Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney's presidential bid, continued its unlimited fundraising in February by collecting $6.4 million from just 98 donors. It also spent $12.2 million in February, which is $1 million less than it spent in January.
The super PAC's single biggest contributor in February was GOP mega-donor Bob Perry with a $3 million contribution. Perry had previously given $1 million to the group. This make the Texas homebuilder, who has poured tens of millions of dollars into Republican political efforts in the past decade, the single biggest donor to the Romney super PAC, period.
Super PACs were created after the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations and unions could make independent expenditures in elections, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit relied on the Citizens United ruling to conclude in SpeechNow.org v. FEC that individuals could pool unlimited contributions into political action committees for independent political spending. These new committees can raise unrestricted sums of money from nearly any source and have augmented the campaigns of presidential and congressional candidates with money provided almost entirely by the wealthiest Americans.
The 14 donors giving more than $100,000 to Restore Our Future accounted for 80 percent of the total contributions in February. Aside from Perry, they included such other big-name GOP contributors as Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, Univision founder Jerry Perenchio, and Kenneth Griffin of the financial firm Citadel.
Another major donor was David Humphries, the head of Tamko Building Products, who gave $500,000 in February. Humphries recently contributed $250,000 to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign to retain his job in an upcoming recall election.
Select Management Resource's Rod Aycox gave $100,000 to the super PAC one month after his company donated $100,000. That first contribution received some attention as Select Management Resources is a title-lending company with a history of questionable practices.
The other $100,000-plus donors were TPG Capital's Dick Boyce, The Geier Group's Philip Geier, husband to former Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Stanford University neurosurgeon Griff Harsh, KKR's Henry Kravis, PBF Energy's Thomas O'Malley, Raymond Ruddy, William Templeton, and the only corporation giving $100,000-plus, PVS Chemicals Inc.
Individual donors accounted for the vast majority of the millions given to the super PAC in February, with corporations providing only $503,400.
Restore Our Future has been an unmistakable force in the Republican presidential primary. It has pummeled both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum with more than $15 million each in negative advertising, direct mail and phone calls. The spending by the independent group is unprecedented in primary history.
Restore Our Future reports $10 million cash on hand at the end of February.