Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shami campaign staffers resign

Farouk Shami's campaign has imploded in the past few days. First there was an internal e-mail sent to media (including me) revealing inner turmoil over who was responsible for communications, and now this ...

Several top campaign aides to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Farouk Shami resigned today, said Charlie Ray, who had been the campaign’s press secretary.

Five staff members stepped down, including Ray, campaign director Vince Leibowitz, and communications director Kelly Love Johnson, Ray said.

The resignations come a day after the campaign’s internal chaos spilled into public when a bizarre e-mail exchange was, apparently inadvertently, sent to reporters.

On Tuesday, Ray and Shami gave out conflicting information about the roles of aides David Diaz and Jessica Gutierrez, both of whom had been sending out press releases on behalf of the campaign. Ray said that neither were authorized to speak for the campaign, but Shami said late Tuesday night that both had permission to give such statements.

More from Vince Leibowitz ...

“Clearly, (Shami) will not accept political strategy from the people who are there to provide it,” Leibowitz said.

Leibowitz and Ray, you may recall, had earlier replaced Jason Stanford, who ran Chris Bell's 2006 gubernatorial campaign and is now working for Kinky Friedman.

Bill White ought to be able to cruise to a run-off-free win in the primary and look forward to taking on Rick Perry in November (whether or not the governor clears the primary without a run-off).

Update: More from TrailBlazers and Texas Politics, including this ...

"Too many cooks in the kitchen," Ray said today.

Ray said it made it too difficult to "manage the message" when the campaign staff and staff from Shami's hair care company were both doing messaging.

Leibowitz said there was a difference over whether the professional campaign staff was going to run the show or Shami's corporate staff.

"You can see who won," Leibowitz said.

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