- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A political group that had previously planned to back Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign instead has poured nearly a half-million dollars into efforts to elect former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Citizens for a Working America, which had previously said it was backing Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, paid $450,000 for ad buys backing Mr. Romney, according to Federal Election Commission filings made public Wednesday.

The group, which operates independent of the candidates, didn’t return calls seeking an explanation for the apparent defection. Its ad says Mr. Romney will bring jobs to Iowa and slash spending.

It joins a well-funded “super-PAC” run by former Romney aides that also Wednesday disclosed spending $1.3 million in two days, the largest spurt by any group this year.

That move could have come in response to a deluge of ads from a super-PAC formed to advocate for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, which this week briefly surpassed the Romney PAC in total spending at $3.8 million.

For the first time, the super-PAC formed to get Mr. Romney elected, Restore Our Future, went after Mr. Perry in addition to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. All of its previous spending had targeted Mr. Gingrich.

The echo chamber of near-daily million-dollar ad buys in tiny Iowa before its Jan. 3 caucuses stem from the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC ruling, which allows non-candidate political groups to raise unlimited amounts from corporations and unions.

On Christmas Eve, a super-PAC supporting former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. mimicked a move pioneered by the pro-Romney Restore Our Future, changing its disclosure schedule to monthly reports, a move that lets Our Destiny avoid having to disclose its donors before each primary. None of the major super-PACs has listed its donors since June.