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Kamala Harris aide leaves for Bloomberg campaign after scathing resignation letter

State Operations Director Kelly Mehlenbacher bolted away from Harris for a job with Michael Bloomberg's campaign, citing poor treatment.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

WASHINGTON — In a letter obtained by multiple media outlets, Kamala Harris' campaign aide Kelly Mehlenbacher tore into the campaign she served as States Operations Director, saying, "this is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly."

Mehlenbacher's resignation was effective Saturday.

The former treasury manager for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign said in the letter dated earlier in November that staff members were asked to move from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore and then were laid off, without notice. According to Mehlenbacher, staff were also laid off just weeks after hiring them "without thoughtful consideration of the personal consequences to them."

She goes on to detail a work environment with low morale that lacked planning or a vision for how to win as they headed into the Iowa caucuses. Mehlenbacher uses "unacceptable" and "not acceptable" multiple times in the letter, as she lays out grievances.

The Hill reports that Democratic House Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio, who endorsed Harris, has been critical of some of Harris' top aides and even called for the firing of her campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez.

Fudge told the New York Times, "The weakness is at the top. And it’s clearly Juan. He needs to take responsibility — that's where the buck stops."

In the letter, Mehlenbacher seemed to direct the blame toward top aides within the campaign, and not directly at Harris herself saying, "while I still believe that Senator Harris is the strongest candidate to win in the General Election in 2020, I no longer have confidence in our campaign or its leadership."

Mehlenbacher will join the Michael Bloomberg presidential campaign as its deputy chief operating officer, according to a Bloomberg spokesperson.