Paulette Jordan needs to answer questions

September 23, 2018

On Sept. 14, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan’s campaign descended further into chaos as news broke that three of her top staffers — campaign manager, communications director and scheduler — abruptly quit. According to reports none of them could speak publicly about what happened because Jordan made them sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs).

One of the former Jordan staffers did, however, issue a brief statement to the Idaho Statesman, saying “I’m so embarrassed and ashamed.”

This is not the first time Jordan has had personnel problems: Right before the May Primary Election, two of her top staffers also resigned. They didn’t elaborate on the circumstances, and it is unknown if they, too, were made to sign NDAs.

While all this was happening, Jordan was in Southern California in the Los Angeles area for a high-dollar Hollywood fundraiser on Sunday, Sept. 16, featuring Demi Moore and others from the entertainment industry. According to an Instagram post by a film producer, last weekend Jordan was also filming a movie about herself at the Will Rogers State Beach just down the road from Malibu. The movie is apparently titled “PAULETTE.”

Jordan’s candidacy has been punctuated by missteps, problems and questionable incidents from the very beginning. She flubbed her announcement that she would step down from the state Legislature to focus full-time on campaigning, first saying she would resign immediately, then saying she would only take a leave of absence, then reversing herself again and finally resigning. It all stemmed from her not taking the time to understand and follow state rules for resigning a House seat.

Soon after, she claimed she was the first Democrat from North Idaho to be elected to the state Legislature, which is wrong. Many Democrats have represented North Idaho in the past. She also claimed she was the first woman to run for governor of Idaho, which is false.

In the weeks leading up to the Primary Election, Jordan sent out a campaign email that had been altered to appear as though it was coming from the Idaho Democratic Party – thus falsely implying that the Democrats had endorsed her over her Democratic primary opponent.

In all of these cases, Jordan has never accepted responsibility for her mistakes. She often blames her staff, or simply brushes them off. “The Buck Stops Here” doesn’t seem to be part of her leadership philosophy.

Even following the most recent staff resignations, Jordan hasn’t spoken directly to the public. Her campaign sent out a news release claiming a “leadership transition” and implying her previous campaign manager didn’t understand Idaho. A California lawyer with offices in Beverly Hills and San Francisco presenting himself as Jordan’s senior campaign adviser came out and not-very-subtly blamed the former staffers, then said the NDAs were his idea. Again, no accountability from Jordan.

One of the notable issues during the Primary was that none of Jordan’s Democratic colleagues in the Legislature endorsed her. In a column written shortly before he died of cancer, longtime aide to former Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus, Chris Carslon, wrote that he supported Brad Little and called Jordan “the most unqualified candidate I’ve seen in years. It’s shameful that she is carrying the D standard.”

We are now less than two months away from the election. It is well past time for Paulette Jordan to stop evading the tough questions and start accepting responsibility. She is asking the voters of Idaho to elect her governor. It’s not unreasonable to ask how she could govern a state when she can’t even seem to properly run her own campaign.

Mary Strow is communications director for the Idaho State Republican Party.

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