Last minute trouble for Trump in Iowa?

A former paid staffer for the Trump campaign filed a sex discrimination complaint, saying that female staffers were paid less than male staffers and that Trump made a remark referencing her looks.

The report appears in the New York Times on the day of the Iowa Caucuses.

Elizabeth Mae Davidson, 26, who was the Trump campaign’s field organizer here in Davenport, Iowa’s third-largest city, said in a discrimination complaint that men doing the same jobs were paid more and were allowed to plan and speak at rallies, while her requests to do so were ignored. She also said that when she and a young female volunteer met Mr. Trump at a rally last summer, he told them, “You guys could do a lot of damage,” referring to their looks.

The complaint was filed on Thursday with the Davenport Civil Rights Commission.

In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Trump denied making the remark but did not address the other two allegations.

“That is not the worst thing that could be said,” Mr. Trump said. “But I never said it. It’s not in my vocabulary.”

He added that he did not know Ms. Davidson but that in checking with his staff, he was told she was a disgruntled employee. “My people tell me she did a terrible job.

Curious, isn't it? The only way the Times could have gotten this report is if Davidson gave them a heads up. The Times rushed the story into print, defending Davidson from the Trump campaign's efforts to discredit her.

In her complaint, Ms. Davidson wrote that she was told she was fired for making “disparaging comments about senior campaign leaders to third parties” and breaking a nondisclosure clause in her employment contract. She denied saying anything disparaging about campaign leaders to the news media.

Ms. Davidson was described in The Times article as being one of the campaign’s most effective organizers and was quoted as she tried to enlist volunteers during a Trump rally in Ottumwa on Jan. 9. Elsewhere in the article, the campaign was described as “amateurish and halting, committing basic organizing errors.”

Ms. Davidson’s complaint states that men with the same job title — district representatives — were quoted in news accounts without being fired. It says she was the only woman with that title and that men with the same title were paid more.

In an interview, Ms. Davidson said she was paid $2,000 a month and was classified as part-time because she also had a job as a paralegal. But she said another district representative, Marc Elcock, was paid more though he, too, has a day job, as a lawyer.

According to public filings, several men who held the same title, including Mr. Elcock, were paid $3,500 to $4,000 a month.

Having the same title does not necessarily mean that the workers have the same responsibilities, and salary differences could be an indication that some jobs are considered more vital to the campaign operation.

But Davidson appears to have a case - at least a case for further investigation. The news will have zero impact on the race, despite the efforts by the Times to give Trump a black eye before the voting starts.


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