Growing GOP Super PAC Financial Power Threatens Obama

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Before his companies donated to the pro-Romney group, another firm linked to Brockman had previously given $50,000 to Perry. The $50,000 donation to the pro-Perry Restoring Prosperity Fund came from Dealer Computer Services Inc., another Reynolds and Reynolds subsidiary. Brockman also gave more than $280,000 to Perry during his statewide races in Texas over the past decade, according to contribution files posted by the Texas Tribune.

Another top Restore donor was Rocco Ortenzio, who gave $750,000 to the committee. Ortenzio, who previously gave $250,000 to Romney, heads a Pennsylvania-based health care empire that includes private hospitals, rehab centers and clinics. Ortenzio has given to numerous Republican and Democratic officeholders, but donated regularly to Romney rival Rick Santorum when he served in Congress.

The filings show a $500,000 donation to the pro-Romney group by a first-time contributor, Warren Stephens, an Arkansas investment banker. And $67,500 was donated by another new Restore donor, Richard Mellon Scaife, a longtime conservative fundraiser who publishes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Scaife has funded conservative and libertarian causes for decades and aided conservative efforts to impeach former President Bill Clinton in 1998.

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There were also new large donations to Restore from several prominent Romney supporters who previously funded the super PAC. William Laverack, a New York investor who previously gave the committee $350,000, added another $150,000 in April. Like Conard, Laverack had masked an earlier $200,000 contribution through a Connecticut limited liability corporation called Paumanok Partners. And two Florida super PAC contributors, developer H. Gary Morse and his wife, Renee, each gave $100,000 to Restore in May. That $200,000 figure added to $500,000 donated previously to the committee by Morse's wife and the Florida retirement community he runs, Villages of Lake Sumter.

The pro-Romney committee's roster of veteran GOP fundraisers was matched in May by Rove's super PAC, whose funders included some donors who have given copiously to both groups. According to filings released by Rove's committee late Wednesday night, Alliance Coal President Joseph Craft gave $1.25 million to American Crossroads in May after donating $500,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC. And Crow Holdings LLC, a holding company tied to Texas businessman Harlan Crow, gave American Crossroads $1 million in May after previously handing over $300,000 to the pro-Romney committee.

The super PAC supporting Obama showed new signs of life after months of subsistence funding. The group posted three donations of $1 million — from Houston personal injury trial attorney and longtime Perry foe Steve Mostyn, from Washington, D.C., developer and veteran Democratic Party insider Franklin Haney and from south Florida philanthropist Barbara Stiefel.

An intimate of former Vice President Al Gore, Haney owns commercial real estate across the southern U.S. He was indicted, and then acquitted in 1999, on charges of making illegal contributions to the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, Obama's national campaign reported $109.7 million in the bank at the end of May but spent more than it took in during the same period. The campaign collected $39.1 million and spent $44.5 million during the month. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, had $29.6 million cash on hand at end of the month, raising about $20 million during the period and spending $14.6 million.

Even as it has drawn even with Obama's financial strength, Romney's campaign is taking few chances at being outspent. His national finance team is hosting a retreat in Utah this weekend for contributors who raised tens of thousands of dollars for his campaign. GOP heavyweights like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are expected to attend.

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Associated Press writers Jack Gillum and Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.