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Obama Campaign Spending: Text Messages, Online Ads, Planned Parenthood And Apple Computers

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's reelection campaign spent more than $14.6 million in April, ending up with more than $115 million cash on hand, according to a filing it made with the Federal Election Commission on Friday afternoon.

The numbers show a campaign taking in far more money than it is spending, though that may change with massive television ad campaigns beginning in May. The filing also shows that the campaign is banking on person-to-person contact and staff-oriented campaigning to help overcome what it expects will be bigger spending by Mitt Romney's campaign on television advertising.

The Obama campaign spent more than $2.45 million in April on payroll, not including the $1.19 million in payroll taxes the campaign paid. The campaign also paid just under $150,000 in rent during the month, picking up the tabs for the Democratic Party in battleground states and in non-battleground states that include South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Louisiana and Vermont.

The president's reelection team is projected to spend $25 million on TV ads during May. In April, the campaign spent just $1.79 million in "media buys" as well as more than $344,000 in "media production." More money, in fact, was spent in online ads, for which the Obama campaign cut checks totaling $2.37 million in April.

Telemarketing was another major Obama campaign expense, at more than $917,000. In addition, the Obama campaign made a one-day $23,216 payment to Mobile Commons in Brooklyn, N.Y., for "text messages."

The FEC filing included some quirky expenses, including two payments that seem to have been aimed at shoring up relations with the progressive base. A $790 payment was made for "media production" services to Planned Parenthood Action Fund (a campaign official clarified that it was for an employee of the pro-choice organization to participate in a campaign video), while check for $899.95 was made for "conference and training fees" to Netroots Nation, the online progressive gathering slated for this summer in Providence, R.I.

The campaign cut checks totaling $1,497 to the Department of the Treasury for photography services, travel and lodging. The president's reelection headquarters in Chicago is a Mac office. More than $31,000 was spent on computer maintenance with Apple Inc. during April.

The president's campaign appears to be helping Romney with his claims to being a job creator. Obama for America spent $1,247.78 at Staples -- the office supply chain that Romney holds up as an example of a successful investment made by his former private equity firm, Bain Capital.

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