Thompson's Money Chief Moves On
Get your scorecards out again, Fred Thompson fans, and for heaven's sake, stop writing in pen. There's been yet another change in the line-up.
Thompson's campaign finance chairman Thomas D. Bell Jr., has relinquished his role as the campaign's chief money man. The Atlanta-based commercial real estate executive "has his own business commitments that he needs to be 100 percent committed to," according to Thompson campaign spokeswoman Karen Hanretty.
"He is going to remain active with the campaign but, we've known all along, and he's been up front with us, that once we got past the testing the waters portion of this adventure that we needed to find a full time campaign finance chair for the actual campaign," Hanretty said.
Bell did not return messages left at his office -- his assistant said he was tied up in board meetings. Bell, CEO of Cousins Properties, has been a major fundraiser for GOP candidates and causes and served previously on the finance committee of former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed's unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor of Georgia.
Hanretty said the rest of Thompson's fundraising team -- a group that includes former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham -- remains active in raising dollars for the presidential bid. And, she said, Thompson continues to find success with raising money over the Internet, a task for which no bundler is required.
As for Bell's step down, Hanretty said: "It remains to be seen how much this will change that dynamic."
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