Federal Politics

Published — August 21, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Daily Disclosure: GOP super PACs’ fundraising leaves Dems in dust

Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie share a laugh in August of 2007. Lawrence Jackson/AP

Restore Our Future sitting on $20 million-plus

Introduction

Conservative super PACs dominated their Democratic rivals in the latest round of fundraising, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission filed Monday.

Restore Our Future, a super PAC supporting presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, brought in $7.5 million in July, finishing with an imposing $20.5 million in the bank. Top contributors include Texas homebuilder and super donor Bob Perry, who gave another $2 million.

Perry was already top donor to the group and the latest donation pushes his total to a whopping $8 million. Another major donor was the Renco Group, a family-owned investment company associated with billionaire investor Ira Rennert, which gave $1 million.

Conservative super PAC American Crossroads brought in $7.1 million finishing the month with $29.5 million in the bank. Texas mega-donor and billionaire Robert Rowling’s TRT Holdings, a private holding company that includes Omni Hotels and Gold’s Gym, gave $1 million. TRT also gave $1 million to American Crossroads in February. Rowling personally gave $1 million to the super PAC in May and another $1 million in July.

Meanwhile, the Democratic super PACs didn’t fare quite as well.

Priorities USA Action, which supports President Barack Obama, brought in $4.8 million in July, a hefty total but well short of the pro-Romney group. It finished the month with $4.2 million on hand, about a fifth as much as the Restore Our Future juggernaut.

Major July contributions include $1 million from Mel Heifetz, a Philadelphia-based real estate investor involved in gay rights; $750,000 from billionaire Jon Stryker, an advocate for saving the great apes of the world and a supporter of social justice issues; and $500,000 from Anne Cox Chambers, primary owner of media giant Cox Enterprises.

Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC aiming to elect Democrats to the U.S. Senate, took in $2.4 million in July and finished with $3.5 million on hand. Its top contributor last month was the super PAC Working for Working Americans, which gave $1 million.

House Majority PAC, the Democratic super PAC aiming to elect Democrats to the U.S. House, reported bringing in $764,000 in July. It closed the month with $4.6 million on hand. The month’s top donors include the International Association of Firefighters with $250,000 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers with $350,000.

Former Ron Paul fan and super donor Peter Thiel gave another $1 million to the conservative super PAC Club for Growth Action. The super PAC took in $2.9 million in July and finished the month with $2.4 million.

Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, gave Ending Spending Action Fund, the conservative super PAC he founded, $375,000. The super PAC also got a $24,000 in-kind contribution from its sister nonprofit, Ending Spending Inc., which does not disclose its donors. The super PAC brought in $400,000 in July and finished the month with $218,000.

Tea-party aligned super PAC FreedomWorks for America brought in $539,000 in July and closed the month with $1 million on hand. Its affiliated, non-disclosing nonprofit, FreedomWorks Inc., was the super PAC’s biggest contributor, providing $67,000 in in-kind contributions.

In other outside spending:

  • Restore Our Future tries to refocus the presidential debate on the economy after Medicare dominated the headlines in recent weeks. The ad imagines a “Debate” between Romney and Obama on who can turn the economy around. The ad cost $10.5 million and is airing in 11 swing states, according to The Hill.
  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent more than $401,000 on ads opposing Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who faces Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November. Akin may have wrecked his campaign by remarking that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy. The GOP has withdrawn funding and lawmakers from both parties have called on him to step aside.
  • Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit co-founded by Karl Rove, canceled its run of ads scheduled in Missouri to support Akin’s candidacy, Politico reported.
  • Majority PAC released a series of ads in Indiana, North Dakota and Ohio, states where Republicans are hoping to pick up U.S. Senate seats. “Unconstitutional” opposes tea partier Richard Mourdock in Indiana; “Sly One” opposes former Rep. Rick Berg in North Dakota and “Stocked” opposes former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel.
  • House Majority PAC released “Problem,” an ad opposing lawyer Keith Rothfus in Pennsylvania’s 12th District. The seat, held by Democratic Rep. Mark Critz, is considered a tossup.
  • The League of Conservation Voters spent $105,000 on a series of mailers opposing former Virginia U.S. Sen. George Allen, a Republican, who hopes to win his job back.
  • America’s Next Generation, a right-leaning super PAC, spent $110,000 on direct mail and telephone calls opposing Obama from Aug. 20 to Aug. 30.
  • Can a father’s gaffe hurt his son’s political aspirations? Apparently the Arizona-focused National Horizon super PAC thinks so. The group created an ad reminding voters when former Vice President Dan Quayle spelled potato “potatoe.” Quayle is the father of Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., who is running for U.S. House in Arizona’s 6th District. “Q-U-A-Y-L…” the narrator in the new ad says. “…E. Almost forgot.”
  • Patriot Majority, a Democratic-aligned super PAC, is kicking off a multimillion-dollar campaign against the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, Politico reports. Through Americans for Prosperity and other Koch-funded groups, the brothers plan to spend $400 million influencing the election. Patriot Majority’s campaign launches today with a $500,000 television ad buy attacking the brothers, Charles and David.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Martin Shellabarger
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J. Stevenson, what are you drinking? Trump has more lobbyists in his administration than probably any other president. Trump is totally “for sale”, and the corporations know it. Grow a brain!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.