The Washington Times - October 15, 2012, 07:31PM

Mitt Romney’s Victory Fund, a special committee that can collect up to $75,000 from wealthy donors, has $37 million in the bank, disclosures showed Tuesday.

More than half of the $170 million that Mr. Romney reported raising for himself and other Republicans in September came from people giving $10,000 or more to the wealthy-donor fund.


Two thousand people gave $50,000 or more in the past three months, including West Virginia coal mine executive Chris Cline, who has given $125,8000. Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, gave the same amount, and the France family of Daytona Beach, which controls NASCAR, gave $340,000, some of which was later refunded.

Others in the financial industry used family members to give even more. Frank Mosier, an investment banker from Maryland, gave $75,000, and on the same day, his son, a student, gave the same amount.

Real estate magnate Donald Trump and two family members chipped in $225,000.

The fund also received $90,000 from the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.

The fund raised $236 million over the past three months and transferred $72 million to the Republican National Committee and millions more to several states, such as $8 million to Idaho, that it trusts to send money to swing states.

That mechanism likely allows the Romney apparatus more control to change tactics at the last minute than if it sends the money directly to swing states, who might not want to give the money back if, in the presidential campaign’s view, the state became less of a priority.

“The RNC and state parties have always worked hand in hand. Bush-Cheney really perfected it. We refocused our relationships with these battlegrounds states,” said Kirsten Kurkowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC.

“It’s a coordinated effort, all of our staff on the ground. We have 600 field staffers. Part from state parties, part from us.”

The wealthy-donor fund can’t spend money on advocacy, but can only transfer a limited amount to the campaign and the rest to other committees, which largely cannot coordinate with the Romney campaign, meaning the reliance on wealthy donors makes it more difficult to stay on message.