Report: Rep. Wu sees staff exodus after complaints of bizarre behavior

Oregon Rep. David Wu (D) has lost at least six staff members after his successful reelection campaign following complaints about his strange behavior at public events, according to a media report.

The Oregonian reported Wednesday that the staff departures include two senior aides — former chief of staff Julie Tippens and communications director Julia Krahe. Wu reportedly lost other members of his political staff, including his chief fundraiser and pollster.

Krahe reportedly left the office without another job lined up, while Tippens joined the office of freshman Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii).

Wu won a seventh term in Congress in November, fending off a tough challenge from Republican Rob Cornilles. But the Democrat could come under greater scrutiny as a result of his reported actions.

According to The Oregonian, Wu delivered an Oct. 27 speech and railed against Cornilles as a "telemarketer." A Democratic precinct leader complained that he "yelled a lot, which I didn't think was necessary." Wu also admitted he stopped drinking on July 1.

Then on Oct. 29, Wu convinced Transportation Security Administration employees to let him go to a secured United Airlines gate at Portland International Airport, where he said he wanted to meet his children. But when he arrived, he greeted passengers at the gate and urged them to vote for him.

Tom Sherwood, a passenger on the plane who filed a complaint with airport police, told The Oregonian, "As I'm getting off, he's greeting people saying, 'Vote for me.' I said to him, 'I will never vote for you.' "

In a written statement to The Oregonian, Wu said he has "only the utmost esteem for every member of my staff, present and past." Spokesman Erik Dorey also said that "Congressman Wu sincerely regrets if his actions at [the airport] were at all inappropriate."

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