Super-political action committees are relying upon a familiar roster of super-donors as they spend money on the presidential race, Federal Election Commission reports out last night show.
Heading into this month, the super-PACs supporting Republican Mitt Romney, American Crossroads and Restore Our Future had more than a ten-fold cash advantage over Priorities USA Action, which is helping President Barack Obama. Bloomberg colleagues Greg Giroux and Jonathan Salant wrote this morning about how the presidential campaigns themselves are faring.
Big, repeat donors are driving the super-PAC part of the equation.
Bob Perry, a Houston homebuilder and longtime contributor to Texas Republicans, wrote a $2 million check to Restore Our Future, which is backing Romney. His investment in the group now stands at $8 million, second only to billionaire Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson’s $10 million.
Perry also has given $4.5 million to American Crossroads, which supports Romney and Republican congressional candidates and is guided by former George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove.
Perry is one of many examples of cross pollination between the two pro-Romney groups. Last month, American Crossroads collected $1 million from Robert Mercer, co-chief executive officer of New York hedge fund Renaissance Technologies LLC. Mercer gave $1 million to Restore Our Future last year.
Members of the Cincinnati-based Lindner family stepped up their super-PAC giving in July. Carl H. Lindner III and S. Craig Lindner are co-chief executive officers of holding company American Financial Group Inc. Carl, Craig, Edyth and Keith Lindner together contributed $500,000 to Restore Our Future and $500,000 to American Crossroads. Earlier, the same family members had given $100,000 to Restore Our Future.
Texas businessman Robert Rowling and his company, TRT Holdings Inc., together gave $2 million last month to American Crossroads. Rowling contributed $1 million last year to the super-PAC and $2.5 million during the 2010 election.
The super-PAC aiding Obama got a $750,000 boost in July from Jon Stryker, who gave the same amount in June. Stryker, who lives in New York and Michigan, is a billionaire whose fortune comes from his family’s medical supply business.
Some new names appeared in the latest reports, as well.
Philadelphia real estate developer Mel Heifetz gave Priorities $1 million, making his first-ever contribution to a super-PAC. Heifetz wrote in a column for the Huffington Post that, as a gay man, he found Romney’s view that marriage is between a man and a woman reason enough to give big to Obama forces.
Also, New York-based Renco Group Inc., whose subsidiaries include Humvee manufacturer AM General LLC, gave $1 million to Restore Our Future in what appears to be its first super-PAC contribution.