- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Super PACS get $8.6M from companies in June
Nearly 200 companies gave $8.6 million to super PACs in June, far more than in any other month this year, new records showed.
The total includes many repeat givers, who have given a total of $18 million over the entire election cycle. Almost the entire June amount came from 40 companies giving $50,000 or more.
They included the rare publicly traded company, with the maker of Miracle-Gro fertilizer giving $200,000 to Restore Our Future, the pro-Mitt Romney PAC run by former campaign aides. Publicly traded companies have almost always shied away from political advocacy for fear of alienating customers and shareholders.
But for many of the firms exercising the free-speech rights affirmed under the Citizens United ruling, the donations seemed more an effort at hiding the individuals behind them than well-known corporations performing civic speech.
Five different companies sharing an address in the Villages, Fla., for example, including SCD Investments and GTMJ Investment Group, gave $350,000 to Restore Our Future in June. The address is linked to H. Gary and Renee Morse, billionaire developers.
Three different limited-liability companies operating out of the same post office box in Dayton, Ohio, combined gave $1 million to American Crossroads, a Republican advocacy group with former Bush adviser Karl Rove on its board. The month prior, those same three companies combined gave $1 million to Restore Our Future. Corporate records indicate the companies are connected to Reynolds and Reynolds, a software company, and chief executive officer Robert T. Brockman.
The totals also include transfers from nonprofit groups, which don't disclose donors, to affiliated super PACs, though that was less common in June.
On June 14, for example, the Service Employees International Union transferred $550,000 from its general fund to its super PAC. In January, the Cooperative of American Physicians transferred $1.2 million to its super PAC.
Super PACs, which stem from the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, can accept money from any source and spend it with few restrictions, except for a ban on coordinating directly with or giving to candidates.
The pro-Romney Restore Our Future group raised $20 million from 148 people last month — half of which came from former Newt Gingrich supporter Sheldon Adelson, $2 million from profligate giver and homebuilder Bob Perry, and $1 million from a corporation connected to William Koch.
Large donors also include Sam Zell, an investor and owner of the Chicago Tribune.
On the pro-Obama side, Priorities USA raised $6 million, including $1 million from actor Morgan Freeman; $2 million from Irwin M. Jacobs, a founder of Qualcomm; and another million from Fred Eychaner of Newsweb Corp. Despite opposition to the court rulings that created super PACs in 2010, Mr. Obama has dispatched top figures, including Cabinet members, to its fundraising events.
Other donors include George Krupp, CEO of the Berkshire Group, and Jon Stryker, a Democratic and pro-gay rights donor and architect.
Despite the fundraising totals, Priorities USA has gone decidedly on the offense versus Restore Our Future, a dramatic turn from the early months of the election, when Priorities issued barely a peep and raised little money while the pro-Romney groups hammered his opponents out of the Republican primaries.
Since April, Priorities has outspent Restore Our Future on advertising $14 million to $9 million.
Beyond a vehicle for advertising, though, Priorities has made itself into a research operation, spending a quarter-million of the $8 million it spent in June digging up ammunition for use against Mr. Romney, records show.
The pro-Romney group has the upper hand monetarily — Restore Our Future has $22 million in the bank, while Priorities has less than $3 million — and appears to have opted for a lie-in-wait strategy.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Luke Rosiak is a projects reporter on The Washington Times’ investigative team. He formerly covered lobbying and campaign finance for two watchdog groups as well as transportation for The Washington Post. Luke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Md. couple indicted in scheme to cheat SBA on minority contracts
- As federal agencies trim fat, contracts feed billions in profits to 59 companies
- Conflict of interest in $4 billion government minority program
- $4 billion program for disadvantaged businesses lacks oversight
- Maryland's minority-contracting program gets failing grade on 'graduation'
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow