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Obama raises $55M; Bachmann lands in debt

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President Obama raised $55 million towards his re-election in the fourth quarter of 2011, the most major of a deluge of significant campaign filings expected Tuesday showed.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who abandoned his bid for the presidency weeks ago, had nearly $4 million in leftover campaign funds at year’s end, while Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a fierce critic of government debt, bowed out of the race $700,000 in the hole.

Sixty percent of Mr. Perry’s contributions came from his home state, a sign that he lacked the broad support necessary to attain the Republican nomination.

And two-thirds of the money behind the super PAC that was the chief advertiser for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. came from his father.

Those post-mortems are among the first of a flurry of campaign finance reports required to be filed today, an important marker and rare window into the state of the presidential campaign.

Perhaps more importantly, it is the first time since June that the big-money super PACs created as a result of a 2010 Supreme Court decision will reveal their donors.

Many of the most active super PACs did not even exist at that time. If early examples are a harbinger of the future, some will continue to obscure major donors by revealing only a pass-through organization — including nonprofits affiliated with the super PAC itself.

That means a six-month wait could culminate in disclosures such as this one, which shows that $77,000 given to Citizens for Strength and Security came from Citizens for Strength and Security.

Among the super PACs is one connected to President Obama — Priorities USA Action — which received a $50,000 donation from the service employees union SEIU, union filings show.

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