PAC Men: Following the Super PAC Soft Money

Jan 13, 2012 2:14pm

Thanks to Stephen Colbert, the light peering into the shadowy world that is the “super PAC” just got a little bit brighter. These outside groups, not bound by campaign donation limits, have already spent millions of dollars in the Republican primary process, focusing mostly on “negative” ads to drag down other candidates.

Colbert’s stunt to sign away his PAC so that he could potentially run for president might seem like a joke — federal rules forbid the PAC’s new owner, partner-in-crime Jon Stewart, from communicating with Colbert about the PAC — but the rules themselves appear to be created in a way that’s ripe for parody. Many of the super PACs supporting the real candidates, after all, are run by the candidates’ former aides and confidantes.

The main super PACs have a clear candidate of choice, usually stated on their website. But because filing rules allow them to keep secret the amount of money they’ve raised until the end of a three-month period, many of them haven’t reported raising any money yet.

What they have reported is how much they’ve spent on advertising — the super PACs are required to report within 24 hours how much money they’re using on ads. That’s why in some cases, a super PAC will list having raised $0 but spending much more. When the three-month period is over — after the early voting contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida — the super PACs will reveal how much they raised and who gave them the money.

Below is a list of the super PACs supporting the candidates, based on FEC records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.


Mitt Romney

Restore Our Future
Raised: $12,231,700
Spent: $7,795,104
Treasurer: Charles R. Spies, the general counsel for Romney’s 2008 campaign


Citizens for a Working America
Raised: $858
Spent: $0
Treasurer: David Langdon


Republican Truth Squad
Spent: $0


Newt Gingrich

Winning Our Future
Spent: $4,204,685
Treasurer: Brent A. Mudd


Strong America Now
Spent: $125,271
Treasurer: Mike George, founder of the eponymous group that advocates cutting government waste


Solutions 2012
Spent: $0


Rick Perry

Make Us Great Again
Spent: $3,793,524
Treasurer: Paul Kilgore, a former Newt Gingrich aide who runs a campaign finance firm in Washington


Americans for Rick Perry
Raised: $193,000
Spent: $0
Treasurer: Mary E. Azevedo


Veterans for Rick Perry
Raised: $16,625
Spent: $0
Treasurer: Bernadette Shelley, the wife of Dan Shelley, a former aide to Perry


Jobs for Florida
Spent: $0


Jobs for South Carolina
Spent: $0


Texas Aggies for Perry 2012
Spent: $0


Jon Huntsman

Our Destiny
Spent: $2,453,204
Treasurer: James David Stoddard, a Mormon counselor and the owner of a ski resort in Idaho


Rick Santorum

The Red, White and Blue Fund
Spent: $727,200
Treasurer: Christopher M. Marston, an Education Department assistant secretary in George W. Bush’s administration


Leaders for Families
Spent: $218,411
Treasurer: Charles Hurley, a “pro-family” leader in Iowa


Ron Paul

Endorse Liberty
Spent: $1,107,348
Treasurer: Abraham D Niederhauser, a marketing manager at a company that sells tongue cleaners


Santa Rita
Spent: $317,542
Treasurer: Donald Huffines, a co-owner of a Washington Catholic radio station


Spent: $100,000


Ron Paul Volunteers
Spent: $0


Barack Obama

Priorities USA Action
Raised: $3,161,535
Spent: $321,229
Treasurer: Greg Speed, the executive director of America Votes, a liberal group that focuses on voter outreach


1911 United
Spent: $0

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