Top staffers in Lichtman campaign resign posts

April 27, 2006|By JENNIFER SKALKA | JENNIFER SKALKA,SUN REPORTER

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Allan J. Lichtman lost his four top campaign staffers this week, a result of a difference of opinion about long-term campaign strategy, according to those involved.

Lichtman's campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, communications director and deputy field director resigned Tuesday.

"These are kids who have a lot of unrealistic ideas that could not be implemented," Lichtman said yesterday, adding that one paid worker -- a finance director -- remains. "They're inexperienced, and they weren't willing to adjust."

Although Lichtman, an American University history professor, said the parting was mutual, former communications director Evan Goldberg said he and the others left because Lichtman shot down their plan to bring 100 interns to Maryland this summer. Goldberg said the intern strategy would have been an inexpensive way to get their message out, and that they had signed up 70 young people.

"They wanted to totally scale back everything, and that's not the way his campaign would have any shot of winning," Goldberg said.

Lichtman said the plan could have cost $1.67 million, an unreasonable sum for a campaign that has about $327,000 on hand. Ed Yoon, Lichtman's former campaign manager, said staff projections for the project were about $550,000.

Yoon said disagreements extended beyond money, and the candidate and the paid workers had "an unbridgeable difference in opinions on the strategic direction of the campaign."

Lichtman, who is polling in the low single digits in a crowded field of Democrats, said he intends to continue his campaign but is re-evaluating how best to do that on a limited budget.

He is running against Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, former congressman and NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume, businessman Josh Rales, former Baltimore County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen and activist A. Robert Kaufman.

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele is the Republican frontrunner.

"I can't tell you where we're going to be in a week or two," Lichtman said. "Obviously we are going through a reorganization and a re-evaluation."

jennifer.skalka@baltsun.com

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