Advance Chapter Sections
- << Date: 01-03-04 16:19:26 EST
From: phillies@... (George D. Phillies)
To: lpus-misc@..., firstname.lastname@example.org,
I am doing a new book, this on how Libertarians for better or worse spent
their campaign money in 2000. You will be getting sections of chapters,
short enough not to go on forever, long enough to have some interesting
parts. You are invited to transmit this to other interested Libertarian
lists. Expect the next segment in about a week. Your comments are of
The Howell Campaign (Part 1 of 4)
A significant unfortunate feature of the 1996 Browne campaign -- and
potentially of its 2000 clone -- is that it serves as a model for
Libertarian campaigns at the state and lower level. The Libertarian Party
can survive an occasional expensive unsuccessful campaign. It is far less
obvious that our Party can survive, let alone thrive, if expensive,
low-outcome campaigns become the norm.
This Chapter examines a campaign modelled on the same lines as the 1996
Browne campaign, namely the 2000 Massachusetts U.S. Senate campaign of
Carla Howell. The Howell campaign is significant: It replicated the
Browne campaign methodology in a campaign for lower office. Furthermore,
the Howell campaign is visibly fanning a "by-demand" Howell-for-Governor
campaign for 2002. Howell is also widely rumored to be considering a run
for President in 2004. Just as the 2000 Browne campaign was an echo of
the 1996 Browne campaign, so also a 2004 Howell campaign will probably be
an echo of the 2000 Howell campaign. If you want to see the future, just
look at the recent past.
From where did the Howell campaign arise? Howell is a Massachusetts
Libertarian Party activist. She served as State Chair. Like our other
state parties, the Massachusetts State Party faces ballot access issues.
In Massachusetts, "3% of the vote for a statewide office" qualifies a
political party for "Major Party Status". "Major Party Status" has a
range of surprising legal implications (see Appendix); easier ballot
access for Major Party candidates is not one of them.
Nonetheless, eastern Massachusetts Libertarians set their heart on gaining
Major Party Status for the state Libertarian Party, and in 1998 fielded
candidates for all statewide offices other than Attorney General. In 1998
Howell ran for State Auditor, received the endorsement of the Boston
Herald--- the State's most influential newspaper---and got 5% of the vote.
Rumors soon began about a U.S. Senate campaign.
For 2000, Howell was certain to face a crowded field of candidates. The
incumbent was Teddy Kennedy, a Democratic liberal with decades of
seniority in the U.S. Senate. In 1999 a Republican challenger had not
yet been found. Press attention focused on former Republican candidates
and elected officials. Massachusetts has no Republican Congressmen.
Other than the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the most senior prominent
Republican officials are State Legislators and district Attorney Generals.
Massachusetts has a history of third-party candidates running for U.S.
Senate. The Conservative/Constitution Party had an attractive candidate
in Philip Lawler, a writer well known in conservative Roman Catholic
circles. The Conservatives had run a Senate candidate in 1996, and were
virtually certain to have a Senate candidate in 2000. In Massachusetts,
minor parties can use a single petition to put a Presidential and a U.S.
Senate candidate on the ballot. The Green, Reform, Natural Law,...
Presidential campaigns were therefore likely to provide one or more U.S.
Howell was therefore virtually certain of being in a four or more
candidate race. Despite parts of the Libertarian press, rumors that
Howell was likely to be in a 2-candidate race never had a rational basis.
Furthermore, the leading Boston media outlets that have historically run
Massachusetts U.S. Senate debates are vitriolically opposed to the
Libertarian Party. There was essentially no likelihood that our Senate
candidate would be invited to participate in any debates.
In 1999, Howell began her U.S. Senate campaign.
The following describes the Howell campaign's activities, based primarily
on the campaign's FEC filings and other mailings. All dollar amounts are
based on campaign FEC reports, which are filed under penalty of law for
false submissions. Campaigns are legally entitled to file amended
reports; I used available data as of the date of writing. The author is a
Massachusetts libertarian activist, not unaware of what what happens in
party activities in his own state. I have drawn on my own observations
and friends to fill in some of the dots.
From its mailings, the Howell Campaign had a substantial staff. People
listed on its stationery (and their reported titles) include Michael Cloud
(Campaign CEO), Barbara Goushaw (Senior Advisor), Elaine Berchin (Media
Coordinator), Dennis Corrigan (Projects Manager), Celeste Parent
(Treasurer), Kay Pirrello (Volunteer Coordinator), Kamal Jain (Systems
Manager), and Bob O'Keefe (Field Advisor). According to FEC filings, most
of these persons were not paid for their work. Several did receive
Campaign CEO Cloud is a long-time, well-known, effective Libertarian fund
raiser and speaker. His outstanding 1998 Nevada Senate Race, targeted
significantly at Christian conservatives who would really be happy if the
government would just leave them alone, almost certainly cost the
Republicans a U.S. Senate Seat. While the author has heard Cloud state
that he maintains residence in Nevada, Cloud is regularly seen in
Massachusetts with his close friend Carla Howell.
STAFF: The campaign paid its few salaried staff well.
In 1999 alone, Campaign CEO Cloud received $6700 from the Howell Campaign.
In 2000, Cloud received nearly $76,000. At the end of the year, the
campaign committee owed him $47,000. For 2000, FEC statements thus show
that the campaign had paid and/or owed its campaign CEO very nearly
$123,000. To the author's knowledge this sum is the record for a
Libertarian campaign manager. Some of the shorter-period commission rates
were even more impressive. For the period 10/1/2000-11/27/2000 the
Campaign CEO was actually paid $18,000, while at the same time the
campaign increased its debt to him from $25,000 to $47,000. At an
annualized rate, these numbers correspond to $240,000 per year.
Payments to the Campaign CEO were made under the cognomen "fundraising
commission". While payments were often in even units, typically $9,000,
they were not made at a uniform rate throughout the year. For both years,
separate accounting was made of reimbursements for office supplies, etc.
to staff members. Reports of salary and reimbursements were in general
For 1999, the fund raising commission paid to the Campaign CEO amounted to
nearly 20% of the funds raised. For 2000, actual payments exceed 10% of
funds raised. Commissions yet to be paid raise the total above 17% of
funds raised. The FEC reports do not indicate what formula was used to
calculate the commission, whether the rate was uniform, or which funds it
was paid upon. In addition to pay from the Howell Campaign Committee,
Cloud received an agency fee of $2200 from the Libertarian Party of
Massachusetts for the Howell ads that LPMA ran on Boston television.
The campaign paid its Volunteer Coordinator $500 week, and made a $648.61
per month 'consulting' payment to MyData Automation. Comparison with the
2000 end-of-year LPMA ("LAMA") FEC report suggests that the payment to
MYDATA was a COBRA payment for Pirrello. On this analysis, the pay and
fringe benefits for the Volunteer Coordinator came to a shade under
$28,000 for 2000.
Many of the same people and groups were active participants in both the
Browne and Howell Campaigns. Michael Cloud did fundraising for both
organizations. When the Howell Campaign needed web site hosting, it
turned not to a Massachusetts outfit but to Web Commanders of Corona
Hills, Ca. Web Commanders received $425 in 1999 and over $500 in 2000 for
their work. For web content, the Howell Campaign turned not to a
Massachusetts resident but to Geoff Braun of Placentia, CA, paying $250 in
1999 for web site design. When in late 1999 the Howell Campaign needed
telemarketing, it retained Jennifer Willis -- the same Jennifer Willis who
also worked for the Browne campaign -- paying $498 for telemarketing
Barbara Goushaw of Michigan, whose inspirational speech 'Guns are a Girl's
Best Friend' brought Libertarians to their feet at the 1998 National
Convention, was Senior Advisor to the Howell Campaign. Goushaw's most
visible contribution to the Browne 2000 effort was the "Shut the F*** Up"
campaign, a transparent attack on Browne critics. The StFU campaign
demanded that critics stop their remarks on Browne's record. Goushaw was
listed second on the Howell Campaign letterhead, immediately under
campaign CEO Michael Cloud. The LPMA invited Goushaw to address its 2000
convention, and paid her a speaker's fee of $775.