March 31, 2024

Fetterman loses key staffers over stances on Israel, other contentious issues

A prominent Democratic lawmaker is experiencing some significant turnover among key staff members in the wake of his vocal support of positions contrary to those of the party's base.

Three of Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman's top communications staffers have announced their departures from his office over the course of the last month, with the moves attributed to the legislator's public stances on hot-button issues such as Israel and illegal migration, as Fox News reports.

Fetterman sees staff exodus

Among those fleeing Fetterman's employ was Joe Calvello, who served as the legislator's director of communications, not just in his Senate office but also during his 2022 campaign.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Calvello was joining the office of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson in the role of chief strategy officer.

Just this past Friday, the senator's deputy communication director, Nicholas Gavio, declared that he would leave the lawmaker's staff to become the Mid-Atlantic communications director of the Working Families Party.

Lastly, Fetterman press and digital aide Emma Mustion posted on social media that she was poised to become press secretary for Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey's re-election campaign.

Shifting tone

The departing staffers have signaled that their employment decisions were made in large part to what they feel is a shift in Fetterman's positions on issues they deem critical.

As Fox News noted earlier this year, Fetterman has drawn the ire of the progressive wing of his party for his statements regarding Israel in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and also on the issue of illegal immigration.

Placing himself at odds with far-left lawmakers such as Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Fetterman explained, “I would be the last man standing to be absolutely there on the Israeli side on this....”

Fetterman has also run afoul of some in his party due to his take on what should happen to embattled Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ), facing trial on a host of bribery corruption charges.

Plainly stating, “I am not a progressive,” Fetterman was resolute in his opinion that, when it comes to Menendez, “he needs to go,” something with which others in the Democrat ranks do not agree.

Though many Republicans have been pleasantly surprised by Fetterman's recent tone of moderation on key issues, it remains to be seen whether those on his own side of the aisle will continue to turn away from what was once solid support for his presence in Congress.

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