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Mitt Romney Super PAC Continues Heavy Fundraising

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WASHINGTON -- The super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign raised $7.4 million in July, according to a report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.

Restore Our Future, run by former Romney aides, continued to raise huge amounts of money from wealthy individuals and corporations supporting the former Massachusetts governor's presidential bid. Corporate contributions totaled $3.1 million for the month, while individuals contributed $4.3 million.

Wealthy Texas homebuilder Bob Perry led the way last month with a $2 million contribution to the pro-Romney super PAC. Perry, who has now contributed a total of $7 million to Restore Our Future, was followed by contributions from some notable corporations.

The Renco Group, a New York-based holding company owned by billionaire Ira Rennert, gave $1 million, the second-biggest contribution to the super PAC in July. The company has been embroiled in a dispute with Peru over a smelting operation run by a Renco subsidiary that has been causing severe environmental and health issues.

The company spent hundreds of thousands on lobbying and campaign contributions to convince congressmen to back its lawsuit to force Peru to allow the company to restart the smelting operation. The lobbying, which was ultimately unsuccessful, was detailed in a series of reports by The Sunlight Foundation's Keenan Steiner.

The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies gave $787,000 to Restore Our Future in July. The company, named after the late Larry Miller, controls both the NBA basketball franchise the Utah Jazz and Megaplex Theaters.

A series of subsidiary companies run by the Morse family, which owns the Florida retirement community The Villages, combined to give $250,000 in July. The trucking rental company Penske contributed $250,000. Four members of the Lindner family, which runs the American Financial Group, combined to give $500,000.

Super PACs are independent political committees that can raise unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions. They were created after two court decisions in 2010 loosened campaign finance laws to allow corporations to spend freely and individuals to make unlimited contributions.

Restore Our Future recently launched a series of large advertising buys targeting President Barack Obama and promoting Romney. The group has already spent $18 million targeting Obama over the summer. Previously, the super PAC spent more than $40 million to help Romney defeat his Republican primary opponents.

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