Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) doesn’t want the shadow of a potential ‘war on women’ hanging over his campaign, after police reports detailing domestic disputes involving Monica Wehby were released to the media.
“I find this to be a despicable attack by Merkley and his band of bullies,” Wehby said in an interview with The Oregonian.
“We didn’t obtain it, we have not publicized it…I have not touched it,” Merkley said about the reports. “I think that essentially personal life is out of bounds. I don’t intend to publicize anything about her personal life. I hope she’ll follow the example I’m setting.”
Merkley also denied any role in the leaks during a fundraiser appearance with Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Wehby’s team, however, believe that someone on Merkley’s team was involved.
The first report was leaked to Politico just four days before her primary race, revealing that her ex-boyfriend had called police in 2013 accusing Wehby of stalking him.
The second report was reported by The Oregonian, revealing that her ex-husband complained of harassment on two different occasions.
Meanwhile Team Wehby is anxious to tie the attacks to Merkely’s campaign.
Although the leaks were uncovered by a researcher hired by the Democratic Party of Oregon, Wehby’s campaign manager believes that the researcher was working with Jamal Raad, a Senate staffer for Merkley.
After the primary, Raad joined Merkley’s campaign staff, and denied that the researcher worked for him, according to The Oregonian.
The attacks aren’t helping her popularity in the state. According to a Real Clear Politics analysis, Wehby struggles to get within a ten point margin of Merkley.
A recent PPP poll showed that Wheby was down 14 points against Merkley.
Forty percent of those polled had an unfavorable opinion of Wehby, with only 26 percent favorable.