Virginia gubernatorial candidate Andrew P. Miller has raised so much money that his supporters are balking at giving him any more, Miller's campaign manager said yesterday.
Walter A. Marston, Miller's manager, said despite the record $699,008 that the Miller campaign has reported raising, the flow of money suddenly has slowed because of that success and "the perception that the (Henry E.) Howell is falling apart." Miller and Howell face each other in Virginia's Democratic primary June 14.
Separately, Miller was reported yesterday to be encountering problems of his own on the campaign trail. A wellpublicized Miller appearance in downtown Norfolk drew about 200 people, according to a Miller aide. That was well under earlier predictions that 500 would turn out for the event in Howell's hometown.
Howell campaign manager Paul Goldman disputed the Miller crowd estimate and said only 75 people attended the noontime Miller rally. "It's a sign of a man whose campaign is showing weaknesses," Goldman is showing weaknesses," Goldman said, challenging statements by some Norfolk area politicians that Miller has managed to erode some of Howell's Tidewater support.
In Richmond, Marston said he was trying to persuade Miller supporters that the Howell campaign has not collapsed because of money troubles. "Unfortunately, a lot of people think the campaign is over; that the primary has been won, but it isn't over yet," Marston said.
Howell's campaign has reported raising $240,869, well under its announceunced goal of $600,000, and Howell has voiced fears that he may not be able to afford any television advertising. But Marston said yesterday. "I cannot help but believe that some sugar daddy is out there who will come along and give Henry the money he needs for his television advertising."
In an appearance in Southwest Virginia yesterday, Howell continued his attacks on what he called Miller's "wastefull and unnecessary" campaign spending and charged that Miller's treasury has become so depleted that his staff has cancled "40 per cent of its television advertising." Marston denied dropping any television contracts, but said Miller will spent "about 40 per cent less" on television than he once planned because of Howell's absence from television advertising.
Marston's money remarks were not surprising. Even though the Miller campaign has collected a record amount for any Democratic primary in Virginia, it has been spending money at a record pace. On May 10 the campaign reported it had only $4,684 in cash and unpaid bills mounting $39,511 and loans totaling $25,000.
The full impact of some of that spending on television and radio advertising, however probably will not be felt until the final days of the campaign.
Marston said he had no idea who might be Howell's television benefactor. "He always finds somebody: maybe there is another Charlie Horne floating around out there." Horne, a wealthy Abingdon, Va., investor and longtime Howell supporter, has lent Howell $50,000 for his current campaign.
Howell campaign aides have maintained that, despite their difficulties in raising funds, they will get money for some television advertising in the final two weeks of the campaign.