Amid infighting over which super PAC has the favor of Republican Ben Carson’s presidential campaign, a number of senior staff members have departed the actual campaign, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Here’s the key paragraph from the Post report:
Two independent super PACs designed to help Carson are instead competing directly with Carson’s campaign for donations and volunteers, while campaign chairman Terry Giles resigned last month with the intention of forming a third super PAC.
Giles told the Post that he plans to get the other two super PACs, Run Ben Run and One Nation, to stop operating.
“They are going after the same small donors and we’ve simply got to figure this out or else we are going up against each other the whole time,” Giles said. “I’m planning to sit down with them and explain that.”
Super PACs can’t coordinate directly with a campaign but usually a presidential super PAC has the tacit blessing of the candidate it supports.
Carson spokesman Doug Watts called Run Ben Run a “rogue operation.”
The overlapping super PACs have confused Carson supporters about where to give money. Doug Watts, a Carson campaign spokesman, described Run Ben Run as a rogue operation: “We spend a great deal of time explaining to our supporters, ‘They’re them, we’re us.’”
What’s worse for Carson, a trio of senior campaign officials has departed as well. Specifically, the campaign has lost deputy campaign manager Stephen Rubino, general counsel Kathy Freberg, and national finance chairman Jeff Reeter. Campaign officials told the Post that the staff members have not been replaced.
Watts said Rubino, the national finance chairman, wanted to go back to his farm.
“He said to me many times personally, ‘I’m not sure I’m cut out for this in Washington, D.C.,'” Watts said of Rubino. Watts seat Freberg, the general counsel, had gotten tired of politics and is now “in Africa on a safari.”
Carson, according to Giles, thinks that his campaign can manage with a small staff through most of 2015.
“The Carson campaign, that’s now mostly about ballot access, communications, social media, and getting Dr. Carson around the country,” Giles said. “That’s about it. It’s all part of the plan.”