Federal Politics

Published — July 30, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Former Olympians praise Romney in ad — and pony up contributions

Kristi Yamaguchi stumps for Mitt

Introduction

A smiling Kristi Yamaguchi gushes about Republican Mitt Romney in a new ad paid for by the conservative super PAC Restore Our Future. She admires the presidential candidate so much that she’s also given his campaigns nearly $5,000.

In addition, everyone else in the new ad, which was unveiled Monday, is also a donor. What are the chances of that?

“Mitt Romney brought a huge sense of hope,” Yamaguchi, who won gold in the 1992 Olympics in figure skating, says in the ad.

“Mitt gets things done,” adds Jimmy Shea, who won gold in the 2002 Olympics in skeleton, a racing event similar to luge.

“Mitt allowed athletes like myself to be able to realize our dreams,” adds Derek Parra, who won gold and silver medals in speed skating events during the 2002 Olympics.

It’s rare for Olympic athletes to make political contributions. Romney, in fact, is the only candidate to whom Yamaguchi, Shea and Parra have given money.

Yamaguchi donated the legal maximum of $2,300 to Romney’s presidential campaign four years ago, as did her husband Bret Hedican, a retired National Hockey League player who also competed in two Olympics games. Additionally, last summer, Yamaguchi gave $2,500 to Romney’s current presidential campaign.

Parra also gave the legal maximum of $2,300 to Romney’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid and has donated $1,000 in the current election.

Shea, meanwhile, contributed $2,300 to Romney’s campaign four years ago.

Also featured in the ad is Frasier Bullock, who served as the COO — and later president and CEO — of the committee in Salt Lake City that organized the 2002 games. Bullock, who is now a private equity executive in Utah, is likewise a Romney campaign donor.

Bullock gave $2,500 to Romney’s campaign last year, and in May, he donated an additional $50,000 to the Romney Victory Fund — money that is split between the Romney campaign and several Republican Party committees, including the Republican National Committee.

Politicians often use the international competition as a time to stress national unity, not partisanship.

Last week, when Olympic officials required Priorities USA Action, the super PAC backing President Barack Obama, to pull an ad that used old Olympics footage, United States Olympics Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky vowed that the group would “not allow Olympic footage to be used in any political ad, positive or negative.”

The new ad from Restore Our Future does not feature footage, but does show photos from the games.

These campaign donors-turned-celebrity endorsers aren’t Restore Our Future’s only ties to the Olympics.

New Jersey-based Jet Set Sports, a company that provides luxury hospitality packages for the games, along with its founder Sead Dizdarevic, have donated five-figure sums to the super PAC, as the Center for Public Integrity previously noted.

Dizdarevic was involved in the corruption scandal surrounding the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, testifying during the subsequent trial —after being granted immunity — that he had handed over cash to Salt Lake officials in hopes of securing a hospitality contract.

Furthermore, Jet Set Sports President Mark Lewis is the co-chair of Romney’s finance team in Montana.

According to The Hill, the new Olympics-themed ad from Restore Our Future is part of a previously announced $7 million media buy and will air in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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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.

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.