WASHINGTON – Staff members on the Howard Dean (search) campaign won't have to go any longer without pay in order to show their support for the former Vermont governor. However, some of those staff members are no longer aboard.
Roy Neel (search), the new chief executive officer of the campaign, told staff on Monday that they would be paid on Tuesday. This is a step up for staffers, who had earlier been asked to forego their salaries until Feb. 15.
"Because of you — including the 3,000 first time donors — we have raised roughly $3 million dollars in the last two weeks. Your continued support and a firm grip on our spending have enabled us to make strategic determinations on how we will spend our resources," Neel wrote in a memo to staff.
"We will pay our staff immediately and honor our commitment to make our payroll moving forward in the campaign. We have also decided to use our resources to build strong organizations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine and Washington in addition to an aggressive advertising campaign in Wisconsin," Neel said.
Hours later, campaign aides said more than a dozen staffers who worked at headquarters and out in the field had been laid off as a cost-cutting method.
"Every campaign, once they finish a cycle or run of primaries essentially downsizes related to the staff that is working in those states, and the same thing even working in headquarters," Neel said in an interview Monday night. "None of our layoffs are anything other than work-related or function-related."
About a half dozen staffers in Burlington, Vt., and a dozen or so in the field were let go, Neel said.
Additional layoffs were not ruled out.
"It's a natural down scaling," Neel said. "Then of course you beef up in those states when you're moving into the next round" of primaries. Neel replaced Joe Trippi, who resigned rather take another position with the campaign.
Last week, the Dean campaign asked staff to give up their next paycheck in order to reassess their strategy following second and third place showings in New Hampshire and Iowa respectively.
Dean, who has given up public financing (search) in order to get past spending limits, raised nearly twice as much as any other Democrat last year: a party record $41 million. He spent all but about $8.5 million of it. The bulk of the money went to consultants, staff salaries, television advertising and direct mail.
But Dean's campaign isn't on the skids yet. The Service Employees International Union has said it will remain financially committed to the campaign until the Wisconsin primary Feb. 17, but he noted that Dean needs to start winning primaries and caucuses if he's going to be the nominee.
Internet donors also continue to give. Dean raised roughly $1.5 million online last week, and at least $2.2 million from all fund-raising sources since his Iowa loss, his campaign said.
Spokesman Jay Carson told reporters that Neel, who replaced Joe Trippi as head of operations for the Dean campaign after the New Hampshire primary last week, asked for a suspension of outlays, including salaries, in order to review all of the finances.
Now that Neel has taken a look, staff will be paid immediately and the campaign will begin an aggressive ad buy in Wisconsin.
Fox News' Ellen Uchimiya contributed to this report.