Democratic committee purges staff amid lack of diversity complaints

The committee responsible for re-electing a Democratic House is reeling from a staff shake-up prompted by calls for more racial diversity in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s top ranks.

Late Monday night, Rep. Cheri Bustos, the moderate chairwoman of the DCCC, announced a new interim executive director for the Democrats’ House campaign arm.

“Today has been a sobering day filled with tough conversations that too often we avoid, but I can say confidently that we are taking the first steps toward putting the DCCC back on path to protect and expand our majority, with a staff that truly reflects the diversity of our Democratic caucus and our party,” Bustos said in a statement.

Executive Director Allison Jaslow was replaced, at least temporarily, by Jacqueline Newman, who had served as the DCCC’s chief operating officer since January 2017, according to her LinkedIn page.

Prior to that, Newman worked on the campaign to elect Terry McAuliffe as Virginia’s governor.

Five other top DCCC staffers were also forced out.

Top staff that remain will be part of an executive council to seek out a new executive director for the group.

Politico was first to report that black and Latino lawmakers were stewing over the fact that Bustos had replaced more diverse staff members with white ones.

“There is not one person of color — black or brown, that I’m aware of — at any position of authority or decision-making in the DCCC,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), the former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, .

“It is shocking, it is shocking, and something needs to be done about it.”

In June, the promotion of Tayhlor Coleman to lead the DCCC’s “Cycle of Engagement” — an initiative to reach out to “people of color and younger Americans” — backfired after the some of Coleman’s homophobic and anti-Mexican tweets from 2010.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were upset. Coleman apologized that day.

Bustos was picked to lead the DCCC after the successful 2018 cycle, which saw the Democrats recapture the House, because she came from a former Trump district.

Before the recent drama, Bustos got in a high-profile spat with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) over a policy meant to protect Democratic incumbents.

Bustos backed a policy that banned Democratic consultants and vendors from working with primary challengers if they wanted to stay in business with the DCCC.

In response, AOC — a successful challenger last cycle — told her hoards of Twitter followers to halt donations to the DCCC.