Alexander Orders Campaign Cutbacks
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander has ordered drastic cutbacks in his presidential campaign staff and travel because of fund-raising problems, The Associated Press has learned.
The press and legal offices will be gutted in an effort to keep the campaign afloat long enough to see whether Texas Gov. George W. Bush falters this summer, campaign officials said today.
Bush, the early GOP front-runner, has raised more than $10 million this year, drying up potential resources for Alexander.
The sources said Alexander expects to have raised $2.5 million by the end of the second quarter, far below expectations.
``We need to adjust to reflect the difficulties in raising money in the wake of Bush mania,″ Tom Rath, a top Alexander consultant said in a telephone interview from New Hampshire. ``Until that subsides, and it may subside when (Bush) gets out on the campaign trail and we see what kind of candidate he can be, we need to do things to stay viable.″
Rath did not provide details, but three officials familiar with the cutbacks said the payroll was being significantly reduced. Among those leaving the campaign were communications director Steve Schmidt and his deputy, Jeff Macedo; research director Brian Jones; legal counsel Katherine Phillips, and several support staff.
Some of the departing staff will be retained as consultants, but at dramatically reduced pay rates, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In addition, Alexander will reduce his travel _focusing most of his attention on Iowa, the site of the first voting of 2000.