Romney donors give more to super PACs

July 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- Some key donors to Mitt Romney's campaign are turning to third-party organizations ahead of the Republican Party convention, a USA Today analysis indicates.

The contributors have given as much as they can to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's campaign so now have turned to pro-Romney super PACs , which have no limits, the analysis reported Monday indicated.

The analysis found nearly one in 10 of the campaign's largest donors also gave to Restore Our Future, together giving nearly $16 million to the pro-Romney super PAC.

Candidates have limits on what they can collect for their campaigns. Super PACs, sometimes run by their friends and former aides, can raise unlimited sums. They are, however, supposed to have no contact with the candidate's campaign.

The USA Today analysis indicated 144 of Romney's top donors contributed to Restore Our Future while 38 of President Barack Obama's larger givers donated to Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC aiding the Democratic candidate.

"You have more wealthy Republicans who are motivated to open their wallets," Richard Hasen, a campaign finance expert at the University of California-Irvine's law school, told USA Today. "This is seen as an election that is a referendum on Obama's attitude toward business."

In an interview last week with The (Toledo) Blade, Romney said his campaign was running low on cash to compete with Obama's advertising in battleground states. Romney and the Republican National Committee outraised Obama and the Democratic Party in June, but campaign finance rules bar Romney from spending general election funds until he is nominated formally at the GOP convention at the end of August.

Restore Our Future raised $20.7 million in June, more than three times the amount the pro-Obama super PAC collected, USA Today said.

Campaign reports filed Friday indicated Obama had about $68 million in available pre-convention funds at the end of June while Romney had an estimated $19 million.

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