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Giuliani Advisers Forgo Salaries

Giuliani's Florida-focused strategy may be costing him in fundraising dollars. (AP).

By Michael D. Shear
Top advisers to former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani have voluntarily agreed to forgo their salaries or consultant fees, an indication that Giuliani's strategy of sitting out the early primaries is causing fundraising problems for the campaign.

An aide confirmed that campaign manager Mike DuHaime and several other top advisers and consultant who make large salaries stopped being paid as of Jan. 1.

"We want to ensure that all of our resources are pointed to Florida," said campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella. "We're being cautious. We're going to spend a lot of time in Florida."

Comella declined to comment on fundraising efforts but said the campaign has $11.5 million cash on hand, with about $7 million that can be used for the primary. She said the campaign continues to raise money for Giuliani's presidential bid.

But the decision to suspend salaries suggests that the mayor's strategy of waiting for the campaign to arrive in Florida is taking its toll.

By refusing to compete vigorously in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan or South Carolina, Giuliani has been relegated to watching from the sidelines. The crush of news coverage of the candidates in Iowa and then New Hampshire barely mentioned Giuliani.

The other leading candidates -- former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Arizona Sen. John McCain -- have been constantly in the news for a month as they fight with each other for wins in the early states.

For donors, such a strategy can be stressful as they watch their candidate disappear from the news broadcasts and from the front pages of newspapers. Often, money pours into campaigns once they prove they can actually win votes. Without competing seriously in any of the early primaries, Giuliani is still an untested commodity.

And finishing fourth, as he did in New Hampshire, and sixth, as he did in Iowa, makes donors even more nervous about pouring good money after bad.

Senior aides to Giuliani have said for weeks that they are comfortable with their strategy, which hinges on winning Florida and using the momentum from that victory to help win most of the 22 states which will vote a week later, on Feb. 5.

Yesterday, the campaign unveiled two ads in Florida and announced a bus tour of the state that will begin on Sunday and take the former mayor to as many as five cities in the Sunshine State each day.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 11, 2008; 10:52 AM ET
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