WASHINGTON – Sen. John McCain's troubled presidential campaign is eliminating some non-senior staff positions and cutting some consultants' contracts.
The Arizona senator's campaign characterized the moves as "minor adjustments" that are part of an overall effort to revamp its fundraising office and budgeting operation.
"A campaign is a dynamic organization like a business, and we have to take the necessary steps to ensure it's as efficient and effective as possible," said Brian Jones, a campaign spokesman.
The campaign dismissed the notion of mass layoffs, but it wouldn't quantify exactly how many jobs are affected. Some positions won't be filled as planned in May, and some consultants will be paid on a per-project basis.
No jobs in the political or communications divisions or early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and elsewhere are affected, the campaign said. It has about 120 employees in its Arlington, Va., headquarters and in early primary states.
Chris Drummond, a former top aide to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, told The Associated Press that his consulting contract was among those dropped. Sanford was McCain's 2000 campaign co-chairman with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
"It kind of came as a surprise," Drummond said.
Republican officials characterized the changes as targeting mostly mid- to low-level workers and some consultants.
By Sunday, candidates must report how much they spent during the first quarter of the year. Republican allies who have expressed concern for months about what they characterized as the McCain campaign's excessive spending say they expect he will report having doled out much of what he collected.