Media attention on campaign staffing issues distracts from real issues

In less than seven weeks, Idahoans will vote in an election that will determine our future. As our community chooses whether to cast their vote for me or my opponent to serve as our next governor, it’s vital that they have the facts and understand the challenges we face.

Given the seriousness of this election, our campaign has been and remains eager to work with journalists who take their role as conduits between campaigns and voters seriously. I understand my candidacy is unique and that we are under the microscope. While I prefer to focus on the issues that will help voters understand my plans to improve the lives of all Idahoans, instead, I find it necessary to set the record straight about something most voters find uninteresting: campaign staff reorganization.

Paulette Jordan

Since the primary I’ve worked to run a lean campaign, using donations efficiently, while planning in September to bring more hands on to round out the skills of our campaign staff. With the addition of new hires, we always intended to reassign duties to make sure we had the best person for each job. We didn’t expect to lose our manager and media relations person in the way that we did as we went through this transition. That said, what leader hasn’t encountered a staffer who is reticent to change for the best interests of the organization? Fortunately, our new staff has used their experience to effectively harness the energy of our dedicated volunteers and today, our campaign is stronger than it has ever been.

I realize people want to know exactly why there was turnover on my campaign staff. Quite simply, we disagreed on the strategic direction of the campaign. Since I announced my candidacy, I have traveled all across our beautiful land, meeting the voters, hearing their stories and asking them what they want from me as governor.

They want leadership. They are sick and tired of the same old rhetoric. They want bold and sensible government.

As simple as that seems, rather than listen to what’s in the heart of the people most candidates are advised to spend their time on the phone talking to wealthy donors and asking for money. By contrast, I am committed to listening to what’s in the hearts and on the minds of the people — in their own words, while most campaigns rely on pollsters to tell the candidate what to say and how to say it. That is not and has never been me.

Status quo leadership is not what Idahoans want.

As we move on, a few questions I hope Idaho voters will ask of their local news sources are these: Are the details of campaign staff comings and goings more important than asking how I plan to build our infrastructure to connect rural and urban Idaho? Should my decision not to comment on the departure of staffers get more press than the reasons I support Medicaid expansion? Are employee non-disclosure statements as important to learn about as my plans to fund Idaho’s schools so that every child in every community is in the classroom five days a week?

I would be happy to be asked these questions and think Idahoans would also like their news providers to ask my opponent these: Why was Brad Little complacent while the administration he was part of failed to uphold its constitutional duty to provide a quality public education to all Idaho children? Why did he support wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on failed lawsuits fighting gay marriage? How can we properly fund education while cutting tax revenue by $350 million? Considering how little my opponent has done for Idaho, why should we believe that he now has a plan to do more?

If you are happy with our state being near the bottom in education, healthcare and wages, vote for the status quo. If you believe we can and must do better, I hope you’ll take the time to visit my website, or with me as I travel the state in the next seven weeks. I hope I will earn your trust and support and that on Nov. 6, you’ll vote for me, Paulette Jordan, to be Idaho’s next Governor.

Written by Paulette Jordan, a former state representative and the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

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