POLITICS
05/21/2012 06:27 pm ET Updated May 22, 2012

HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- What Happened To Romney's April Fundraising?

Over the weekend the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and a number of super PACs on both sides of the aisle reported their finances for April. HuffPost was there to cover it:

Mitt Romney's finances left something to be desired: "The presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced on May 17 that it had raised $40.1 million in April, when its fundraising is taken together with the funds raised by the Republican National Committee and a joint fundraising committee called Romney Victory. Only about half of that total was disclosed on Sunday when the Romney campaign and the RNC announced raising $11.7 million and $11.4 million, respectively, in reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Without the disclosure of funds raised by the Romney Victory committee, it's hard to get a full understanding of how the presumptive Republican presidential nominee actually fared in the fundraising race in April. Basic math indicates that the victory committee has raised approximately $18 million. But because the joint fundraising committee is registered as disclosing quarterly, it will not publicly disclose the full extent of its fundraising until July 15. In the interim, this poses a problem for citizens and journalists tracking the money to the Romney campaign and the RNC. ...A cursory glance makes it seem that Romney's fundraising has dropped to its lowest amount since raising a paltry $6.5 million in January. But the Romney Victory committee could potentially add an additional couple million, if not more, for the month. Much of the victory committee's fundraising will go towards the RNC, as party committees can receive up to $30,800 per donor, as opposed to the maximum $5,000 that candidates can accept. Still, the combined fundraising shows that Romney and the Republican Party will be able to maintain near parity with the reelection campaign of President Barack Obama. This will be a big change from 2008, when the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee combined to raise more than $1 billion, while Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and the RNC raised only $570 million."

Barack Obama's funding fell from March, but one category remained strong: "While the campaign raised fewer dollars last month than the previous one, its support from small donors remained high with 43.7 percent, or $11.23 million, coming from donors giving less than $200 in total."

The now-defunct campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum both ended in debt with $4.7 million and $2.2 million, respectively. HuffPost's Sam Stein and Arthur Delaney broke down what Gingrich actually owed and to whom.

The pro-Mitt Romney super PAC hauled in $3.8 million, which, while lower than previous tallies, was still more than double what the pro-Barack Obama super PAC raised in April.

The New York Times' Nick Confessore takes a look at how super PACs have impacted the world of consulting: "Once seasonal affairs, campaigns from the presidential race down to House contests are becoming longer and more intense, driven by deep-pocketed donors eager to see incumbents pummeled throughout the political cycle. Decisions about attack ads and negative campaigning that once weighed on candidates are now made by consultants and donors with little or no accountability to the public. And for a growing number of strategists and operatives in both parties, the very nature of what it means to work in politics has shifted. Once wedded to the careers and aims of individual candidates, they are now driven by the agendas of the big donors who finance outside spending."

Harold Hamm, the Oklahoma-based oil tycoon, donated $985,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC while serving as Romney's top energy advisor, reports MSNBC's Mike Isikoff.

Politico's Ken Vogel totals all the money raised for the presidential race--candidates, parties, super PACs, and all: "In all this cycle, super PACs, committees and the campaign supporting Romney have outraised Obama and his backers $402 million to $340 million — an analysis of federal records and voluntary disclosures by POLITICO shows."

The Chamber of Commerce will not change its plans to spend upwards of $50 million on the 2012 election after a court ruling reversed a rule that had allowed the Chamber to run certain ads and keep their donors secret. The Chamber's Tom Donahue announced that the group will just not abide by the court's ruling and still keep its donors secret.

The FBI is investigating whether hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) were illegally reimbursed by another person. A number of employees of the Suarez Corporation, a direct selling agency run by the Tea Party-tinged Republican Ben Suarez, had given maximum contributions to both Renacci and Mandel despite holding jobs that would likely not afford them the luxury of making $10,000 in political contributions in one year.

A blooper reel of green screen advertising shoot done by Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) leaked to the public. His Democratic opponent made the most of it.

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TRACKING INDEPENDENT SPENDING IN THE 2012 ELECTION:

These numbers represent spending by independent groups, like super PACs and non-profits, to support or oppose a particular candidate 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.

Presidential Race:
Mitt Romney (R), $7,327,516 to support, $12,348,985 to oppose.
Barack Obama (D), $455,569 to support, $1,379,800 to oppose. (+$100,731)

Most Outside Spending for Congressional Candidates:
IN-Senate: Richard Mourdock (R), $1,421,987 to support, $1,278,762 to oppose.
TX-Senate: David Dewhurst (R), $363,000 to support, $2,257,068 to oppose.
TX-Senate: Ted Cruz (R), $821,246 to support, $1,691,841 to oppose.
IN-Senate: Dick Lugar (R), $208,628 to support, $1,671,841 to oppose.
OR-01: Rob Cornilles (R), $98,051 to support, $1,219,148 to oppose.

RECENT INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES

FreedomWorks for America, $2,805 to support Thomas Massie for Congress in Kentucky's 4th District.
Majority PAC, $300,623 to oppose Josh Mandel for Senate in Ohio.
Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, $731 to oppose Barack Obama for President.
Chris Winn for Congress Committee, $8,800 to support Chris Winn for Congress in Texas' 19th District.
FreedomWorks for America, $10,664 to support Ted Cruz for Senate in Texas.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $100,000 to oppose Silvestre Reyes for Congress in Texas' 16th District.
TEST PAC, $10,200 to oppose Lamar Smith for Congress in Texas' 21st District.
Orange County Fund, $7,996 to support Sukhee King for Congress in California's 45th District.
Real Street Conservatives PAC, $120,000 to support Craig James for Senate in Texas.
Republican Majority Campaign, $100,000 to oppose Barack Obama for President.
American Action Network, $20,800 to support Jesse Kelly for Congress in Arizona's 8th District.
Restoring Our Community, $95,259 to support Pete Aguilar for Congress in California's 31st District.
FreedomWorks for America, $1,405 to support Ted Cruz for Senate in Texas.
FreedomWorks for America, $38,645 to oppose Orrin Hatch for Senate in Utah.
Campaign for Primary Accountability, $99,865 to oppose Ralph Hall for Congress in Texas' 4th District.
iCPurple Inc., $23,667 to support Linda Parks for Congress in California's 26th District.
iCPurple Inc., $23,667 to support Chad Condit for Congress in California's 10th District.
iCPurple Inc., $23,667 to support Angus King for Senate in Maine.
Citizens for a Working America, $53,220 to support Alecia Webb-Edgington for Congress in Kentucky's 4th District.

RECENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE REGISTRATIONS

Worker's Voices Network, San Marcos, Calif., Treasurer: Xavier Martinez. (Super PAC)
National Organization for Marriage PAC, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: Brian S. Brown.
The Veterans For National Security Foundation Democratic PAC, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: Michael Klein.
Nielsen Company PAC, Wilton, Conn., Treasurer: William Bradley.
The Veterans For National Security Foundation Republican PAC, Washington, D.C., Treasurer: David Urban.
Marylanders for Better Americans In Maryland, Baltimore, Md., Treasurer: Corey Harris. (Super PAC)
Reclaiming Freedom, Arlington, Va., Treasurer: Brian Wise. (Super PAC)
Win Wisconsin, Whitewater, Wisc., Treasurer: Thomas Hapka. (Super PAC)
Bears for a Bearable Tomorrow, San Francisco, Calif., Treasurer: Markus Jonathan Sommer. (Super PAC)

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

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