If nothing else, the Romney team focused on raising money for years. And they spent the money in some very classy and surprising ways. You can glance through the reported disbursements here FEC Romney disbursements:
$22,255.22 - Ritz CarltonBack in August, 2010 Politico shared this research:
$98,397.05 - Boston Headquarters
$ 6,485.47 - Glorious Food
$55,160.02 - J.W. MARRIOTT WASHINGTON DC
$73,300.07 - MARRIOTT
$ 9,808.59 - WALDORF ASTORIA
$62,246.57 - WESTIN COPLEY
$ 583.00 - KOCH BROTHERS INC
$19,993.00 - GAVI'S CATERING
$75,923.96 - US SAFETY & SECURITY LLC
The maximum donation a person can give a presidential candidate under federal law is $2,400. Yet Edward Conard, a Mitt Romney supporter, has already donated $90,000 to the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign apparatus.
How is that legal?
Romney’s end run around the federal campaign finance rules is rooted in his status: He is a presidential aspirant, a hopeful, a wannabe. In other words, he is not yet an official candidate. And that’s what allows him and his campaign-in-waiting to straddle the boundaries of federal law.
It’s a loophole whose measure was tested and mastered by Romney in 2006, when he first established five state political action committees to underwrite the expenses of his federal headquarters and dole out money to local candidates in early primary states who could help his presidential quest.
Clever finance guy, that Romney. Mitt demonstrates his acumen for pushing the legal limits of campaign finance in the same way he pushed the IRS limits.
Romney’s operation has the canniness of a veteran — and this cycle, it is breaking new ground in testing and besting the limits of state campaign finance laws as well as the federal rules.Money talks and, if nothing else, Romney et al was rolling in money beginning in 2006. Let's take a pictorial walk through history.
In South Carolina, for instance, state law limits donations to candidates from PACs to $3,500 per election, which means a committee can give a local candidate a combined total of $7,000 for a primary and general campaign.
Romney’s team blew the roof off those caps when the five state committees and the federal headquarters gave maximum donations to GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley for a grand sum of $42,000, compliments of the Romney Empire.
Perhaps we can learn a trick or two, or perhaps there are some items the Federal Election Committee might look more closely at.
Water under the bridge? Perhaps. However, I intuitively believe that sharper eyes than mine might notice that Romney's Super PAC and campaign seem to spend more on themselves, fundraising, and their friends consulting businesses than they do on campaign outreach. Perhaps this is normal, I'm not that familiar with what a "normal" balance between expenses and outreach really is. I'd like to learn.
Here are the Expenditures for Free and Strong America PAC, 2012 from open secrets. Sadly, the same pie chart wasn't available, that I could find, for Priorities USA the pro-Obama PAC.
Only 30% was spent for contributions to candidates. Most received a paultry $2,000! Scott Brown MA received $10,000.
If there is anyone out there interested in a deeper look into Romney's finances, here's some links.
Here's 2010. The PAC gave $10 to charity. Only Roy Blunt* MO, and Scott Brown MA received the larger donations of $9,000. Rob Portman received $489.
*Roy Blunt is the father of Matt Blunt, former Gov of Missouri who joined Mitt's son, Tagg's LLC, Solamere as a Senior Advisor.
Speaking of Tagg & Solamere.
Spencer Zwick has been Mitt Romney's right hand man since the 2002 Olympics. He even looks like a Romney. He joined Mitt in the Governor's office in Massachusetts, too.
Spencer created SJZ LLC to make it easier for the Romney campaign, Free & Strong America PAC, and others to funnel money to/through? him.
OK, that's the money from Romney's Free & Strong America PAC. SJZ LLC made chump change in comparison to its earnings from the Romney Campaign. Again, according to Politico:
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.Now for the Campaign Spending:
According to Open Secrets, the Romney Campaign spent $1,030,218,386 (Billion folks)
Romney's Campaign states that it also paid SJZ LLC $1,634,509 in it's February 2012 Federal Election Commission Disbursement Report - FEC Committee ID #: C00431171
Zwick's SJZ is one of only four entities that received over $1,000,000 from the Romney campaign coffers. BETWEEN THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN & the Free & Strong PAC, Spencer made well over $2,000,000. I think he's under 35 years old, btw. Rambler, FLS, Target are the other three. You will find the details in the FEC disclosure report above.
Wait? Is it really over $9,000,000?
The New Republic: The Campaign’s Biggest Buckrakers - Who’s getting rich in 2012.
Today, Zwick oversees fund-raising for Romney’s presidential effort. “He always laughs at Mitt’s jokes, which is a very important skill set,” notes Fraser Bullock, an Olympics and Bain Capital alum. Zwick’s company, SJZ, has been paid $9.5 million by the campaign.Lastly, I am not the only one wondering what's up with the expense heavy, outreach light use of ROMNEY'S DONORS MONEY:
It is interesting to see how American campaign financing has become big business, especially for some of the firms on the receiving end of campaign dollars. I hope that you enjoyed this little trip down campaign lane. As time passes, I will update and repost this information because an informed voter is a better voter.From Redstate: Campaign Sources: The Romney Campaign was a Consultant Con Job
What do you think?