Romney Spends Big Money on Consultants, Perry Research

The Mitt Romney campaign raked in $14.2 million for the third quarter, but a closer look at the campaign’s spending the past three months shows the highest dollar figures went straight to consultants.

One such consultancy company was American Rambler Productions, a firm that includes some of Romney’s most senior advisors, including Stuart Stevens, Russ Schriefer and Eric Ferhnstrom. American Rambler was paid more than $800,000 by the campaign this quarter.

At campaign stops, Romney often talks about the Rambler American his parents owned when he was a kid. Romney’s father, George Romney, helped develop the car in the 1960s when he worked at American Motors. The consulting company was purposefully named after the Romney family’s penchant for Rambler American cars.

Other consultancy firms that received big payouts by the campaign include Redwave Communications, which received $148,000 - David Kochel, Romney’s senior Iowa advisor, is the director at Redwave – and SJZ LLC, a Boston-based fundraising consultancy agency, which was paid more than $2 million.

Other noteworthy expenditures included an online subscription to the Dallas Morning News for $63.87 that began on July 6, just as speculation grew that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was planning to declare his presidential campaign. The subscription apparently was renewed in the subsequent months.

Around that same time, the Romney campaign subscribed to the research program LexisNexis, which was eventually paid nearly $5,000 in fees.

More than $3,000 was spent by the campaign on website domain names through the Internet company, though no more specifics were given.

While the majority of Romney’s travel was done commercially, a $135,000 charge was made to Marquis Jet Partners. A website for the company described it as the “gold standard for private aviation operators.”

The campaign also had the help of high-profile bundlers, who helped to raise nearly $500,000. Six lobbyists at six different organizations, including some that helped bundle during last quarter, helped raise money for the campaign.