How much Trippi made
: Here’s a report confirming that $7.2 million was paid to Trippi’s firm. But I’m still not clear on how much was paid for advertising time and how much went to the firm for commissions and consulting. Yes, campaign managers are often paid on commission. But it clearly puts the manager in a conflict of interest (determing how much is spent on what medium when in a campaign). And the fee seems pretty rich. As soon as word of the commission got out after Trippi left the campaign, Deaniacs were pissed. “Give us our money back,” was a frequent refrain in the Dean blog. Trippi says he didn’t know how much he was being paid (not the sign of a good manager in any business). In this new age of transparency, this was opaque.
Looks like there’s another level of campaign finance reform needed, inside the campaigns.
: A commenter quite properly took me to task for not being clear on what the $7.2 million included. It’s not not very clear and so I added sentence above and I’ll add this quote from the story: “The campaign paid the company about $250,000 for media production costs and another $6.7 million for media time, space and expenses. Trippi, McMahon and Squier also received $312,000 for political consulting.” I don’t know what bottom line went to the firm. But it’s not the full $7.2 million, just to be clear.
In any case, acting as both campaign manager and media buying firm does present a conflict of interest and wise campaigners in the future will do different deals and will know where the voters’ money is going (it’s the same principle as knowing where the taxpayers’ money is going, after all).
: Another commenter is right: What we need is for someone to do the comprehensive story on how campaigns are managed and how managers are paid and also on how much money each campaign is spending how quickly, in which media and for which expenses.
Dean made his contributors feel like common shareholders in the company he was building and it would be great if his campaign would set an example of transparency for other campaigns to follow.