McCain Campaign Eliminating Staff Positions, Consultant Spots

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. John McCain's troubled presidential
campaign is eliminating some non-senior staff positions and cutting
some consultants' contracts.

The Arizona senator's campaign characterized the moves as
"minor adjustments" that are part of an overall effort to revamp
its fundraising office and budgeting operation.

McCain ordered a financial overhaul after he reported raising
only $12.5 million from January through March, third behind his top
GOP rivals, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.

"A campaign is a dynamic organization like a business, and we
have to take the necessary steps to ensure it's as efficient and
effective as possible," said Brian Jones, a campaign spokesman.

The campaign dismissed the notion of mass layoffs, but it
wouldn't quantify exactly how many jobs are affected. Some
positions won't be filled as planned in May, and some consultants
will be paid on a per-project basis.

No jobs in the political or communications divisions or early
primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and elsewhere
are affected, the campaign said. It has about 120 employees in its
Arlington, Va., headquarters and in early primary states.

Chris Drummond, a former top aide to South Carolina Gov. Mark
Sanford, told The Associated Press that his consulting contract was
among those dropped. Sanford was McCain's 2000 campaign co-chairman
with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

"It kind of came as a surprise," Drummond said.
Republican officials characterized the changes as targeting
mostly mid- to low-level workers and some consultants.

By Sunday, candidates must report how much they spent during the
first quarter of the year. Republican allies who have expressed
concern for months about what they characterized as the McCain
campaign's excessive spending say they expect he will report having
doled out much of what he collected.