Sept. 21, 2018
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan’s campaign is entering its second week of turmoil surrounding the resignation of three top staffers and accusations of ethically questionable behavior over a federal super PAC, Strength and Progress, Jordan was coordinating with and raising money for.
While Jordan has responded by attacking her former staffers – who apparently quit over concerns about ethics as well as alleged verbal abuse by Jordan – lashing out at the media and giving reportedly untruthful explanations, other Democrats are alternately staying quiet, distancing themselves from her, or criticizing her openly:
- The Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, Kristin Collum, has up until now touted herself as Paulette Jordan’s “running mate” and a close Jordan ally who sees no “space” between the two on issues. In the past 24 hours, however, Collum reversed course, telling the Idaho Statesman “Our campaigns and our races are separate, and we’ve not had any recent contact with the Jordan campaign.”
- The former communications director for the Idaho Young Democrats (IDYD) resigned from the group’s board yesterday, writing to his fellow members:
“I understand that this board is a separate entity from the Jordan campaign and has not contributed to the vile ongoings. But I know that my efforts for IDYD will only continue to contribute to her vile actions…I strongly recommend distancing yourselves from Jordan personally and organizationally.
“I do not know the extent of what she has done, but I do know that I am no longer confident in the future of this party.”
- The state Political Action Committee established by anonymous donors and run by a Washington, D.C., consultant to independently support Jordan’s campaign, Idaho Voices for Change Now, deleted its Twitter account (formerly @ForIdaho) around the time news of Jordan’s coordination with the Strength and Progress PAC hit, and did not return media calls. It is, however, apparently still accepting donations.
Republicans say not only Jordan, but other Democrats and Democratic candidates as well, need to start answering questions.
“So far all we’ve heard from Paulette Jordan is the usual blame and deflection,” said state GOP communications director Mary Strow.
“Jordan is evading many questions, and so are Democrats who are close to her. Kristin Collum is distancing herself from Jordan now, but up to this point she’s been Jordan’s self-professed running mate. What did Collum know about her running mate’s campaign, and does she have anything to say about these very serious allegations? And what about the other Democratic candidates and party officials?
“Idaho Democrats rarely pass up an opportunity to try to portray themselves as champions of campaign finance reform, but now that the person at the top of their ticket is in trouble they’re uncharacteristically silent.”
Strow added that the radio silence of the Idaho Voices for Change Now PAC “looks odd.”
“Have the anonymous funders of Idaho Voices for Change Now given up on Paulette Jordan? Did they know anything about the Jordan campaign’s fundraising for the Strength and Progress PAC?
“This is a very unusual, very troubling situation, and the public deserves answers.”