"They call me Doctor Dream and the doctor is in" -- Alan Keyes, introducing his radio show every day.
"I personally do not owe the debt that was owed by the campaign." -- Alan Keyes
"When he decided to use campaign funds for his salary, that discouraged a lot of Republicans, and even Maryland voters." -- Maryland Republican Party Chair Joyce Lyons Terhes
"That money was for working eight to twelve hour days ... it was not a welfare check." -- Alan Keyes
Keyes paid himself $100,000 per year out of campaign funds.
Keyes' 1992 Senate campaign was hurt badly when the press revealed
he was paying himself a huge amount out of campaign funds. This
is technically legal but rare and sleazy. We don't know of any other candidates for
president who have ever paid themselves out of campaign funds from any campaign they've been in.
His staff urged him to stop but he refused. Keyes now says, "I don't think it will be necessary this time 'round."
More generally, Keyes knows that his doomed presidential campaigns can raise his profile and help his career as a public speaker and radio personality. Jesse Jackson and Pat Buchanan have pursued this strategy for years. According to Time Magazine, Keyes' 1996 campaign doubled his speaking fee from $7,500 to $15,000 per speech.
All talk, no action
Keyes has always been a professional talker - first as an academic, then a diplomat, and now as a candidate and talk show host.
Even as a diplomat, his biggest jobs were opposing sanctions on South Africa as one of many Assistant Secretaries of State under Reagan - some feel his career was based on being Reagan's token black willing to defend the apartheid regime - and as Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, a post requiring no actual diplomacy, just lots of speeches. It seems plenty hard for governors to adjust to running the federal government, so the odds that Keyes could wing it are very low. Basically, he's the Republican Jesse Jackson.
Former campaign workers don't support him
Reporter Andy Lamy asked several staffers from his 1992 campaign if they supported his run for president. Susan Saum-Wicklein, Keyes's 1992 campaign manager, said "He's doing what?" "Absolutely not," said Ed Goetz, Keyes's 1992 pollster. "There are much, much better candidates." Sylvia Pearson, of Keyes 1992 direct mail firm, said it is "very safe to say" that she won't be a supporter. Maryland Republican Party Chair Joyce Lyons Terhes said "I don't see this campaign as a Maryland-based campaign."
Unpaid Debts - Keyes denies responsibility.
Keyes was happy to take $100,000/year as salary from his 1992 Senate campaign, but when it came time to pay that same campaign's debts, he said: "I personally do not owe the debt that was owed by the campaign." That was about $45,000, which was unpaid from 1992 through the end of 1996, according to the FEC. Of course, if he hadn't paid himself so much money, he would have had plenty to pay off that debt.
Keyes told a reporter that the money will be paid off -- by the campaign, not by him of course -- but several creditors said Keyes hadn't communicated with them years later. In 1995-1996, for example, his 1992 Senate campaign received $34,821 and spent over $15,000, but he couldn't manage to pay off any of that debt.
Finally, some time during 1997-1998, Keyes paid off most of this money. The FEC reports show that he spent $49,544 during that time, and reimbursed $41,094 worth of loans, but somehow he managed to end up still owing more than $34,000 for his 1992 Senate race at the end of the reporting period. Presumably he took on new loans to pay the old ones (though the FEC data doesn't give enough detail to be sure.)
Incidentally, Keyes still owes over $200,000 on his 1996 presidential campaign as well. At the end of 1996, he owed $350,000; since then, he has raised over $1,000,000 for a campaign that is over, but spent even more ($1,099,972) and only reduced his debt by $150,000.
In 1995, his campaign wrote over $20,000 in bad checks, which his spokesman blamed on a former campaign aide.
"Bottoming out in the presidential race can still pay off big time for the losing candidates," By Richard Lacayo, TIME Magazine, March 25, 1996
"KEYES CAMPAIGN ISSUES $20,000 IN BAD CHECKS: PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE'S EX-AIDE BLAMED," by R.H. Melton, Washington Post, August 10, 1995 p A12
"KEYES USING DONATIONS TO DRAW SALARY: MD. GOP NOMINEE GETS $8,500 A MONTH," By Charles Babington, Washington Post, May 4, 1992 ; Page B01
"MD. CANDIDATE TO KEEP TAKING SALARY: CAMPAIGN FUNDS NEEDED TO CHALLENGE INCUMBENT, KEYES SAYS", By Richard Tapscott, Washington Post, May 16, 1992 Page A12
Lamey, Andy. "Odd man in: meet Alan Keyes, GOP hopeful." New Republic v212, n16 (April 17, 1995):16
Overby, Peter. "Charge it to my campaign." Common Cause Magazine v18, n3 (Fall, 1992):23
Stengel, Richard. "Moralist on the march: the silver-tongued Alan Keyes has surprised the G.O.P. by mounting a vigorous presidential campaign." Time v146, n10 (Sept 4, 1995):33.
Alan Keye's Senate and Presidential FEC data, from The FEC Info web site, which lists receipts and total expenditures by each candidate.
ALAN KEYES THE QUESTION OF JUSTICE: STATE'S POINT MAN ON SOUTH AFRICA, HIS BATTLES-AND HIS SUDDEN RESIGNATION, By Phil McCombs Washington Post, September 18, 1987 p D01
BACK TO SKELETON CLOSET
Paid for by Real People For Real Change
and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Copyright 1999 Real People For Real Change