Romney campaign gave bonuses to top staff

September 20, 2012

Mitt Romney's campaign handed out more than $200,000 in bonuses last month to senior staffers, according to new disclosure records filed Thursday.

Richard Beeson, Romney's national political director, received a $37,500 payment on Aug. 31 in addition to his salary,  according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.

In addition, records show at least six other top staffers each received $25,000 bonuses on the same date: campaign manager Matt Rhoades, general counsel Kathryn Biber, policy advisor Lanhee Chen, communications director Gail Gitcho, digital director Zach Moffatt and advisor Gabriel Schoenfeld. Two other employees received $10,000 bonuses.

A Romney spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on the payments Thursday.

The Romney campaign appears to be on a payroll schedule which, in normal months, would mean two paychecks per month. But in August many received three regular paychecks on the 1st, 15th and 31st, meaning that those who received the largest bonuses were paid more than $45,000 during August. Beeson and most other senior staffer make about $165,000 a year based on their salary payment levels, records show.

The bonuses came the day after Romney formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Tampa. Despite strong fundraising since May, new records show that the campaign was struggling badly for money in August because it had run low on primary funds and was unable to tap into contributions collected for the general election until after the nomination. As a result, the campaign borrowed $20 million.

Records show that the campaign still owed $15 million of a $20 million loan from the Bank of Georgetown on Aug. 31. The campaign has since paid off another $4 million of the total by collecting new contributions for its primary account, officials have said. 

Romney's failure to match President Obama's campaign in television advertising, along with worsening polling numbers and a series of missteps, have prompted grousing among political strategists about the Republican nominee's campaign and senior staff. Former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan called Romney's operation "incompetent" in a widely read column earlier this week.

 

Deputy Editor, National Politics
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