Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Chris Carlson/AP
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The super PAC that has played a pivotal role in keeping Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign going raised an impressive $6.6 million in January, bumping its total haul to $36.8 million since its founding last year.

“Restore our Future” has raised six- and seven-figure donations from a relatively small number of wealthy donors, including a large contingent of hedge fund managers and executives from private equity companies such as Bain Capital, Romney’s former employer.

There were no seven-figure donations in January, but 25 people gave $100,000 or more, according to a Federal Election Commission disclosure filing released Monday. Three wealthy donors gave $500,000 in January: Joseph Craft, president and CEO of Alliance Coal; Bruce Kovner of Caxton Alternative Management LP; And David Lisonbee, CEO of 4Life Research LLC.

Caxton is a multibilion-dollar hedge fund founded by Kovner; 4Life Research is a Sandy, Utah-based company that sells immune system support and anti-aging supplements among other products.

Among other top donors in January, renowned hoteliers J.W. and Richard Marriott, who are long-time supporters of Romney. Combined, the two gave $500,000 to go with $500,000 they gave in 2011, bringing their total contributions to the super PAC to $1 million. Retired hedge fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management LLC gave $250,000 to go with the $1 million he gave last year, making him the PAC’s top donor.

Billionaire hedge fund manager, David Tepper, president of Appaloosa Management LLC, gave $375,000 in January.

Restore Our Future was founded by veterans of the 2008 Romney campaign. It has been criticized for its negative advertising campaign. The group has reported spending $20.6 million to date during the GOP presidential primary with roughly 90 percent of the total, or $18.4 million, going toward attacks against Romney opponents Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

Among the super PAC’s founders is Larry McCarthy, known for the infamous “Willie Horton” ad that helped sink Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis in 1988.

The group has also been less than transparent regarding its donors.

W Spann LLC, formed shortly before giving a $1 million contribution and dissolving soon after, was discovered to belong to former Bain Capital executive Edward Conard. iWatch News was first to report that a mysterious corporate donor to the super PAC was from a former Bain executive and his wife. Glenbrook LLC turned out to be Jesse and Melinda Rogers. Both are listed as having made $125,000 contributions.

The super PAC has managed to raise an extraordinary amount of money – even if casino owner Sheldon Adelson and family’s expected $20 million in contributions to the pro-Gingrich super PAC “Winning Our Future” are considered, the organization’s total will still be well short of the nearly $37 million raised by the pro-Romney group.

Michael Beckel and Peter Stone contributed to this report.

Your support is crucial!

Our newsroom needs to raise $121,000 by end of the year so we can hold the power accountable and strengthen our democracy in 2024. Public Integrity doesn’t have paywalls and doesn’t accept advertising. We depend on individuals like you to sustain quality journalism.

John Dunbar worked for 15 years at the Center for Public Integrity, serving as its CEO from 2016 to 2018.