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Please begin with an informative title:

Like all things Romney, the letter of the law was stretched to the breaking point according to many journalists during both the GOP primary and the election.  

Three of Mitt Romney's decades long associates made $Millions from his campaign.  Was it all legal?

It would take a team of Federal Election Committee FEC, IRS, and DOJ professionals to sort it all out, but will they?  For that matter, to be all fair and balanced, will they do the same for the Obama campaign and it's attendent Super PACS?

I think it is important that they do.  This was the first year the new "let the money fly" policies, unleashed by the unfortunate SCOTUS Citizens United, took place.

Unless and until the IRS and DOJ do some serious accounting into both campaigns, how will we know that both sides followed the letter of the law and/or find conflicts of interest in order to tweek Citizens United policies if needed?  

And if they don't take both campaigns' finances apart, checking each and every jot and tittle, how will any discrepancies be found and addressed before 2014 and 2016?

Can we, the citizens, demand an accounting?

The following is a cursory compilation of the questions other investigative journalists are asking about how the Romney Campaign and its Super PAC money flowed.  

I thought it might be helpful to put them under one roof for others interested in fair and just elections, as well as making sure that Citizens United hasn't unleashed a new, lower set of "worst campaign financing" practices that will be used to enrich grifters instead of improving the democratic process.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I have compiled the research showing some oddities.  I don't have the energy and/or the expertise to put it all together.  But something just doesn't smell quite right.

From Red State no less

Campaign Sources: The Romney Campaign was a Consultant Con Job

According to all the sources I spoke to, the breakdown of the campaign can be traced to the primaries. One source saying “they looked at the guy who could raise the most money in history as a ride” adding that “money no longer matters. That’s the problem,” also referring to the campaign overall as “the biggest political flim flam of all time.”
Politico writes

Aug 19, 2010 -- Politico: End Run: Romney's Crafty Financing By Jeanne Cummings and Andy Barr

Here’s how Romney’s complex political network operates:

To keep his presence high and key campaign staff on the payroll after the 2008 presidential campaign, Romney re-named his Commonwealth PAC, a federal political action committee, and its five, corresponding state-based committees, the Free and Strong America PACs.

The arrangement provides Romney’s most loyal and generous backers with multiple opportunities to grease the gears of his political machine.

By creating a string of state committees, Romney is able to operate around those barriers dolling out big checks to state Republican parties and candidates alike.

But the vast majority of the money raised by Romney’s five state committees, which exceeds $480,000, is actually spent to support the Boston-based operation of the federal PAC — and home of Romney’s campaign apparatus.

The New Republic reports.  Notice how two, very seasoned Democrats (Paul Begalia and Peter Hart) are tossed in at the end, both of whom earned very little, $320,000 and $290,000 respectively, compared to the $MILLIONS raked in by the GOP operatives and close friends/associates of Romney (Roche, Fehrnstrom, Zwick especially)

In February, 2012 before Mitt won his primary, the uber conservative and, at the time anti-Romney, the conservative Washington Times reports about the Romney and Steve Roche's $Money transfer:
 

..the biggest recipient of its money has been a top Romney aide who left the presidential campaign to oversee the super PAC’s finances.

The PAC has paid $2 million to Steve C. Roche through a mysterious limited liability company set up shortly after the political committee was established, one that formed in Delaware taking steps that hide its creator’s identity and has no physical or billing address other than a P.O. Box.

Actually, during the GOP primiaries the Washington Times was quite fixated on Mr. Roche.  Click this link to read the articles.

The Campaign’s Biggest Buckrakers Who’s getting rich in 2012.

This New Republic article was written in August, 2012.  It reports these amounts paid out to Romney associates running campaign support from their private businesses:

STEVE ROCHE
*Podium Capital Group:
$3.6 million

Steve Roche began the election as the finance chair for the Romney campaign. But just as money has migrated from the candidates to the super PACs, so have some of the most experienced operatives. In August 2011, Roche became the chief fund-raiser for Restore Our Future.

RUSSELL SCHREIFER, STUART STEVENS, ERIC FEHRNSTROM
American Rambler Productions:
$41 million  (This number jumps to $164,032,394 in the final reporting shown at OpenSecrets.org below, which includes the media buys)

Eric Fehrnstrom, a trusted aide without an official title who has been on Romney's team since he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002

SPENCER ZWICK
SJZ:
$9.5 million

At age 25 Spencer Zwick was running the Office of the Governor in Massachussetts as Deputy Chief of Staff for Mitt Romney.

Spencer Zwick is sometimes referred to as Mitt's other son (I think clone might be more accurate).  He is also Tagg Romney's Solamere founding partner.  Zwick is doing very well because Mitt took a liking to him during the Utah Olympics and has been Mitt's right hand man ever since.  

Here's a peak at some of the Romney Campaign finances as reported by OpenSecrets.org which is an amazing resource for those who like to dig.  I highly recommend dropping in to see the charts that show how money was spent.  The Romney campaign spent a huge percentage of money on fund raising and administrative costs.

I'm not sure why *Podium Capital isn't showing on this list.

Romney Campaign expenditures from Open Secrets

$164,032,394  - American Rambler Productions  
$  39,486,736 - SCM Assoc
$  17,187,005 - Targeted Victory
$  17,145,875 - Bank Of Georgetown
$  16,524,447 - FLS Connect   
$  10,556,043 - Air Charter Team   
$   9,690,266 - Sjz LLC   
$   7,452,957 - Majority Strategies   
$   3,988,823 - Insperity   
$   3,252,101 - CMDI     
$   2,262,745 - Intuitive Technology Solutions   
$   2,138,667 - Piryx Inc   
$   2,030,792 - WWP Strategies   
$   1,999,317 - Redwave Communications   
$   1,643,299 - Red Curve Solutions   
$   1,557,336 - GOP Shoppe   
$   1,430,385 - Premiere Transportation   
$   1,283,418 - Easterly Capital   
$   1,120,985 - 585 Commercial Street    (Romney Campaign Headquarters)
$   1,090,799 - Elavon   

Interesting to note that both Fehrnstrom, Zwick, and SCM also received funds from Romney's Free & Strong America PAC.

$232,794 - SJZ LLC   
$206,567 - SCM Assoc   
$129,164 - Scm Associates
$ 49,264 - Fehrnstrom, Eric   

Restore Our Future is the Romney Super PAC that garnered $20,000,000 from the rolling-in-dough Las Vegas Adelson couple.  I wonder how they are feeling these days?  Well, the good news is that Restore Our Future still has $24,203,768 on hand.  M

You can find the donor and payout information for Restore Our Future here.  Maybe whoever is holding the purse strings for Restore Our Future can give some money back to the Adelsons and/or Bob Perry?

I can't seem to find a breakdown of expenditures for Restore Our Future.  From Wikilinks - Restore Our Future
Even OpenSecrets has a hard time explaining the Romney Victory Inc.: Another Weird Disclosure Twist  Click here to see the list of GOP CEOs and Donors listed at part of this organization.

If you know of any other articles questioning the Romney Campaign's creative financing, please let me know and I will add the article to this compilation.

____________

Links to financials etc for those who want to go into the Romney weeds:

Romney for President, Inc., 80 Hayden Lexington, MA  02421  Listed CEOs etc for RforPresInc.

Mystery firm’s $1M donation to pro-Romney PAC raises concern over transparency
http://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://www.scmassoc.com/...
http://www.targetedvictory.com/...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
http://www.flsconnect.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
https://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://www.washingtontimes.com/...
http://www.washingtontimes.com/...
http://www.businessweek.com/...
https://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://start.cortera.com/...
http://www.campaignlegalcenter.org/...
https://www.opensecrets.org/...
https://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://www.campaignlegalcenter.org/...
http://www.nndb.com/...
http://thinkprogress.org/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/...
http://www.tnr.com/...
http://www.redstate.com/...
http://www.washingtontimes.com/...
http://www.breitbart.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
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http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://wredlich.com/...
http://colorado.mediatrackers.org/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://query.nictusa.com/...
http://www.opensecrets.org/...
http://www.google.com/...
http://www.merchantselect.com/...
http://www.politico.com/...
http://www.politico.com/...
http://www.masshightech.com/...
http://www.businessweek.com/...
http://www.businessweek.com/...
http://www.redstate.com/...
http://company-director-check.co.uk/...
http://company-director-check.co.uk/...
http://www.cdrex.com/...

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to War on Error on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM PST.

Also republished by The Bain Files.

Poll

It is critical that audits be done to assure clean elections in the future because of new Citizens United issues

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