U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos
Mark Kleine said the latest shakeup to rock the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the view he has long held about U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline), who chairs the committee, is on the mark.
“What it says is that Cheri Bustos in no different from many other politicians in that she has her own cronies in the DCCC,” Kleine, who ran a short-lived primary challenge against Bustos in the 17th Congressional District in 2018, told the Rock Island Today. “She put her people in there with no consideration for diversity and she is the one that has gone around preaching about she runs an organization that has people of color and here she’s being called on the rug for the direct opposite.”
The fallout hasn’t been pretty, with as many as six senior level DCCC staffers being shown the door over the last several days amid growing levels of displeasure being voiced by the likes of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus over perceptions that Bustos was "short-changing minorities by excluding them from her senior staff and failing to live up to promises she made during her campaign for the chairmanship," a posting in Rock Island Today said.
According to Politico, those who left the DCCC included Executive Director Allison Jaslow, Communications Director Jared Smith, Communications Aide Melissa Smith, Political Director Molly Ritner, Deputy Executive Director Nick Pancrazio and Director of Diversity Van Ornelas.
“She (Bustos) is being praised by some for all these people having resigned, but in my opinion it’s after the fact,” Kleine said. “She got caught and now she’s trying to react.”
But the DCCC issues could be the least of Bustos’ problems, Kleine said.
“She’s in a (President Donald) Trump district and the national Republican Party has already put her at the top of their hit list for the 2020 race,” Kleine said. “If the Republicans can get a viable candidate to run against Bustos, there’s no doubt she has vulnerabilities and this is just another one that can be added to the list. It’s time for the Republican Party to step up, find a good candidate and run against Miss Bustos. That candidate will get tremendous support across the district.”