For Thompson Team
On the eve of his big day, Fred Thompson has let another staffer go.
Jim Mills, the former Fox News producer who joined the campaign only weeks ago, has resigned due to "strategic differences." This from campaign manager Bill Lacy in a memo to the staff, sent out Tuesday "just before we begin the Big Dance."
"Our new Communications Director Todd Harris is building an experienced and aggressive team of campaign professionals to help lead our press operation," Lacy wrote. He added, "This constitutes a substantial shift, not in our candidate's message, but in the way we support it and enhance it. Due to this shift, Jim Mills has informed me that he is leaving the campaign due to strategic differences. I respect Jim's decision and encourage all of you to join me in wishing him the best of luck."
Mills, who was hired away from Fox in July, is the latest to depart Thompson's operation, which has been hit by one resignation after another as the candidate retooled his senior staff over the summer. Linda Rozett was hired away from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to serve as the communications director, only to leave after Lacy replaced former manager Tom Collamore. Harris replaced Rozett.
At Lacy's direction, Thompson is purging his staff of people with little campaign experience and replacing them with a traditional campaign staff. Mills has been replaced by Karen Hanrety, a former spokeswoman for California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jeff Sadosky, who worked on the communications staff for the 2004 Bush reelection campaign.
Thompson's first TV ad will air Wednesday, the same day as he goes on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show." He also has a 15-minute video set to premiere Thursday.
-- Michael D. Shear
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