Pat's Tattered Army

The Buchanan Campaign Faces Flak Over Money and Managers

According to renegade ex-operative Marks, the departures of Muller and Mackenzie are "surprising," but the rough handling of employees isn't exactly unprecedented. "One of the ironies of the Buchanan campaign was that Pat was promoting himself as sticking up for the little guy, yet the campaign violated federal labor law by not paying its hourly employees time and a half when they went over 40 hours," says Marks. After filing a complaint with the Department of Labor that eventually went to court, one worker even got a $5000 settlement.

While the Buchananites stand to get over $12 million in matching funds from the federal government if they win the Reform nomination, it's not entirely clear what the Buchanan finances are going to look like in the coming months. After Buchanan's Monday announcement, his sister noted several times that, despite his change of parties, "it's still the same campaign." Buchanan's switch of allegiance raises an interesting question: Now that he's a Reform Party candidate, can he use the money he raised as a Republican candidate to get federal matching funds? According to the FEC's Sharon Snyder, the agency has "indicated we thought the question was ripe for an advisory request" from the Buchanan campaign. No request, she says, has been received; if another candidate or citizen filed a complaint, however, the FEC would be obliged to investigate, or the FEC could launch a compliance investigation of its own.

Which, perhaps, makes something musician Warren Zevon said last Friday night at the State Theater in Falls Church potentially prophetic. Amending the lyrics to "Werewolves of London," he sang, "you better stay away from him, he'll rip your lungs out, Jim, and he's coming for Pat Buchanan."

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