Speed Reads

accusations

Staffers on Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign say their harassment claims were ignored

Several women who worked on the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told The New York Times they faced sexual harassment and were not paid the same as their male counterparts.

Samantha Davis, who worked as the director of operations in Texas and New York, told the Times that after she rebuffed her supervisor's invitation to his hotel room, she was marginalized. "There was no one who would or could help," she said. Giulianna Di Lauro, a Latino outreach strategist, said she told a manager that while driving a surrogate around in Nevada, he ran his hand through her hair "in a sexual way" and continued to "push my boundaries" over the course of the day. The manager responded, "I bet you would have liked it if he were younger," then laughed.

The Times spoke with a dozen former staffers and delegates over the last month, and none knew if Sanders was aware of the complaints. Several said it upset them that a progressive candidate's campaign would have problems with sexual harassment and pay disparity, and it makes them wary of supporting Sanders should he run in 2020. Jeff Weaver, Sanders' 2016 campaign manager and a top adviser, told the Times that "anybody who committed harassment on the campaign would not be asked back. ... In 2016, as the size of our campaign exploded, we made efforts to make it a positive experience for people. That there was a failure pains me very much."

Regarding pay, Davis said she earned about $2,400 a month as a senior staff member, and when she discovered that a younger man who was originally supposed to report to her made $5,000 a month, she told the campaign's chief operating officer and her salary was adjusted. "I helped at least a dozen women request raises so that they would be held on par with their male peers," Davis told the Times. Read more about the accusations at The New York Times.