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HUFFPOST FUNDRACE - Call For Romney Super PAC Investigation

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A campaign finance watchdog group is calling on the Federal Election Commission to investigate Restore Our Future, the Mitt Romney super PAC, for making an illegal contribution to the Romney campaign by republishing an advertisement made by the Romney campaign in 2007. As HuffPost reported last week, the republication or rebroadcasting of materials created by or for a campaign committee count as a contribution to that campaign. Super PACs, as independent expenditure-only committees, are forbidden from making contributions to candidates.

A new super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich is already engaged in some odd behavior. The group, Winning Freedom, was started by Brandon Todd on January 25. Today, Winning Freedom announced two independent expenditures to support Newt Gingrich's campaign through Internet advertising totaling $61,374. Of those expenses $55,648 was paid to a company called SelectCare Benefits Network, which is run by Brandon Todd, the treasurer for Winning Freedom. It's unclear what kind of Internet advertising SelectCare Benefits Network could engage in as it is a fee-for-service prescription drug company that has been accused of overcharging customers and failing to fulfill their orders.

Romney's tax policies would greatly benefit the billionaires and millionaires contributing to his super PAC.

The Romney super PAC and his campaign share some close ties.

The Newt Gingrich super PAC, Winning Our Future, has been off the air since the Florida primary. It is now jumping back in with a seven state ad buy after patron Sheldon Adelson kicked in some more money with no strings attached. The group has three new ads targeting Mitt Romney that you can view in Fundrace's Ad Watch section below.

Some of Mitt Romney's donors are NASCAR owners.

Backers of the Romney and Obama super PACs are also major lobbying players.

Another take on the debate over whether Citizens United lead to the creation of super PACs.

Calvin Trillin imagines some super PAC coordination problems.

AD WATCH

Help us populate our list of campaign videos. Send any notable TV, radio or web ads that you see to Fundrace. Send your submissions to paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

Committee: Winning Our Future
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "It's Time To Choose Newt (:60)"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Winning Our Future
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "It's Time To Choose Newt (:30)"
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Winning Our Future
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Next..."
Market: Unknown.
Buy: Undisclosed.

Committee: Mitt Romney for President
Candidate Opposed: Rick Santorum
Spot: "Courage?"
Market: YouTube.
Buy: None. Just a web video.

Committee: American Future Fund
Candidate Opposed: Barack Obama
Spot: "Obama's Wall Street"
Market: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
Buy: ~$4 million.

Committee: AFSCME
Candidate Opposed: Mitt Romney
Spot: "Romney's World"
Market: Michigan.
Buy: $360,000.

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), $6,497,135 to support, $17,942,276 to oppose. (+$61,374)
Rick Santorum (R), $4,662,145 to support, $6,656,848 to oppose. (Support: +$636,302, Oppose: +$184,025)
Mitt Romney (R), $2,216,953 to support, $5,335,459 to oppose. (+$32,801)
Rick Perry (R), $4,167,697 to support, $1,404 to oppose.
Ron Paul (R),$3,719,227 to support, $133,333 to oppose. (+$31,088)
Jon Huntsman (R), $2,453,204 to support, $0 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $287,153 to support, $760,389 to oppose.
Herman Cain (R), $501,717 to support, $954 to oppose.
Gary Johnson (R), $518 to support, $0 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

MoveOn.org, $32,801 to oppose Mitt Romney for President in Michigan.
Restore Our Future, $89,982 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Alabama.
Restore Our Future, $38,318 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Mississippi.
Susan B. Anthony List, $1,393 to support Rick Santorum for President.
Red White And Blue Fund, $235,608 to support Rick Santorum for President in Ohio.
Red White And Blue Fund, $1,102 to support Rick Santorum for President in North Dakota.
Red White And Blue Fund, $8,440 to support Rick Santorum for President in Alaska.
Red White And Blue Fund, $38,776 to support Rick Santorum for President in Idaho.
Red White And Blue Fund, $70,456 to support Rick Santorum for President in Tennessee.
Red White And Blue Fund, $270,797 to support Rick Santorum for President in Ohio.
Endorse Liberty, $30,773 to support Ron Paul for President.
Restore Our Future, $55,725 to oppose Rick Santorum for President in Michigan.
Susan B. Anthony List, $2,284 to support Rick Santorum for President.
Red White And Blue Fund, $7,446 to support Rick Santorum for President in Michigan.
Endorse Liberty, $315 to support Ron Paul for President.
Winning Freedom, $55,648 to support Newt Gingrich for President.
Winning Freedom, $5,726 to support Newt Gingrich for President.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Poppy's List, Columbia, Miss., Treasurer: Donna Rackley.

Send tips, hints, submissions, rumors to HuffPost Fundrace at paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com.

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