July 14, 2011
NH and AL Democratic Parties File New Evidence with Federal Election Commission and State Authorities of Romney’s End Run Around Campaign Finance Law, Call on Romney to Provide Detailed Accounting of State PAC Expenditures
Romney Has Failed to Sever Associations with State PACs in Accordance with FEC Guidelines
CONCORD, N.H., July 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the New Hampshire and Alabama Democratic Parties filed a joint amended Federal Election Commission complaint following a complaint filed in April, producing new evidence that Mitt Romney's campaign may be circumventing campaign finance laws by using its state Political Action Committees (PACs), including its Alabama State PAC, to raise unlimited funds in excess of federal limits and then using those funds to aid his presidential campaign.
The complaint also details how Romney's campaign has failed to sever its association with its state PACs in accordance with FEC guidelines, which require the candidate to demonstrate to the FEC that it has had no involvement with the PACs for two years.
"We call on all the relevant state and federal election commissions to take a close look at potential wrongdoing by Mitt Romney and his campaign organization," said Judge Mark Kennedy, chair of the Alabama Democratic Party. "It is important that candidates follow the law and it appears that Romney's campaign may be using funds collected here in Alabama to aid his presidential campaign. Furthermore, it's a disgrace that Alabama Lieutenant Governor Ivey would involve herself in a campaign that uses relaxed Alabama law to potentially violate federal campaign law."
The amended complaint, which has also been sent to state authorities and seeks a full inquiry into the violations of both Federal and state laws, raises two major areas of concern:
- Romney's campaign may have violated federal and state laws in Alabama, New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Michigan by raising "soft money" contributions into State PACs and using the money to support his presidential candidacy.
- If the State PACs raised or spent soft money after Mr. Romney became a declared candidate, Mr. Romney committed an additional violation of federal law. Federal law prohibits entities "established" by federal candidates from raising or spending any "soft money." Romney clearly established these PACs and, thus, they are subject to this law. To sever ties with the PACs and escape liability for their raising and spending of "soft money," the candidate must have no material contact or involvement with the PAC for fully two years. Of course, Romney can not satisfy this two year standard. Nor has he even suggested that he could.
Especially troubling to early state primary voters, the Romney campaign may not be required to disclose his Alabama state PAC spending until January 31, 2012. By January 31, 2008, the GOP presidential contest was nearly settled.
"It is important that voters know that their candidates are playing by the rules," said Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "Romney should voluntarily disclose exactly how the money raised in Alabama is being spent."
You can read the amended complaint filed here.
The initial April 29, 2011, complaint detailed how Mitt Romney's presidential campaign might have been funneling "soft money" (unlimited and corporate contributions) through his state political action committees to his federal presidential campaign, circumventing federal campaign contribution limits.
UPDATE: ROMNEY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF ALABAMA'S LOOSE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS TO FUNNEL MONEY TO HIS NATIONAL ORGANIZATION
Romney Took "Full Advantage Of Alabama's Permissive Campaign Finance Laws" Allowing Unlimited Donations And Freedom To Routed The Money To Pay The Bills Of Their Federal Political Operation Leading Up To An Official Campaign Kickoff. "Getting ready to run for president and feeling boxed in by strict federal campaign finance laws that cap donations to your political action committee? Welcome to Alabama, home of the end-run on such pesky limits. As in years past, presidential hopefuls again can find friendly territory in Montgomery to open chapters of their national political action committees. They then are free to route donations through the state to pay the bills of the political operation leading up to the official campaign kickoff. The only remaining contender for the Republican presidential nomination who has taken full advantage of Alabama's permissive campaign finance laws is Mitt Romney. He started the practice before his failed run in 2008 and, records show, never really stopped." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Romney's Alabama PAC "Raised Nearly Half-A-Million Dollars, None Of It From Anyone In Alabama." Birmingham News wrote of Romney's use of an Alabama state PAC in coordination with his federal Free and Strong PAC: "According to filings with the Alabama Secretary of State's Office, the Alabama version of Romney's PAC last year raised nearly half-a-million dollars, none of it from anyone in Alabama." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
"Since 2006, The Money Held In The Alabama Affiliate Of Free And Strong America PAC Has Been Paying Staffers, Pollsters, Consultants And Regular Bills Associated With What Became An Official Campaign Operation." Birmingham News wrote of Romney's use of an Alabama state PAC in coordination with his federal Free and Strong PAC: "Alabama law does not limit the amount individual donors can drop into PACs. Since 2006, the money held in the Alabama affiliate of Free and Strong America PAC has been paying staffers, pollsters, consultants and regular bills associated with what became an official campaign operation. Federal election rules have allowed the arrangement in past cycles, and this one is no different." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Nonpartisan Washington Think Tank, Campaign Legal Center Said Of Alabama's Allowance Of Unlimited Contributions And Subsequent Funneling To A Federal PAC: "It's A Complete Violation Of The Spirit Of The Law And It's A Pathetic Problem." Birmingham News wrote of Romney's use of an Alabama state PAC in coordination with his federal Free and Strong PAC: "They basically very carefully dance around ever saying they're a candidate, when everybody and their dog knows they're running for president," said Dave Vance, a spokesman for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan Washington think tank. "It's a complete violation of the spirit of the law and it's a pathetic problem. Alabama is fertile ground because they can take the money in large chunks." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Romney's Alabama PAC Collected Two Checks Of $35,000 Each On The Same Day From One Household - Under Federal Limits Romney Would Have Needed 92 Donors To Generate That Amount. Birmingham News wrote of Romney's use of an Alabama state PAC in coordination with his federal Free and Strong PAC: "Romney's Alabama PAC collected $456,750 last year from 41 individual donors. Some of the checks were less than $5,000, but others were huge. One South Dakota household, for example, gave two checks of $35,000 each, on the same day. Under federal limits, Romney would have needed 92 donors to generate that amount." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Free And Strong America PAC - Alabama Collected More Than $1 Million, Most Of It In 2006 And 2010, Two Years Before The Presidential Election Years. Birmingham News wrote of Romney's use of an Alabama state PAC in coordination with his federal Free and Strong PAC: "All told, the Free and Strong America PAC-Alabama, formerly known as The Commonwealth PAC-Alabama, has collected more than $1 million, most of it in 2006 and 2010, two years before the presidential election years." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Chairman Of Romney's Commonwealth PAC Kirk Jowers Said They Picked Alabama For A State PAC Because They "Had Some Enthusiastic Supporters There" And "Felt It Was Important To Support Candidates" Within The State Of Alabama. Birmingham News wrote of Romney's use of an Alabama state PAC in coordination with his federal Free and Strong PAC: "The chairman of Romney's Commonwealth PACs, Kirk Jowers, said Alabama was picked 'because we had some enthusiastic supporters there and PAC leadership felt it was important to support candidates who value limited and effective government within the state of Alabama.'"[Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Over 95 Percent Of Romney's Alabama PAC Expenditures "Went Mostly To Administrative Expenses For People And Vendors In Massachusetts Where Romney's Presidential Campaign Was Later Based." Birmingham News wrote of Romney's use of an Alabama state PAC in coordination with his federal Free and Strong PAC: "Records show that, of the $412,000 that Romney's Alabama PAC spent last year, $20,500 was in contributions to the campaigns of 15 Alabama Republicans running for state or legislative office. The rest went mostly to administrative expenses for people and vendors in Massachusetts, where Romney's presidential campaign was later based." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Free And Strong America-Alabama PAC Was Re-Registered Back To "Commonwealth" PAC To Clarify That It Was No Longer Associated With The Romney Presidential Campaign. Birmingham News wrote of Romney's use of an Alabama state PAC in coordination with his federal Free and Strong PAC: "Jowers, also a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm, said the name of the Free and Strong America-Alabama PAC was being changed back to Commonwealth to clarify that it was no longer associated with the Romney presidential campaign. It ended 2010 with a balance of $156,000." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Romney Uses Alabama's No-Limits Laws To Raise Millions From Outside The State And To Pay Venders To His Massachusetts Office. "The only remaining contender for the Republican presidential nomination who has taken full advantage of Alabama's permissive campaign finance laws is Mitt Romney. He started the practice before his failed run in 2008 and, records show, never really stopped. According to filings with the Alabama Secretary of State's Office, the Alabama version of Romney's PAC last year raised nearly half-a-million dollars, none of it from anyone in Alabama. Romney's national PAC, The Free and Strong America PAC, is what they call in Washington a leadership PAC. Such PACs are routinely used by Republicans and Democrats, separate from their own election accounts, to raise money to give to other candidates. But individual donations to it are limited by federal law to $5,000. ... The disclosure forms filed with the Alabama Secretary of State's Office divide PAC expenses into several categories: administrative, advertising, polling/consulting, contributions, food, fundraising, loan repayment, lodging and transportation. Records show that, of the $412,000 that Romney's Alabama PAC spent last year, $20,500 was in contributions to the campaigns of 15 Alabama Republicans running for state or legislative office. The rest went mostly to administrative expenses for people and vendors in Massachusetts, where Romney's presidential campaign was later based." [Birmingham News, 7/4/11]
Birmingham News Editorial In Response To Romney's Use Of Alabama's Loose PAC Laws: "Lawmakers Need To Change Campaign Finance Laws And Set Reasonable Limits On The Amount Individuals Can Give." "Free and Strong America PAC can thank free and easy Alabama campaign-finance laws for helping it dodge federal campaign-finance laws. Free and Strong America PAC is Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's political action committee. Last year, Free and Strong America PAC-Alabama raised nearly a half-million dollars, none of it from anyone in Alabama. Most of the money the PAC spent paid for Romney's political operation, including staffers, pollsters and consultants, leading up to his official campaign kickoff. ... During the special and regular sessions of the Legislature, lawmakers fixed some of the larger problems with Alabama's campaign-finance laws, such as putting in place a ban on PAC-to-PAC money transfers that hide from the public who is giving money to candidates, and requiring more frequent reporting of contributions in an election cycle. Next legislative session, lawmakers need to set reasonable limits on the amount individuals can give, so Alabama's campaign-finance laws no longer will be free and easy, but strong." [Editorial, Birmingham News, 7/6/11]
PREVIOUS ITEMS ON ROMNEY'S USE OF STATE PACs TO HELP HIS NATIONAL ORGANIZATION
Headline: "Romney Plays Whack-A-Mole With Campaign Finance Laws" [MinnPost.com, 4/18/11]
ROMNEY USED A NETWORK OF STATE AND FEDERAL PACs TO CIRCUMVENT CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS
Romney's Extensive Network Of State And Federal PACs Have Allowed Him To Essentially Circumvent Campaign Finance Laws By Helping Him Underwrite Expenses And Dole Out Money To Local Candidates. "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." [Politico, 8/18/10]
The Boston Globe: Romney Has "Become A Master Of A Controversial But Legal Fund-Raising Technique That Relies On A Network Of Loosely Regulated State Political Action Committees To Collect Those Funds." "Since his defeat in the 2008 GOP presidential primary, a few political friends have given generously to Romney's political operation, providing him a financial and organizational edge as the 2012 campaign gets underway. But donors' generosity is not the only reason Romney's bottom line is strong. The former Massachusetts governor has become a master of a controversial but legal fund-raising technique that relies on a network of loosely regulated state political action committees to collect those funds." [Boston Globe, 4/15/11]
Each State Operates Under Different Contribution Rules Which Mean Romney Could Collect Corporate Checks In Alabama, Unlimited Donations From Individual Backers In Iowa And Regulated Donations In South Carolina And New Hampshire. "The state committees are located mostly in early primary states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan and Alabama -- and each operates under different contribution rules established by local statute. That means Romney can collect corporate checks in Alabama, unlimited donations from individual backers in Iowa and regulated donations in South Carolina and New Hampshire." [Politico, 8/18/10]
- ???????The Free And Strong America PAC Defended Allegations They Were Using "State Loopholes To Circumvent The Spirit Of Federal Limits," Saying "Our PAC Operations Have Always Been Totally Transparent." "Critics say Romney and the other contenders are using state loopholes to circumvent the spirit of federal limits. Romney's team said the system is proper and open for public inspection. 'Free and Strong America PAC follows both the letter and spirit of the law,'" said Andrea Saul, who was spokeswoman for the committees and is now working for Romney's exploratory committee. "Our PAC operations have always been totally transparent -- our donors and expenses are all disclosed regularly and in great detail." [Boston Globe, 4/15/11]
- ???Paul S. Ryan Of The Campaign Legal Center: Romney's Fundraising Is "A Charade And Disingenuous." "Advocates for tighter restrictions on the flow of money in politics say Romney is getting around rules intended to restrict the amount candidates raise while they are testing the waters for a presidential run. 'This whole situation in my view becomes a charade and disingenuous,'" said Paul S. Ryan, associate legal counsel at the nonpartisan D.C.-based watchdog Campaign Legal Center. "Is a little honesty too much to ask?" [Boston Globe, 4/15/11]
- David Donnelly Of The Public Campaign Action Fund: Romney's Fundraising Scheme Is "A Big Racket." "David Donnelly, national campaigns director at Public Campaign Action Fund, concurred, saying Romney is 'clearly violating the intent and the spirit of the law.' 'It's a big racket,'" Donnelly said. "There's not even a fig leaf." [Boston Globe, 4/15/11]
- FOUR OF THE STATE PACS SHARED AN ADDRESS AND HAD ACCOUNTS AT THE SAME BACK OF AMERICA BRANCH
- ???????Four Of Romney's "State Political Committees...Shared An Address In Lexington, Mass." And "Contributions To Them Flowed Through Accounts At The Same Bank Of America Branch In Washington." "Four of Romney's five state political committees -- in Alabama, New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Michigan -- shared an address in Lexington, Mass. Contributions to them flowed through accounts at the same Bank of America branch in Washington, a block from the White House. Most then went to another account at the same bank -- the one for Romney's federal committee -- to pay overhead." [Boston Globe, 4/15/11]
DONORS WERE ABLE TO WRITE CHECKS TO EACH STATE AND FEDERAL PAC ...
Politico: The Arrangement Of State PACs With Various Contribution Rules Provides Romney's Most Loyal And Generous Backers With Multiple Opportunities To Contribute To His Romney's Presidential Aspirations. "The state committees are located mostly in early primary states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan and Alabama -- and each operates under different contribution rules established by local statute. That means Romney can collect corporate checks in Alabama, unlimited donations from individual backers in Iowa and regulated donations in South Carolina and New Hampshire. The arrangement provides Romney's most loyal and generous backers with multiple opportunities to grease the gears of his political machine." [Politico, 8/18/10]
Politico: Romney's Free And Strong PAC Raised $486,700 From A Mere 24 Individual Donors. "According to a POLITICO analysis of information from the federal Free and Strong America PAC, the combined $486,700 raised by the state committees from Jan. 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, came from just 24 individuals." [Politico, 8/18/10]
- Romney Received $215,000 In Contributions From J.W. Marriott Jr.'s Wife And Brother. "Consider the gifts to Romney from Donna G. Marriott -- the wife of Marriott chairman J.W. Marriott Jr. -- and J.W.'s brother, Richard E. They wrote checks totaling $215,000 to Romney's state political committees, according to public records reviewed by the Globe." [Boston Globe, 4/15/11]
- Marc Leder, A Florida Investor, Contributed $50,000 To Romney's Political Future In A Single Day By Cutting Six Checks To Romney's Network Of State And Federal PACs. "Take the case of Marc Leder, a Florida investor, who in a single day -- March 2 -- banked $50,000 on Romney's political future. He did that by cutting six checks to Romney's far-flung network: $3,500 for the South Carolina committee, $10,500 for the Alabama, Iowa and Michigan PACs, $10,000 for the New Hampshire operation and $5,000 to the federal headquarters in Boston." [Politico, 8/18/10]
- A Former Bain Capital Executive Contributed $67,500 In A Single Day To Romney's Political Operation By Cutting Big Checks For Romney's South Carolina, Alabama, Iowa And New Hampshire PACs. "Conard, a retired executive from Romney's investment house, Bain Capital, was even more generous on May 20 when he invested $67,500 in the Romney political operation. He gave $3,500 to the South Carolina committee, $27,000 to both the Alabama and Iowa branches and $10,000 to the New Hampshire PAC." [Politico, 8/18/10]
- Edward Conard Donated $90,000 To Campaign Apparatus. "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." [Politico, 8/18/10]
- Co-Founder Sun Capital Partners Inc., A Private Equity Firm, Gave $50,000 To Romney's State And Federal Committees On March 2nd. "Leder's business partner, Rodger Krouse, co-founder of the private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., gave $50,000 to the state and federal committees on March 2." [Politico, 8/18/10]
- A Palm Beach Venture Capitalist Contributed Six Checks To Romney's Network Of PACs That Totaled $45,000. "Palm Beach venture capitalist Howard Cox replenished the state accounts May 6 by issuing six checks totaling $45,000 to the Romney PACs." [Politico, 8/18/10]
... WHICH ROMNEY FUNNELED TO A FEDERAL SOFT MONEY POT
Romney Set Up An "Unusual" Architecture Of State And Federal PACs That "Essentially Gives Him A Flexible Pot Of 'Soft Money.'" "The use of leadership PACs by potential presidential candidates is not new, but the elaborate architecture of state and federal PACs Mr. Romney has set up is unusual, campaign finance lawyers said. Mr. Romney leaned on a similar setup before his last presidential run as well. Having the state PACs subsidize a significant part of his federal PAC's expenses enables Mr. Romney to maintain a larger political operation in Boston than he could if he were restricted to the capped donations his federal committee can accept. The offloading of expenses on the state PACs also allows Mr. Romney's federal PAC to be more generous with the money it distributes to federal candidates, who might be counted on for favors down the road. Mr. Romney's committees in the three states that do not restrict donations to these kinds of organizations, essentially gives him a flexible pot of 'soft money' -- or unregulated contributions -- before he formally decides to run and becomes subject to strict federal limits on political donations." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
The Vast Majority Of The Money Raised From Romney's Alabama PAC "Has Been Directed Back To The Boston Headquarters Of Free And Strong America" To Pay For His Political Staff. "Yet it has donated $21,500 -- less than 5 percent of what it has raised -- to state and local candidates in Alabama, for which these state PACs are ostensibly intended. (The PAC also contributed $3,500 to Nikki Haley's successful campaign for governor in South Carolina.) Instead, a vast majority of the just over $300,000 Mr. Romney's Alabama PAC has reported spending this year has been directed back to the Boston headquarters of Free and Strong America, paying for, among other expenses, a significant part of the salaries of Mr. Romney's political staff, who will almost certainly form the core of his presidential campaign if he decides to run." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
"The State PACs Have Funneled More Than $600,000 Into Mr. Romney's Federal PAC." "In all, the state PACs have funneled more than $600,000 into Mr. Romney's federal PAC, paying for half of the organization's legal fees this year, which totaled $84,000; they have paid about 50 percent of the PAC's office supply budget, which came to $4,000; they even picked up the tab on half of the $560 the PAC spent for paper shredding." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
STATE MONEY WAS USED TO PAY FOR NATIONAL VENDORS
Politico: The Vast Majority Of The Money Raised By Romney's Five State Committees Is Spent To Support His Boston-Based Operation Of The Federal PAC. "According to disclosure reports and data provided by Fehrnstrom, Romney already has contributed more than $500,000 to candidates, party committees and conservative caucuses. The federal Free and Strong America PAC has made more than $418,000 in donations, while the state PACs have contributed a combined total of $111,050. But the vast majority of the money raised by Romney's five state committees, which exceeds $480,000, is actually spent to support the Boston-based operation of the federal PAC -- and home of Romney's campaign apparatus. Each state committee is regularly docked to pay a portion of Romney's paid staff costs in Boston and for various presidential campaign consultants who remain on retainer. The local committees are even charged a portion of the headquarters' phone bills and shredding service." [Politico, 8/18/10]
Romney Has Used His State PACs To Pay For Consulting Firms Since 2008. "In the Field Consulting, a political consulting firm established by a former Romney campaign adviser, has been paid about $112,480 since 2008 with portions of the payments rolling through the Iowa, New Hampshire, Alabama, Michigan and South Carolina accounts, according to data provided by Romney's staff. Another key consultant is SJZ LLC, a fundraising firm founded by Spencer J. Zwick, who is one of Romney closest and longest-serving advisers. In the past two years, SJZ has been paid nearly a million dollars for its work and that of its consultants." [Politico, 8/18/10]
Politico: No Money Raised By Romney's State PACs Has Been Spent With Local Vendors Or Strategists And His State PACs Don't List An Actual Address Or Show Rent Payments. "POLITICO's analysis showed that no money has been spent with local vendors or strategists in any of the states where the committees are registered. There aren't even rent payments since the address listed for each of the state committees is the Lexington, Mass., offices of the federal PAC." [Politico, 8/18/10]
Politico: Romney Re-Named His Commonwealth PAC After The 2008 Presidential Election In Order To Keep His Presence High And Key Campaign Staff On The Payroll. "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." [Politico, 8/18/10]
SINGLE EXPENSES WERE SPIT ACROSS STATE PARTIES ...
Single Expenses For Romney's Operation Have Been Split Across State Parties, "Even Individual Starbucks Purchases By Members Of His Political Staff Have Been Divided Up To The Penny And Apportioned Across The Array Of Romney Committees." "Parts of the overhead costs incurred by Romney's national political operation were reported as individual state committee expenses through complex accounting on campaign finance reports. Even individual Starbucks purchases by members of his political staff have been divided up to the penny and apportioned across the array of Romney committees." [Boston Globe, 4/15/11]
Romney's State PACs Funneled More Than $600,000 Into Romney's Federal PAC, Paying For Half Of The Organization's Legal Fees, About Half Of The Office Supply Budget And Half The Tab Of The Spend For Paper Shredding. "In all, the state PACs have funneled more than $600,000 into Mr. Romney's federal PAC, paying for half of the organization's legal fees this year, which totaled $84,000; they have paid about 50 percent of the PAC's office supply budget, which came to $4,000; they even picked up the tab on half of the $560 the PAC spent for paper shredding." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
... AS WERE SALARIES
"Roughly Half The Salary Of Eric Fehrnstrom ... It Paid From By The Federal PAC While The Rest Is Divided Up By The State-Based PACs Mr. Romney Has Set Up." "In his filings with the election commission, Mr. Romney is essentially contending that his leadership PAC's work is divided evenly between federal and non-federal election activities and that the financing of administrative expenses is accordingly divided between the state and federal PACs. As a result, for example, roughly half the salary of Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to Mr. Romney who was his traveling press secretary in his 2008 presidential run, is paid for by the federal PAC, while the rest is divided up by the state-based PACs Mr. Romney has set up in Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and South Carolina." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
The State PACs And Federal PAC Each Paid About 50 Percent Of The Salaries Of Executive Director Matt Rhoades And Campaign Manager Beth Myers. "The Alabama entity has covered a little less than 20 percent of Mr. Fehrnstrom's salary, which has totaled about $75,000, according to the most recent campaign finance filings available. It has provided a similar percentage of the roughly $50,000 that the PACs have reported paying this year to Matt Rhoades, the group's executive director who was the 2008 Romney campaign's research director, and paid Beth Myers, formerly Mr. Romney's campaign manager, about 13 percent of the more than $75,000 in consulting fees she has taken in this year. Mr. Romney's federal PAC has covered about 50 percent of their salaries, with the state PACs taking on the rest." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
Romney's State PACs Reported Raising About $1.5 Million In 2010 While The Federal PAC Collected $4.2 Million. "Together, the state PACs have reported raising about $1.5 million in contributions this year, while the federal PAC has collected $4.2 million." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
Romney Has 5 State PACs Including One In Alabama That Accepts Unlimited Amounts Of Contributions From Individuals And Corporations. "The fact that Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is weighing a run for president in 2012, has an active political action committee in Alabama might seem puzzling. Mitt Romney, right, has committees in five states, including Iowa, where he campaigned with Terry Branstad, now governor-elect. It is, after all, not a critical early-voting state for the Republican nomination, where these kinds of leadership PACs are often set up by potential presidential candidates. Upon closer inspection, though, Mr. Romney's interest in Alabama snaps into focus. The state has among the most permissive campaign finance rules in the nation, allowing contributions of unlimited size from individuals and corporations." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
Romney Raised Over $440,000 From His Alabama PAC In 2010. "As a result, the Alabama affiliate of Mr. Romney's federal PAC, Free and Strong America, has raised more than $440,000 this year, with many of the contributions amounting to tens of thousands of dollars each." [New York Times, 11/20/10]
Under Twenty Percent Of Romney's Commonwealth PAC Was Spent In New Hampshire. Of Commonwealth PAC - New Hampshire's total expenditures ($103, 141.59), the total spent in New Hampshire was $20,335.11. [Commonwealth PAC -New Hampshire 6 Month Report, NH SOS, Filed 5/2/11]
Romney's Alabama PAC Donated Less Than 5 Percent Of What It Raised To State And Local Candidates In Alabama. "As a result, the Alabama affiliate of Mr. Romney's federal PAC, Free and Strong America, has raised more than $440,000 this year, with many of the contributions amounting to tens of thousands of dollars each. Yet it has donated $21,500 -- less than 5 percent of what it has raised -- to state and local candidates in Alabama, for which these state PACs are ostensibly intended. (The PAC also contributed $3,500 to Nikki Haley's successful campaign for governor in South Carolina.)" [New York Times, 11/20/10]
Romney's Five State PACs And Federal Committee Allowed Him To Donate $42,000 To Nikki Haley's Campaign In South Carolina Where The State Law Limits PAC Donations To A Candidate To $3,500 Per Election. "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." [Politico, 8/18/10]
NEW HAMPSHIRE DEMOCRATS FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE FEC
NH Democrats Filed A Complaint With The FEC Alleging That Romney Violated Campaign Finance Laws By Funneling Contributions Given To A Series Of State PACs To Fund His Federal Committee Operations. "The New Hampshire Democratic Party announced this morning that it is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Republican Mitt Romney violated campaign finance laws by using large contributions given to a series of state PACs to fund his presidential ambitions. The complaint asks the commission to investigate and cites a Boston Globe story published earlier this month that outlined Romney's state committee fundraising system. By using committees set up in individual states with no contribution limits, Romney was able to get around individual federal contribution limits of $5,000 per year. Through state committees in Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, the former Massachusetts governor raised large contributions totaling $1.62 million from 43 individuals in 2009 and 2010. That's an average contribution amount of $37,700. Typically such committees are set up to support candidates or causes in those states but in Romney's case, most of the state committees' money was transferred to his federal committee to pay for the overhead costs of his political operation, including staff salaries, political consultants, and travel expenses." [Boston Globe, 4/29/11]
SOURCE Democratic National Committee