Kamala Harris Campaign Cuts Staff, Salaries in Preparation for Iowa Caucus

Photo: Mark Makela (Getty Images)

According to a new report, Kamala Harris’ campaign has pulled the trigger on a major shakeup in order to increase her odds in the upcoming presidential election.

From Politico:

Kamala Harris is dramatically restructuring her campaign by redeploying staffers to Iowa and laying off dozens of aides at her Baltimore headquarters, according to campaign sources and a memo obtained Wednesday by POLITICO, as she struggles to resuscitate her beleaguered presidential bid.

The moves come as Harris is hemorrhaging cash and in danger of lacking the resources to mount a competitive bid against better-funded rivals in Iowa. The overhaul will touch nearly every facet of Harris’ operation, with layoffs or re-deployments coming at headquarters, as well as in New Hampshire, Nevada and her home state of California, a Super Tuesday prize that her advisers once viewed as a big asset.

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The motivation behind the decision to cut costs is to ensure the campaign can afford a seven-figure media buy in the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucus. To that end, Campaign Manager Juan Rodriguez will join other campaign consultants in trimming their salaries in order to reduce overhead.

In a statement to The Root, Rodriguez outlined the campaign’s plan moving forward:

With fewer than 100 days until the Iowa Caucus and in a competitive resources environment, we are implementing an organizational realignment to go all-in on Iowa.

Since the launch of the campaign, Kamala Harris and this team has raised more than $35 million from over 350,000 donors, with an average contribution of $34. We ended the last quarter with the fourth most cash on hand, and continue to receive endorsements and grassroots support across the country. However, in a field of 18 candidates, we face an incredibly competitive resource environment. To effectively compete with the top campaigns and make the necessary investments in the critical final 100 days to the caucus, we need to reduce expenditures elsewhere and realign resources.

From the beginning of this campaign, Kamala Harris and this team set out with one goal - to win the nomination and defeat Donald Trump in 2020. This requires us to make difficult strategic decisions and make clear priorities, not threaten to drop out or deploy gimmicks. Plenty of winning primary campaigns, like John Kerry’s in 2004 and John McCain’s in 2008, have had to make tough choices on their way to the nomination, and this is no different.

Aside from pay cuts and eliminating staff, other staff members from New Hampshire, Nevada, and California are being rerouted to Iowa in order to “increase the number of field organizers and staff we have on the ground in the first contest and give our campaign the organizational muscle needed to compete in every precinct,” Rodriguez said in his statement.

He added, “In the month of October, no candidate spent more time in Iowa than Kamala—she made 5 trips and spent 15 days in the Hawkeye State—about 10 more days than any other candidate. In November, she will continue to spend significant time in Iowa, including spending Thanksgiving there, to meet caucus-goers at town halls and in coffee shops, on farms and at dining room tables. She is determined to earn the support of every caucus goer she can in the next 96 days.”

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Hopefully, this restructuring allows Harris’ campaign to get back on its feet and regain its early momentum.

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Jay Connor

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.