ABC News’ Emily Friedman (@EmilyABC) reports:
It’s not easy being a Super PAC donor.
Especially if you’re giving to the pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC – “Restore Our Future” – which in just one week has seen two donors receive flack for their contributions.
First it was Edward Conard, a former managing director of Bain Capital, the investment firm Romney helped found, who gave $1 million anonymous under the company name “W Spann” before eventually revealing his identity. Conard’s contribution did not come without scathing criticism in the press: in a Washington Post editorial published last weekend the donation was characterized as an example of so-called “secret money.” And pressure was put on Romney himself, who has been outspoken about the problem with secrecy in political fundraising, to speak up about Conard’s donation.
Then this week, the president of the popular shoe company New Balance issued a statement distancing the brand from a $500,000 donation made to the PAC by the company’s chairman, Jim Davis, after threats of boycotts emerged.
The statement from Rob DeMartini came after customers unhappy with Romney’s recent support of a marriage pledge opposing gay marriage threatened to boycott New Balance.
“Mr. Romney recently signed a pledge that challenges same sex marriage and that has offended many including those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community,” said DeMartini in the statement posted on the company’s website. “Mr. Romney’s position on this issue is not reflective of Jim Davis’, my or New Balance’s position and support of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community.”
The Romney campaign referred questions to the PAC, which, while founded by former Romney advisors, is not officially associated with the campaign. Restore Our Future did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Conard’s and Davis’ donations contributed to the $12.2 haul raised by the Political Action Committee last quarter. Of that, $6 million was given by Romney campaign donors, many of whom had maxed out to the campaign with $2,500 donations and turned to the PAC to unload the rest of their contributions. The PAC can accept unlimited donations.