Saturday, 21 April 2012

0 Obama ahead in contributions, but Romney has big push on way

Here's a look at how much cash and debt the four leading presidential candidates have accumulated as of March 31. Total receipts include contributions from individuals, loans, political action committee (PAC) contributions and other income. Small contributions include unitemized contributions of up to $200

Presidential Election
Romney took in nearly $12.6 million last month, his strongest fundraising of the campaign as he racked up a slew of primary victories in March. In all, he has raised more than $88 million in his second bid for the presidency.

Obama, capitalizing on the power of the incumbency, has raised about $350 million since the start of the 2012 campaign, adding in his joint fundraising with the Democratic National Commitee.

The president's financial advantage may not last for long: Romney recently has started collecting money with the Republican National Committee and will be aided by deep-pocketed Republican outside groups eager to deny Obama a second term.

Two Republican groups — the American Crossroads super PAC and and its non-profit arm, Crossroads GPS— raised nearly $100 million for the election cycle, the group announced Friday. Nearly half the total — $49 million — came during the first three months of this year, besting the $31 million Romney collected during the same period.

Restore Our Future, a super PAC aiding Romney, raised nearly $8.7 million in March — much of it from a handful of wealthy donors and corporations. The largest donation, $1 million, came from Huron Carbon LLC, a company that shares a West Palm Beach, Fla., address with Oxbow Carbon, a private energy company founded by Republican donor William Koch.

Details on some of the donations are difficult to trace.

A $400,000 donation to Restore Our Future last month came from a West Palm Beach, Fla., company that has been listed as inactive since March 2011, Florida corporate records show.

Seaspray Partners is an investment firm created by Scott DeSano, a former Fidelity investments executive who now owns an Atlanta pizzeria, according to Florida corporate records, Internet website registrations and DeSano's LinkedIn profile.

Florida records list Seaspray Partners LLC as an inactive corporation in Florida, which converted to a Delaware corporation in March 2011.

Obama and Romney

In an interview Friday night, DeSano said he owns Seaspray and let it lapse, but made no such donation. "Seaspray made no contributions to anyone at anytime," he said. "Not a dime was given by me."

Super PACs and their non-profit branches can raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals, corporations and unions to influence the election. Others writing large checks to the pro-Romney super PAC in March included Kenneth Griffin, Citadel hedge fund CEO, who contributed $850,000 — along with Dallas industrialist Harold Simmons and New Balance Athletic Shoes Chairman James Davis, who gave $500,000 each.

Obama, who has touted grassroots support for his campaign, also was helped by wealthy individuals. More than 530 individuals and couples have raised at least $106.4 million for his re-election, a USA TODAY tally of the campaign's fundraising list shows. Obama fundraisers include best-selling, alternative medicine author Deepak Chopra, who raised between $100,000 and $200,000.

Romney ended March with $10.1 million stockpiled for the fight ahead; Obama had more than $104 million on hand.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul said he raised $2.6 million in March, bringing his total for the election cycle to $37 million. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spent more than he raised in March and ended the month with $4.3 million in debt.

Campaign reports show Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama super PAC, once again trailing Republican groups in fundraising last month. The group, run by former Obama White House aides, raised $2.5 million in March. Amy Goldman, part of a wealthy New York real-estate family, donated $1 million, the largest contribution, followed by $500,000 from Kareem Ahmed, the CEO of the California medical billings company.


Post a Comment