Rick Perry Stops Paying South Carolina Staff

The decision suggests the former Texas governor’s campaign is facing serious financial woes.

National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
Aug. 10, 2015, 2:21 p.m.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s cam­paign team in South Car­o­lina is no longer be­ing paid by his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, Na­tion­al Journ­al has learned.

“Pay is only one reas­on people do this,” Katon Dawson, Perry’s South Car­o­lina state dir­ect­or, said in an in­ter­view. “We’ll be able to live off the land for a while.”

It is not clear if or when paychecks will start back­ing up for Perry’s team in South Car­o­lina. Dawson said that Perry staffers in the state “have been paid up to two weeks ago.”

(RE­LATED: Rick Perry’s Fin­an­cial Im­plo­sion)

Dawson said core mem­bers of Team Perry, in­clud­ing him­self, will con­tin­ue to work, even if un­paid. He said Wal­ter Whet­sell and Le Frye, two top Perry op­er­at­ives in the state, are among those still work­ing.

“We’ll do it wheth­er there’s pay or no pay,” Dawson said. In ad­di­tion to the pay freeze, at least one Perry staffer was let go last week. Dawson said that move was un­re­lated to any “fin­an­cial dis­com­fort.”

Perry has struggled in his re­peat bid for pres­id­ent in 2016. He raised a mea­ger $1.1 mil­lion in the second quarter, and his cam­paign will de­pend al­most en­tirely on his far-bet­ter-fun­ded su­per PAC. Not­ably, Perry also missed the main de­bate stage last week, des­pite a weeks-long push of tele­vi­sion ads by his su­per PAC in Iowa.

“Noth­ing has changed with South Car­o­lina as far as the mis­sion at hand of help­ing the gov­ernor be­come the nom­in­ee of the party,” Dawson in­sisted. “Noth­ing has changed.”

(RE­LATED: Big GOP Donors Still Be­lieve in Chris Christie)

Perry is sched­uled to vis­it South Car­o­lina on Thursday, Dawson said, and he is still plan­ning a full slate of events both this week and later in Au­gust.

“As the cam­paign moves along, tough de­cisions have to be made in re­spect to both mon­et­ary- and time-re­lated re­sources,” said Jeff Miller, Perry’s cam­paign man­ager, in an email. “Gov­ernor Perry re­mains com­mit­ted to com­pet­ing in the early states and will con­tin­ue to have a strong pres­ence in Iowa, New Hamp­shire, and South Car­o­lina. The gov­ernor is also look­ing for­ward to his trips to South Car­o­lina this Thursday and to Iowa next week.”

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