Happy FEC filing day! We're still calculating the totals from the reports coming in from the campaigns and super PACs. Many of the Republican candidates and their super PACs have yet to file. Keep following our live-blog here.
Here's some of what we've found today:
The Obama campaign and the DNC combined to raise $68 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Of that amount $23 million came from the big money Obama Victory Fund.
Donors to the victory fund included a number of celebrities including Google's Sergey Brin and Vint Cerf, architect Frank Gehry, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Clinton pal Vernon Jordan, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Melanie Griffith, basketball stars past and present Magic Johnson, Grant Hill, Jamal Mashburn, and Vince Carter, and coaches Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich and Mike Tomlin.
Newt Gingrich pulled in $9.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. More than 50% of that money came from small donors giving less than $250. His campaign still carries $1 million in debt and entered January with only $2.1 million cash on hand. It's pretty clear that despite this surge in fundraising his candidacy wouldn't be ongoing if it weren't for the $10 million his super PAC got from Sheldon Adelson.
Speaking of super PACs, where are those filings? So far, of the GOP candidate super PACs, Jon Huntsman's super PAC, Rick Perry's super PAC, a Ron Paul super PAC, and a Herman Cain super PAC have filed. The Huntsman super PAC, Our Destiny, revealed what everyone already knew: 70% of its contributions came from Huntsman's billionaire father. It's good to the son of the king!
Perry's super PAC raised more than $5 million from a bunch of Texas businessmen and their corporations who will likely have an ear to hear their grievances in the governor's office now that Perry has packed up his presidential bags and gone back to Austin.
We've only found one contribution to a super PAC, so far, from a non-profit of the same name. This is what we call dead-end disclosure.
Stephen Colbert raised more than $1 million for his super PAC. We talked to one of his corporate donors, "I'm a conservative but still think it's a bit crazy that corporations are able to inject millions into our political system via this loophole that the supreme court justices have so conveniently rationalized. It's always been my understanding growing up that our government is one of the people, not of corporations."
The Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry campaigns did not do so well. The graph of Perry's contributions flat lines immediately at the end of September. Bachmann's fundraising also fizzled, but not before her consultants made off with a boatload of money.
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Committee: Newt Gingrich for President
Spot: "Herman Cain: We Need Newt's Bold Leadership" - Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich.
Buy: None. Just a web video.
Committee: Rick Santorum for President
Candidate opposed: Newt Gingrich
Spot: "Deal" - This Santorum ad draws a connection between Gingrich, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. Clearly shows Santorum taking Romney's side.
TRACKING INDEPENDENT SPENDING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate for the presidency in 2012. Fundrace will update this spending daily to help show which candidates are gaining from the proliferation of independent groups in this coming election.
Newt Gingrich (R), $2,640,085 to support, $16,279,249 to oppose.
Mitt Romney (R), $1,474,217 to support, $4,393,987 to oppose.
Rick Perry (R), $3,964,824 to support, $0 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R), $3,566,494 to support, $165,339 to oppose. (+$7,592)
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Rick Santorum (R), $1,810,519 to support, $444,355 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $25,122 to support, $630,124 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $486,717 to support, $0 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.
RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES
Endorse Liberty, $7,592 to support Ron Paul for President.
RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS
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