I’m always hesitant to link to anything from the Oregon Capital Chronicle. I’m not saying its the Fox News equivalent of the left in newspaper form, but it skews moderate to hard left.
All of which makes this story the more likely to be true:
Supporters have described her as “Wonder Woman” and a “role model,” dedicated to service. She appealed so much to grassroots voters that four county Democratic parties took the unprecedented step of endorsing her in her primary race against Schrader last year.
Her supporters appear to have been kidding themselves about who she is. (And their support of her cost them Schrader’s Democratic seat in the House.)
But former staff who worked closely with McLeod-Skinner say her public persona and the labor-friendly policies she espouses as a candidate clash with her workplace behavior. Five former employees and a consultant who spoke to the Capital Chronicle about their experiences described her as a nightmarish boss, who yelled at and berated her staff, corralled them into frequent hours-long meetings, texted them in the middle of the night and retaliated against those who stood up to her.
Six people confirming the same story and of presumably the same political persuasion as McLeod-Skinner lend a certain air of credibility to the reporting. As in, odds are really good this is true.
The employees, all of whom worked closely with McLeod-Skinner on teams of fewer than 10 people, described a pattern of behavior that stretched across three campaigns and appears to be part of her management style: Before her first congressional run, a small Oregon city fired her as city manager following similar complaints from city employees.
And she’s done this before!
Some of the critics initially approached the Capital Chronicle about McLeod-Skinner’s behavior, and the Capital Chronicle found and interviewed others who corroborated their accounts. None work for one of McLeod-Skinner’s current competitors, but they said they decided to share their stories so that the public knows more about the character of someone who could represent Oregon in Congress.
The five former staffers and a former consultant, both men and women, requested anonymity out of fear that McLeod-Skinner would try to ruin their careers in the relatively small world of Oregon progressive politics. A seventh person confirmed their perspectives but declined to be quoted. Most of the former staffers are still based in Oregon, and they don’t want to burn a bridge with a powerful candidate or her army of volunteers and supporters. But they said it was important to speak out and warn the public and future campaign staff.
You know it’s bad when ex-employees go to the press over just how bad it is. That’s not a little thing.
I’ve long espoused the tenet that you’ll be known for who you are. Bad actors can spread rumors, but if you’re a good person the truth of that will come out. The reverse is also true: If you’re a piece of work, you can only hide it for so long.