- Pick up dirty clothes & Place in a basket (in the hallway between rooms and bathroom)
- Organize clothes in the closet so that she can easily find items (separated in shirts, suits, etc.)
- Dispose of some waste in the changing area
- Make sure nylons / socks / etc are id raver are arranged for easy retrieval
"Staff are staff, they are not girls," he said. "There is a difference of" Make sure I have a cookie on an event "and" Pick up my dirty clothes while waiting for me to get dressed "… I get it. The life of the candidates is incredibly demanding and unless you are worth millions and you can pay someone to staff your house, sometimes political staff, they jump in and fill the void. And that is not appropriate. "
A representative of Reid, Klobuchar & # 39; s office and her campaign did not answer questions to this article. In response to HuffPost's first story, Klobuchar's campaign senator said "love her staff."
"She has many employees who have been with her for years – including her chief of staff and her chief executive who has worked for her for 5 and 7 years – and many who have gone on doing amazing things from "Work in the Obama administration (over 20 of them) to run for the office to serve as Agriculture Commissioner for Minnesota. She is proud of them and the work they have done for Minnesota," said the campaign.
The former lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity so he could compare his own work experience was also hit by the note's warning about the Klobuchar outbreak.
He said it is normal for older workers to warn the body's people about a candidate's quirks and the ways they relax in private. He has seen lots of candidates climb into the car after an event and begin to rant. "So you leave them," he said.
It crosses a line, he said, "if they take it out on the one sitting there."
It is largely the problem described by former Klobuchar employees and those who have interacted with them.
A former help for ex-Sen. Al Franken recalled a meeting on a Veterans Day event, which Klobuchar ran late on. (Franconia resigned from the Senate in December 2017, after more women accused him of poking or forcing them, often at political events.)
A young Klobuchar employee was sent to explain the senator's delay to Franken's employee.
"I'll tell you," she said with a look at terror on her face, "Senator Klobuchar is late today because I'm bad at my job."