Who’s Funding Romney’s Super PAC?

by InvestorPlace Staff | February 1, 2012 10:28 am

How did Mitt Romney pay for the 5-1 advertising blitz in Florida[1] that ended with a 14 point win in the Sunshine State[2]? Well, technically, he didn’t pay for it. At least, not all of it.

A Super PAC aligned with Romney’s campaign raised $18 million[3] in the last half of 2011 from just 200 donors, and just over $30 million throughout 2011[4]. This Super PAC has spent $17 million so far on advertising in early primary states, helping Romney to decisive wins in New Hampshire and Florida and a near-win in Iowa.

But where did Romney’s Super PAC money come from? A New York Times interactive graphic with data from the Federal Election Commission reports that every Super PAC must file shines some light on the matter[5]. Here are five of the most intriguing names giving big bucks to the campaign, along with the amount of their donation.

1. Edward Conard ($1 million)

Conard[6] is an investor and a former Managing Director at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm that Romney helped co-found. He is currently a independent director and investor at Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT[7]), a firm that provides scientific testing supplies and software, and a director at Sensata Technologies (NYSE:ST[8]), a company that makes sensors and controls for various types of vehicles.

2. John Paulson ($1 million)

Paulson is the founder of hedge fund company Paulson & Company. He is perhaps best known for betting against the subprime mortgage market, earning billions of dollars by short-selling on these mortgages.

3. Bob Perry ($1 million)

Perry owns a homebuilding company, Perry Homes, based out of the Houston area. Perry previously was a major financier for the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth group, who infamously “swiftboated” Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry on his Vietnam service, torpedoing his 2004 presidential campaign.

4. Oxbow Carbon LLC ($750,000)

Oxbow Carbon LLC is an oil and gas company from West Palm Beach, Florida, owned by Bill Koch. Bill is the brother of David H. and Charles Koch, who have spent millions of dollars through their PAC Americans for Prosperity to oppose President Barack Obama.

5. Bill Marriott ($500,000) and Richard E. Marriott ($500,000)

Bill Marriott is the chairman and CEO of global hotel chain Marriott International (NYSE:MAR[9]).¬† Richard, Bill’s brother, is the chairman of Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HST[10]), a company that owns hotel real estate, particularly luxury hotel buildings and resorts. Richard and his wife gave $200,000 to another Romney-related Super PAC, Free and Strong America, in 2010.

For a complete list of major donors to Romney’s Super PAC and other key Super PACs for the upcoming collection, check out this New York Times interactive graphic[11].

– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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Endnotes:
  1. 5-1 advertising blitz in Florida: http://investorplace.com/investorpolitics/romney-outspending-gingrich-5-1-on-florida-tv-ads/
  2. 14 point win in the Sunshine State: http://investorplace.com/investorpolitics/what-romneys-big-win-means-for-gop-primary-race/
  3. raised $18 million: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/us/politics/campaign-finance-reports-show-super-pac-donors.html?_r=1
  4. $30 million throughout 2011: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-romney-super-pac-fec-filing-20120131,0,6746824.story?track=rss
  5. shines some light on the matter: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/31/us/politics/super-pac-donors.html?ref=politics
  6. Conard: http://people.forbes.com/profile/edward-conard/85550
  7. WAT: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=WAT
  8. ST: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ST
  9. MAR: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=MAR
  10. HST: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=HST
  11. New York Times interactive graphic: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/31/us/politics/super-pac-donors.html?ref=politics

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