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    Money Talks

    The People Behind The Candidates

    By Dwight L. Morris
    April 4, 1996

    When it comes to presidential campaigns, there's no such thing as a small brain-trust. While he faced no primary opposition, Bill Clinton's reelection campaign spent $15,779,584 between April 1, 1995 and February 29, 1996, excluding contribution refunds and transfers to other authorized committees. Thirty consultants collected $5,896,327, or 37 percent, of that total. After removing refunds and transfers from the calculation, Bob Dole's 14-month-old effort to secure the Republican nomination had cost $33,142,949 including $15,893,520 that was funneled through a nationwide phalanx of 106 consultants.

    Among Clinton's advisors, the biggest winner to date has been media guru Squier/Knapp/Ochs Communications of Washington, D.C. Hired when Clinton axed his 1992 media consultant, Mandy Grunwald, Squier has already collected $2,436,000 to cover the costs of producing and placing commercials. The spots, which featured testimonials by police officers touting Clinton's anti-crime legislation, aired last summer in twenty media markets deemed crucial to his reelection chances.

    To date, Clinton has called upon nine consultants for general strategic advice, including Republican advisor Dick Morris, who has received $151,125 for helping Clinton refocus his message toward the more conservative wing of the Democratic party. Stan Greenberg, who served as Clinton's pollster during the 1992 campaign and collected well over $1 million from the Democratic National Committee for polling during Clinton's first two years in office, was handed a much-reduced role for the 1996 reelection effort. However, he has still managed to pull in $113,647 for his analysis of numerous public and private polls.

    Having largely retired from politics to write books and star in commercials for companies such as Nike, James Carville – the chief architect of Clinton's 1992 victory – discusses campaign strategy with the President once a week from the comfort of his Shenandoah Valley home. Through February, Carville had collected a largely token $5,500 for his advice.

    In addition to the "Big Three," six general consultants were retained to deal with delegate recruitment and to establish field operations across the country. The Dewey Square Group of Washington, D.C., has collected $16,003; Daniel M. Hynes of Los Angeles, has received $11,834; Mary Beth Cooper of Novelty, Ohio, James M. Ruvolo of Toledo, Ohio, Arnold Pinckney of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Joe Young of Chicago, Ill., have collected $7,464, $6,000, $4,000, and $3,000, respectively.

    The mantle of chief pollster has been assumed by New York-based Penn & Schoen Associates. In just over eight months, the firm collected $481,190 for tapping the mood of the electorate. The Mellman Group of Washington, D.C., has received a much more modest $16,625 for measuring the public pulse.

    To ensure that both current and future financial obligations are met, the Clinton campaign has paid ten fund-raising consultants a total of $2,269,543. Malchow, Adams & Hussey of Washington, D.C., has received $1,865,910 for orchestrating a $2,229,472 direct-mail fund-raising effort. Six telemarketing firms, including The Smith Company ($119,891) and New Boston Communications ($74,623), have received payments totaling $350,662. Fund-raising event costs during the first 11 months of operation amounted to $2,160,713, including payments to three consultants totaling $52,970. This $4,744,031 fund-raising engine generated contributions totaling $26,498,030, which in turn has brought him $10,906,465 in federal matching funds.

    Without competition, Clinton had little reason to spend heavily on brochures and persuasion mailings. Two consultants – the Strategy Group of Chicago and the November Group of Washington, D.C. (the persuasion-mail arm of Malchow) – collected a total of $79,449 for creating mailings that targeted likely caucus participants in Iowa and likely voters in New Hampshire.

    To identify and turn out voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Clinton camp paid three consultants a total of $37,800 for phone-banking. Campaign public relations duties have been handled by Cranford, Johnson, Robinson Associates of Little Rock, which has received $96,736 for its trouble.

    The Clinton Consultants.

    While impressive, these numbers pale when compared with the money raked in by Dole's army of consultants. Fourteen firms have already collected in excess of $100,000 from the Dole campaign, including three that have received well over $1 million.

    Odell, Roper & Simms of Falls Church, Va., and its subsidiary, Campaign Mail & Data, have received payments totaling $5,869,848 for coordinating Dole's direct-mail fund-raising effort, handling the matching funds bookkeeping duties, and printing a few fund-raising invitations. Through the end of February, the campaign's media placement firm, Multi Media Services Corp. of Alexandria, Va., had collected $4,518,874 to cover the cost of air time and its placement fees. Campaign Tel of New York, which also operates under the names of Campaign Telecommunications and National Market Share, placed tens of thousands of calls to voters attacking Dole's primary opponents. For its services the firm has received $1,200,620.

    Eleven consultants have planned one or more of Dole's fund-raising events, including Fundamentals of Perrysburg, Ohio, which has received $113,858. Ten pollsters have toiled at various times to measure his standing with the electorate, including Public Opinion Strategies and Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, which have collected $139,780 and $127,763, respectively. Dole has paid The Stewart Stevens Group of Alexandria, Va., $261,577 to create his television and radio commercials; for producing the spots, Pilgrim Films of Cohasset, Mass., and Allied Digital Technologies, also of Alexandria, have received $701,440 and $104,321, respectively. Three firms have been paid a total of $596,801 for producing persuasion mailers. Maseng Communications, owned by the wife of columnist George Will, has collected $125,620 for handling some of the campaign's public relations duties.

    To get him through the primaries, as well as to establish beachheads for the fall campaign, Dole has hired dozens of consultants to build grassroots operations throughout the country. Capital Consultants of Concord, N. H., received $17,135 for working with the state's Republican leaders, scheduling campaign stops, and providing advice on campaign message. Byron Nelson of Winston-Salem, collected $20,164 for coordinating field activities in advance of the North Carolina primary, working with party leaders, and serving as a liaison to delegates committed to Dole. David J. Doyle of Okemos, received $11,840 for undertaking similar duties in Michigan, while Edward Murnane of Arlington Heights, Ill., collected $20,000 for providing general oversight of the Dole staff in Illinois and for working with Dole's national staff to lay the groundwork for a statewide mail and phone campaign that was never needed.

    With this many generals, it should not be surprising that both Clinton and Dole have massive campaign payrolls, as well. Through the first eleven months of its formal existence, the Clinton campaign paid 225 employees a total of $1,499,993, after taxes. Dole's 301-person staff collected take-home pay of $2,803,566. Only four Dole staffers collected as much as $50,000; two of Clinton's staff topped the $50,000 mark.

    With millions left to spend during the primary season, with a combined $123.6 in federal funds to spend on their campaigns after the nominating conventions and with millions of additional money pumped into the process through the various national party committees, these already impressive numbers will continue to mushroom over the next nine months.

    This article originally appeared on the ElectionLine Web site.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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