Perry presidential campaign confirms it has stopped paying all staff – Beaumont Enterprise


AUSTIN – The presidential campaign of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has stopped paying its staff due to fundraising problems, a stunning move that signals serious problems at the operation.

Two aides of the campaign’s Austin headquarters confirmed Tuesday that staff here and in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina were advised late last week that their paid positions were ending. They were given permission to look for other jobs, although most have said they plan to stay on in a volunteer capacity.

The aides were quick to draw a parallel between John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, which faced issues in the summer of 2008 before he eventually came back to win the GOP nomination.

The fundraising problems surfaced late Monday when the National Journal reported on a pay suspension in South Carolina.

In South Carolina, which the Perry camp sees as critical to the future governor’s campaign, three top aides are continuing to work for the campaign, but, for now, are doing so in a “volunteer capacity,” Katon Dawson, the head of the state team, told the Houston Chronicle.

“We’re going to work just as hard this week as we did the week before, and we look forward to helping the governor get the nomination,” said Dawson, a former chair of the state Republican Party, who added he expects the campaign to “refocus on pay somewhere in September.”

Strategists Walter Whetsell and Le Frye also are remaining with the campaign, Dawson said, but at least one core staffer has left amid the financial difficulty.

“What makes me feel good, and even more motivated, is that out of our entire team nationally, and here in Austin, only one person isn’t going to continue on with us, and that’s because financially they can’t do it, which I fully appreciate,” said Jeff Miller, Perry’s campaign manager. “The reason why all the other people are sticking by us is because they believe, like I do, that the governor has a path forward. … At the end of the day, what counts is track record, getting earned media and retail politics skills, which nobody can match the governor.”

He noted that Perry has plans to make multiple trips to Iowa and South Carolina in the coming weeks.

The development is a blow to the 14-year governor’s long-shot attempt for a second chance after an unsuccessful 2012 bid. Already, the 2016 run had been dealing with a lingering criminal indictment over a 2013 veto and polling numbers so low that Perry was relegated to the second-tier stage at the campaign’s first debate last week.

Perry had hoped for a post-debate boost, but much of the momentum was taken by fellow underdog Carly Fiorina. On Monday, a new survey by Public Policy Polling showed Perry stuck at 2 percent support among Iowa voters in the crowded GOP field, while Fiorina had surged to 10 percent.

Iowa and South Carolina are both crucial states for Perry.



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