Politico reports Kamala’s office environment’s toxic, people ‘treated like sh*t”

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According to an article in Politico, Harris’s office environment is toxic and unhealthy. That is no surprise since criticism of her leadership of staff has been around for years.

The office of Vice President Kamala Harris has been rocked by claims that staffers are “treated like sh**” and that Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy has created “blame culture.”

When the announcement came at the last minute that she would visit the border, her staff were caught unaware and deeply concerned about the potential for negative ramifications.

Politico reports:

The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials. Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year.

In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue…

…“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said another person with direct knowledge of how Harris’ office is run. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.”

In May of this year, The Atlantic published a piece about her and noted the problems in her office:

Harris has been an elected official for 18 years straight, but she has only a few senior aides on staff who have worked for her for more than a few months. Turf battles have been a recurring feature of Harris offices over the years, but her newest circle believes it is finally getting her on track after years of past staffers not serving her well. Some have been surprised at how much work there is to be done, whether that’s briefing her on certain policy issues or helping her improve her sparring-with-journalists skills.

Apparently, they didn’t get it back on track.

In November 2019, her top aide quit and wrote a scathing letter about the treatment of the staff.

“This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,” wrote state operations director Kelly Mehlenbacher in the Nov. 11 letter, which was obtained by The New York Times.

“While I still believe that Senator Harris is the strongest candidate to win in the General Election in 2020, I no longer have confidence in our campaign or its leadership,” she added.

She wrote that “the treatment of our staff over the last two weeks was the final straw in this very difficult decision.”

“It is not acceptable to me that we encouraged people to move from Washington, DC to Baltimore only to lay them off with no notice, with no plan for the campaign, and without thoughtful consideration of the personal consequences to them or the consequences that their absence would have on the remaining staff,” Mehlenbacher said it her letter. “It is unacceptable that we would lay off anyone that we hired only weeks earlier. It is unacceptable that with less than 90 days until Iowa we still do not have a real plan to win.”

As two administration officials allegedly told Politico, the VP herself also bears responsibility for the way her office is run. “It all starts at the top,” said one of the administration officials, who like others requested anonymity to be able to speak candidly about a sensitive matter.

If she becomes the unelected president, an already unhealthy country will look like her office.


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