The super PAC backing President Obama raised $15 million last month, including $300,000 from Samuel Rawlings Walton, an heir to Wal-Mart, a traditional Republican-leaning organization.
Also contributing $1 million to Priorities USA was filmmaker Steven Spielberg, whose colleague Jeffrey Katzenberg is an Obama bundler and gave $1 million himself. Fred Eychaner, who has raised at least half a million dollars from acquaintances for the Obama campaign, gave $2 million personally to the super PAC.
In all, 17 of Mr. Obama’s bundlers are also Priorities USA contributors, The Washington Times found.
The overlap between campaign fundraisers and donors to the purportedly independent super PAC help illuminate the increasingly blurred line between the two types of organizations. The Supreme Court gave super PACs the green light in 2010 when it reasoned that because super PACs were supposed to be entirely separate from politicians, super PACs could not be corrupting to those politicians even if they received millions of dollars.
148 people have given $10,000 or more to the super PAC, with 19 giving $1 million or more.
The PAC has had significant support from unions, with the air traffic controllers association – which famously went on strike under President Reagan – giving $1.25 million. The United Association gave $1 million, as did the United Auto Workers and SEIU.
Mr. Obama’s signature health-care reforms seemed to bring a few rare donations directly from corporate treasuries to the super PAC, such as $25,000 from Castlight Heath, Inc. of San Fransisco last month.
The PAC had $7 million on hand as of October 1. In addition to spending on ads, as is typical of the Romney super PAC, Priorities USA spent a quarter-million dollars on opposition research last month.