Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) $4 million one-day online haul for his long-shot presidential bid may have created national media buzz, but it doesn’t mean he intends to change much when it comes to his shoestring grass-roots political operation.
In fact, Paul’s kitchen cabinet of advisers is virtually bare. The way the Libertarian sees it, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Paul relies heavily on a pair of loyal friends — campaign chairman Kent Snyder and campaign manager Lew Moore — for political guidance.
“They’re basically the two I depend on,” Paul said in a brief interview last week just off the House floor before dialing into a radio program.
Paul said his campaign team doesn’t include consultants or “named individuals” — just young, energetic people.
Paul estimates his campaign employs around 50 staffers, His Nov. 5 fundraising windfall will allow for even more hires.
But don’t expect Paul to use his wealth to bring on any professional strategists.
“No, we don’t have any consultants,” Paul said.
He has one media consultant, Jay Bryant, whom he calls in on an as-needed basis. Bryant and video production director Bill Dumas produced Paul’s New Hampshire campaign ads.
Dumas, who runs Pasadena, Calif.-based Bill Dumas Productions, began as the campaign webmaster but now travels full time with Paul producing videos for the Congressman’s official YouTube Web site.
Bryant’s past political experience includes stints with then-Rep. Bob Michel (R-Ill.) and then-Sen. Bill Brock (R-Tenn.), as well as having served as communications director at both the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee years ago.
He developed the first generic political party TV advertising program, and his work includes political campaign ads in more than 60 winning Senate and Congressional elections, according to his biography listed on the Alan L. Freed Associates Public Policy Seminars Web site.
Snyder, meanwhile, first came to work for Paul as a college student in 1988, during the Texas Congressman’s Libertarian Party presidential bid.
More recently he served as executive director of the Liberty Committee, a Libertarian group founded and chaired by Paul that represents 90,000 activists around the country.
Before that, Snyder managed the San Francisco office of Unified Communications, a Boston-based telecommunications company. He has a political science degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Moore, Paul’s campaign manager, has more substantial connections to Capitol Hill, having served as a top aide to then-Rep. Jack Metcalf (R-Wash.) in the mid- to late 1990s.
A native of Washington State, Moore worked on Metcalf’s successful 1994 Congressional bid then became district director in his Everett office following the election. Moore later became chief of staff, though continued to be based in the District.
Prior to working for Metcalf — a supporter of the gold standard who also believed the Federal Reserve is illegal because Congress can’t delegate the power to coin money — Moore had volunteered on various campaigns. His first, at age 9, was Sen. Barry Goldwater’s (R-Ariz.) unsuccessful 1964 presidential run.
According to his profile in the Congressional Quarterly 2000 Congressional Staff Directory, Moore also has held various positions in the mining, logging, real estate development and security industries.
When Metcalf announced his retirement in 1999, Moore considered running for the seat but chose to run for Snohomish County executive instead. He won the primary but lost the general election.
Prior to joining Paul’s campaign, Moore was director of the Northwest Straits Commission.
Another key figure in Paul’s campaign team is deputy campaign manager Joe Seehusen.
Seehusen is the host of a radio interview show in Fairfield, Iowa, and managing director of J. Seehusen Associates, an executive search firm that works with banks and food companies across the country.
Seehusen, a native of Baltimore and graduate of Vanderbilt University, ran for Congress in 2000 under the Libertarian Party banner in the seat held by Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa). He garnered about 1 percent of the vote.
Paul relies on just a few aides, and so far the legendary loner hasn’t drawn any support from his fellow Members.
Of the nine House and Senate Members running for president in 2008, Paul is one of three who have not garnered any endorsements from their Hill colleagues. Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) are the others.