Skip to comments.DEAN CAMPAIGN IN DEBT........$500,000
Posted on 02/21/2004 4:12:06 AM PST by JimVT
Dean campaign in debt
By Sam Hemingway Free Press Staff Writer
Despite raising a record $50.3 million, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign was in debt the day Dean withdrew from the race, campaign manager Roy Neel said Friday.
"We do have a debt, but it's not unmanageable," Neel said. "It will be paid off pretty quickly. I don't know of a major campaign that does not end with a debt of some kind."
Neel said he did not know how much the campaign was in debt, but said it will probably exceed $500,000 once expenses for shutting down the campaign are known.
Neel said a "bat" might be put up on the campaign's Dean for America site on the Internet to help retire the debt. The campaign has periodically posted a bat icon on the Web site, asking supporters to "hit a homer for Howard" by sending in money to finance some aspect of the campaign. The most recent bat raised $1.4 million to finance the campaign's Wisconsin effort.
Dean, once regarded as the Democratic front-runner for the party's presidential nomination, withdrew from the race Wednesday after a disappointing third-place finish in Wisconsin.
Dean said at the time that he hopes to convert his campaign into an ongoing grassroots Democratic group advocating change, but Neel said the details of such an organization won't be known for weeks.
The campaign's grassroots and Internet skills enabled it to attract 800,000 active supporters, and small-donor contributions from 318,880 people, according to statistics released by the campaign Wednesday.
Friday, 50 staffers completed their last day of work for the campaign. Neel said a skeleton crew will stay to close the books on the campaign operation while Dean decides how to reshape the operation to fit its new role.
"Everyone who is leaving will have been paid for every day they worked," Neel said. "We will not do what other campaigns have done, which is to ask staff to forgo payment they deserve."
Last month, the campaign asked staff members to agree to have their pay delayed while the campaign tightened its belt after defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The discovery that the once flush campaign was having financial problems was one of the reasons given for Dean's asked Neel to replace campaign manager Joe Trippi, who left the campaign rather than take a post overseeing its Internet and grassroots operations.
Trippi has since formed his own group, Change for America, and is hosting a meeting at his home in Maryland this weekend with former Dean staffers to plot out what his group hopes to accomplish.
Neel said he is not concerned that Trippi's group might compete with the one Dean hopes to build, or lure away some of the campaign's key staffers.
"We've stayed in close contact with Joe all along," Neel said. "There's so much talent out there. I'm not worried about a brain drain."
Neel declined to list who among Dean's staff would remain with the operation besides himself, deputy campaign manager Bob Rogan and longtime Dean aide Kate O'Connor. Neel said he did not know who among the campaign's highly regarded Web team would be retained.
While Dean has suspended campaign activities, the California-based political action group TruthandHope.org is continuing to air radio ads in states with upcoming primaries and caucuses urging people to vote for Dean.
TruthandHope.org, formed this year, had already been running radio ads in a half-dozen states before Dean's withdrawal, said its founder, Eugene Hedlund of Riverside, Calif. His group, unaligned with the Dean organization, has raised $75,000 for the ads, Hedlund said.
The ads, now running in the Feb. 24 caucus states of Idaho, Hawaii and Utah, feature two people talking about Dean's departure from the race, with one person explaining to the other why voting for Dean will help win Dean delegates to the party convention and assure his reform agenda is not ignored.
"The voice of ordinary Americans must not be silenced," a narrator concludes. "Deliver a positive message of support for real progressive change in America. Vote for Gov. Howard Dean in the primary and let your vote be your voice."
Hedlund said he expects to run ads in nine March 2 Super Tuesday primary states, including one in Vermont asking voters to support Dean as an expression of thanks for his candidacy.
Another Dean supporter, Charles Grapski of Gainesville, Fla., has separately begun a petition campaign asking the Democratic Party not to discourage people from voting for candidates who have stopped formally campaigning for president.
Contact Sam Hemingway at 660-1850 or email@example.com
What the heck..he balanced budgets in VT by stealing from other designated state funds.
I'll lay ya 2 to 1 he won't.........but his Park Ave. mommy might!
For all FReepers who plan to participate in "open" primaries, here's your chance to make your vote count for something more than Al Sharpton getting some speech time in Boston. I'd rather see Dean's hundreds of delegates trying to publicly force some extreme planks in their platform than McAwful and his McMinions sacrificing 15 minutes of non-primetime TV for Sharpton to try and start a race riot.
Different standards for different folks,eh?
Edwards was 6 Million in debt after his Senate Campaign
And gee ... isn't that the same amount he put into his campaign?