The Obama campaign raised $30 milion from fewer than 20,000 major donors in July, disclosures showed Monday, taking advantage of a setup that uses higher caps on donations to central party committees to capture up to $100,000 or more from families. The maximum anyone can ordinarily give to a candidate is $5,000.
Among his top donors:
• $145,000: The Moores of Oak Hill, Virginia. Retirees Mark Anthony and Brenda made three contributions of $35,800 on July 17, while across town, government contractor Jenee Moore gave one donation in that amount on the same day.
• $122,000: The Banks of New York. Lissy Bank of Twine Capital gave $60,000 while Joshua Bank, a producer at Alloy Entertainment, which is responsible for TV shows Gossip Girl and 666 Park Ave., gave $62,500. Financial-industry donations were relatively uncommon in Mr. Obama’s latest major-donor list, in contrast with his rival, Mitt Romney.
• $120,000: Jose Rincon of Spring, Texas. Mr. Rincon works at Tradequip, an oil drilling firm.
• $100,000: Poarch Band Of Creek Indians. Among the more interesting contributions, the tribe gave directly.
• $100,000: Attorneys Michael and Stephen Pajcic and their wives of Jacksonville, Florida. Stephen was once a Democratic nominee for governor of that state.
Receipts peaked and waned dramatically as Mr. Obama and surrogates hosted dinners for donors, allowing them access to power brokers and the opportunity to make their views known. Nearly $2 million was raised on July 16 and $1.5 million on the 10th and 26th, while on other days with no in-person events, as little as $150,000 was raised.
Meanwhile, Republicans relied on major donors of their own as Club for Growth shaped up as a major source for unrestricted donations. In July, it raised $3 million, spent $4 million in vicious face-offs, and has $2.4 million in the bank.
Despite its status as a major destination for Republican money, make no mistake: The group’s money is spent against Republicans, not Democrats. The Club for Growth generally pushes the party to the right in primary elections by backing hard-line candidates for open seats and targeting incumbents who it says have fallen short on conservative principles.
The Club for Growth spent $5 million opposing David Dewhurst in Texas’s Senate race, followed by the better part of $1 million opposing Eric Hovde in Wisconsin, Dick Lugar in Indiana, Paul Gosar in Arizona, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, and Wilford Cardson in Arizona.
It has spent $606,000 supporting tea party candidate Ted Cruz in Texas.
Peter Thiel, a Paypal founder who has previously backed Ron Paul, gave $1 million to the group. That donation was followed by $350,000 from Oregon investor John Bryan, $300,000 from Arkansas’s Stephens family,
executives at science company Exoxemis, $250,000 from Robert Mercer, a New York financier at Renaissance Technologies, and Paul Singer, who has become one of the most prolific Republican donors this cycle.
“The difference is the parties only care about the party label; we only care about the principal,” said Chris Chocola, Club for Growth president.
He defended the group’s ability to accept unlimited contributions under new guidelines following a 2010 Supreme Court ruling.
“There’s no doubt every time they try to engage in so-called campaign finance reform it just brings more money to the process. We’re advocates in the sense that it should be no limits and it should be fully disclosed,” he said.
That puts him at odds with a growing strand of Republican politicking that has moved money from super PACs to nonprofits. As politically-active groups report their donors and spending to the Federal Election Commission by midnight Monday, those groups will make no such disclosures.