"Citizens United has not only allowed unlimited corporate spending, but has also opened many loopholes in disclosure laws," said Tara Malloy, associate legal counsel for the watchdog group Campaign Legal Center. "We see this when corporations give to transparent vehicles like a federal political committee. And this case underscores how porous the disclosure laws are."
Last summer, Restore Our Future refused to identify the source of its first $1 million contribution. Controversy flared until the secretive donor, a retired executive from Romney's old firm, Bain Capital, stepped forward and acknowledged the donation.
In its latest financial reports listing more than $8.6 million donations in March, the super PAC supporting Romney listed large donations, including the $400,000 donation and a separate $1 million gift from another South Florida company. The group did not identify who was behind the contributions.
"We don't comment on our donors," Forti said.
The $1 million gift from Huron Carbon LLC was determined to come from the West Palm Beach headquarters of Oxbow Carbon LLC, a fossil-fuel processor and mining firm headed by William Koch, who had already given $1 million to the pro-Romney group. The donor behind a $250,000 donation from a Montana firm, Fair Oaks Finance LLC, still has not been identified.
The origin of the $400,000 was clouded in mystery until Monday. The firm listed in the financial report was traced to a Palm Beach address and a corporation set up last year by DeSano. DeSano did not return repeated calls from the AP but told USA Today that he didn't give the money.
DeSano agreed to pay the U.S. government more than $200,000 in December 2008 after he settled with the SEC in connection with a federal investigation into allegations that Fidelity Investments traders improperly accepted gifts paid for by brokers courting their business. DeSano, who had worked as a senior vice president for Fidelity in Boston, did not admit to or deny the charges, which focused on what the SEC charged was his flawed supervision of other Fidelity staffers.
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