Washington Prowler

Campaign Boosts

Huckabee's salary perks. Mitt's image man. Obama's studious kids.

By 1.6.08

HUCKABEE DEPENDENCY
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee insists to advisers that he will not release the CDs of his gubernatorial records that were pulled from state-owned computer hard drives.

According to former Huckabee aides, some of the documents are records that indicate Huckabee used state-owned facilities (planes and cars) and personnel for personal business dealings, such as speeches and appearances for book sales.

"It was never clear to me that he ever repaid the state for those trips, and there were a lot of trips toward the end of his term," says a former staffer still based in Little Rock.

Huckabee has recently had to admit to charging churches upwards of $25,000 for speeches to subsidize his wife's salary and his government pension while he campaigns for President. He is the only candidate paying himself a salary while running.

Huckabee adviser Ed Rollins is said by some Huckabee aides to now be in possession of a copy of the CDs, though it is unclear if they are the originals given to Huckabee before he left office, or a new set of copies Huckabee allowed to be made.

NO MORE MR. NICE GUY
Rumors continue to fly that longtime Mitt Romney media adviser Alex Castellanos is being pushed out the door in favor of media consultants who have been pushing the campaign to go negative harder and faster against Sen. John McCain.

Castellanos was the first media adviser Romney had, and was the creator of Romney's "positive" media image early in the campaign. But as Romney has struggled to gain traction, Castellanos's images have ended up on the cutting room floor.

VOTE STUDY
The Sen. Barack Obama campaign is trying to figure how to leverage the huge support it is getting from college-age students around the country, and to duplicate the youth vote it got during the Iowa caucuses.

The Obama campaign actually bused in hundreds of caucus-qualified college students from neighboring states to ensure a strong turnout. Now the campaign is trying to figure out if it can replicate those kinds of turnouts in other parts of the country, particularly in other parts of the Midwest and in Florida.

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