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By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Republican Jeb Bush’s struggling presidential campaign is cutting salaries across the board and reducing staff in a money-saving effort intended to concentrate resources on early voting states, an internal memo said on Friday.

The memo, obtained by Reuters, said payroll costs were being slashed by 40 percent and staff at the Miami headquarters is being drastically cut back with some workers being transferred to early voting states.

The move follows a drop in support for Bush’s attempt to secure the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Considered the heavy favorite for the nomination earlier this year, the former Florida governor is running far behind poll leaders Donald Trump and Ben Carson in national polls and in early voting states like New Hampshire and Iowa.

“We are making changes today to ensure Jeb is best positioned to win the nomination and general election,” the memo said.

Bush announced last week that his third-quarter fund-raising was $13.4 million, a competitive sum but not enough to finance the large campaign operation he had built.

“It’s no secret that the contours of this race have changed from what was anticipated at the start,” the memo said.

The Bush campaign also sought to reassure donors who have cooled toward the idea that he still has a path to the nomination.

“We are in this campaign to win,” the memo said. “We will take every single step necessary to ensure Jeb is the Republican nominee and next president of the United States. We are unapologetic about adjusting our game plan to meet the evolving dynamics of this race to ensure that outcome.”

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Paul Simao)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Governor Jeb Bush speaks at the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.