WASHINGTON -- The campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made large payments to the companies of some top Romney aides in the final five weeks of 2012.
In the year-end campaign reports filed on Thursday, the Romney campaign -- through Romney for President and Romney Victory -- reported spending $27 million from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31. Thirty-eight percent of that spending went to just three companies with close ties to Romney.
The largest was a $4.75 million payment to VG LLC, a fundraising company set up by Romney finance chairman Spencer Zwick, who is known as the sixth Romney son. Targeted Victory, the digital consulting firm run by Romney adviser Zac Moffatt, received $3.84 million in waning weeks of 2012. And SCM Associates, a Massachusetts-based fundraising company run by Stephen Meyer, received $1.7 million.
While the timing of these payments -- after the end of the campaign -- appears irregular, it is not uncommon for campaigns to settle accounts after elections for previous debts.
Still, the continued payments to close Romney allies highlights the even bigger payments his advisers received during the 2012 campaign. A Los Angeles Times report from October found $134.2 million in payments to companies connected to Romney's senior advisers through October 15, 2012.
The campaign still has money in its accounts. Romney Victory is sitting on $3.6 million, while Romney for President has $383,275. Romney for President also has debt of $825,749.