Entries in Donations (22)


Stephen Colbert to Donate Super PAC Money to Charity and Nonprofits

Mike Coppola/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Stephen Colbert did his part in 2012 to make super PACs something to talk about, even going so far as to create his own super PAC,  Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

Colbert’s PAC got a lot of attention.  It raised awareness about loosened campaign finance laws after the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizen’s United case, along with some actual money, which Colbert announced on his talk show that he plans to donate to charity.

Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow had about $800,000 left in its coffers when the group filed its termination report with the Federal Elections Commission in November.  On Thursday, Colbert announced he planned to donate $125,000 to three organizations working toward Superstorm Sandy relief: Habitat for Humanity, Team Rubicon’s Sandy outreach and’s Sandy relief fund.

The remaining money will be split between the Yellow Ribbon Fund, an organization that assists injured veterans and their families, and two nonprofit groups that focus on transparency and campaign finance reform -- the Campaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Surge in Donations Lifts Obama Over Romney in August

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and Democrats report raising more than $114 million for the 2012 campaign in August, marking their best fundraising month of the election cycle and outpacing rival Mitt Romney for the first time in three months.

The Obama campaign announced the figure on Twitter ahead of formally filing financial reports with the Federal Election Commission by Sept. 20.

The August total, which includes funds collected by the president’s campaign committee, Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising accounts, is a significant increase over the $75 million raised by the groups in July. Romney reported raising $111 million in August.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina credited a surge in grassroots donations for the strong showing.

The Obama campaign said last week that more than 3.1 million Americans have donated to the president’s re-election effort, surpassing the total of four years ago.

The average donation last month was $58, the campaign said. Ninety-eight percent of donations were $250 or less.

“No celebrating,” tweeted @BarackObama in response to the numbers, “because they’re going to have an even bigger September. But now we know we can match them, doing this our way.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign Now Taking Your Donations Via Text

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you had any doubt that the smartphone was playing a bigger role than ever before in this election, this should do the trick. Thursday the Obama campaign announced that it will now accept campaign donations via text message. It is the first political campaign to do so.

Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular customers will be able to donate via text starting this week; the donations will be billed to their monthly cellular bills. All you have to do is text GIVE to 62262 and you can donate $10 at a time. Yes, 62262 spells out OBAMA.

It is limited to $50 per billing cycle right now. Standard text messaging rates also apply.

Previously the Obama campaign had accepted donations via text, but you had to register your credit card and phone number on the campaign’s website. Now customers will be able to make small donations without signing in. The campaign plans to run ads with the information, making it easy for people to donate.

Mitt Romney’s campaign is expected to offer the same text donations soon. Donors to the Romney campaign will be able to text 466488, which spells out GOMITT.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Move Over Super PACs, Minors Want to Contribute, Too

Comstock/Thinkstock(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Think politics are only for grownups? Don’t tell that to Julie Towbin, a feisty 17-year-old Floridian who is not afraid to put her money where her mouth is when it comes to political campaigns. A federal judge Monday ruled in favor of Towbin’s suit to block a state law that would prohibit minors from contributing more than $100 to a political campaign.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams issued a temporary injunction blocking the enforcement of Florida’s political-contribution cap in response to Towbin’s suit. Williams said the law, "had a chilling effect on the free speech and associational rights."

The Florida branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has helped the tenacious teen by suing on her behalf. The suit was filed when the teen was unable to attend an invitation-only dinner for the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee. Towbin, who sits on the committee, hoped to buy the $150 ticket but was unable to when she found out that paying the price of the ticket could violate the state’s campaign finance law.

When asked how, as a minor, she could sit on the Democratic Executive Committee, Towbin explained to ABC News that the only requirement is to be a registered or preregistered voter. Towbin, who preregistered at age 16, is eligible to be a committee member and therefore invited to the annual dinner.

But because she is a minor and 100 percent of the ticket profit is considered to be a contribution to the Democratic Executive Committee, Towbin could not attend. If she had been born a few months earlier, she would have been able not only to attend but also have a $350 cushion to donate because Florida finance laws allow adults to contribute up to $500 per election.

“Under the former law,” Towbin said, “my contribution is only a fifth of an impact compared to an adult because they can contribute $500 to my $100.”

Towbin doesn’t think that is fair because she pays for the contributions herself. “My parents support my case but don’t give me money to contribute,” Towbin admits.

When asked how she gets the money to support her local politicians, she says she, “worked as a cashier at a local family business and also had money left over from being a page” last year.

An ACLU spokesman said that although the blocked law is technically still on the books, the state can’t enforce if because of its “chilling effect” on the First Amendment, as the judge noted.

The young woman, whose parents are “not big contributors,” already has plans to exercise her new-found rights by donating upwards of $500. According to the coy teen who would not disclose any names, “I plan on contributing to the campaigns of a School Board candidate and one of my state representatives.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Camp Says It Outraised Romney After Supreme Court Ruling

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/PeteSouza/White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s campaign claims to have outraised Mitt Romney in online donations since the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold the president’s health law was handed down.

But they won’t say by how much.

Romney's campaign reports that they have received 47,000 donations to the sum of $4.6 million dollars in support of a repeal of the law, and that the number is still growing.  Those numbers do not factor in high profile New York fundraisers attended by Romney Thursday in New York at the residence of billionaire Martin Zweig and with Donald Trump.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt doesn’t give a number, but says the campaign raised more than that following the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The amounts will ultimately be a matter of public record when the campaigns are required to disclose their donors to the Federal Communications Commission.

So why not just give the details now?

“That’s not the point,” said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.  Democrats want to focus instead on their argument that Romney hasn’t offered specifics about how he would replace the law if elected.

“It’s perverse that Mitt Romney wont share details about what he’d do for the millions he’d leave uninsured or at the whims of insurance companies when he ‘kills Obamacare dead,’ but he’ll share the hourly details of his fundraising after the Supreme Court ruling,” said LaBolt.  “We’ve outraised the Romney campaign in that time period but that’s not the point -- our supporters are more committed than ever to ensuring that insurance companies can’t drop coverage for people who get sick or discriminate against people with preexisting conditions by reelecting the President.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney to Host Campaign Donors, GOP Stars in Utah

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While most Americans will be enjoying the first weekend of summer outside and away from work, Mitt Romney will host his richest campaign donors at a retreat in Utah where they'll have access to high-profile Republicans who would likely be in the candidate's administration if he wins the race.

Usually, party bigwigs and donors have to wait until the conventions to hear leaders speak and rub elbows with the GOP elite, but not this summer, as many will be descending on the tiny Deer Valley resort area of Park City beginning today.

The guest list includes James Baker, Mike Leavitt, Bobby Jindal, Meg Whitman, Paul Ryan, John Thune, Condoleezza Rice, Rob Portman, Bob McDonnell, Tim Pawlenty, and many more recognizable GOP figures including Karl Rove, the mastermind of George W. Bush's presidency whose super PAC is raising millions of dollars to spend against President Obama in commercials.

The confab in Utah is a reward for so-called campaign bundlers who have gathered donations for Romney, many of them around $150,000. But that money is limited by campaign finance law, whereas super PAC money is unrestricted. Just as the bundlers will have access to potential VPs, Rove will be in the same room as all of the donors, many of whom probably have more money to spend and know lots of other rich supporters who do, as well.

Many bundlers are looking to raise up to $1 million each for Romney's campaign. The Rove super PAC and Romney's super PAC will have an easier time doing that because they can take contributions that aren't limited by law. The Federal Election Commission bars campaigns and super PACs from "coordinating" on how they'll spend money on ads, but that rule is almost impossible to enforce and is vague in its details.

Rove's very presence at the donor retreat pushes Romney closer to the fine line between campaign and super PAC. He's scheduled to speak about "media insight" along with the Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg, Weekly Standard editors Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol, and GOP strategist Mary Matalin.

Romney will address everyone tonight, and the party continues Saturday with policy sessions (featuring John McCain and Jeb Bush), and Sunday with golf.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt and Ann Romney Donate $150K to Campaign 

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Mitt and Ann Romney have given a combined $150,000 from their personal fortune to aide the candidate’s bid for the White House.

This is the first time the candidate or his wife has contributed monetarily to their 2012 campaign.

“If Mitt Romney’s asking donors to contribute the maximum, then the least he and Ann can do is make the same contribution,” a senior adviser to Romney told ABC News.

Both the candidate and his wife gave $75,000 -- the maximum amount allowed under Federal Election Commission guidelines -- to the Romney Victory Fund, the joint fundraising account formed by the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Up until this point, the Romneys had not donated to the campaign. Romney is said to be worth approximately $230 million, according to Forbes. During his 2008 presidential campaign, Romney reported giving more than $44 million to his campaign. That’s about $9 of his own money for each vote he got.

The Romney campaign announced earlier this week that it has raised, in a joint effort with the RNC, $40.1 million in the month of April.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pro-Obama Super PAC Raises $2M in February, Trails Pro-GOP Peers

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Obama, raised $2 million in February, including a $1 million donation from comedian Bill Maher, the group’s co-founder and spokesman Bill Burton confirmed to ABC News.

“We did 40 times better than January,” Burton said in an email.

The fundraising total is a positive step forward for Priorities, which has struggled to garner financial support from Democratic donors and collected only $58,000 in January and $6.1 million in all of 2011, according to its filings with the Federal Election Commission.

The group will formally file its February financial statement with the FEC later this month.

The fundraising boost comes after President Obama last month reversed his longstanding opposition to super PACs, giving a nod to Democratic donors to begin supporting Priorities USA.

He also gave the green light to administration officials to appear at Priorities’ fundraisers to make the case for his second term, though they are forbidden by law from explicitly asking for cash. Senior White House adviser David Plouffe was the first to go out on the stump last week, speaking to prospective Priorities donors at an event in California.

Still, Priorities USA Action, which can raise and spend unlimited sums on direct electioneering and must disclose its donors, still significantly trails its Republican counterparts in campaign cash.

American Crossroads, the pro-Republican super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, raised $51 million last year and has publicly projected netting at least $240 million through the November election.

Americans for Prosperity, a pro-Republican nonprofit group, has reportedly received a $200 million commitment from billionaire oil magnates Charles and David Koch for the 2012 campaign.

Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have combined raised more than $250 million so far this election cycle.

Priorities USA Action’s February fundraising numbers were first reported by The New York Times.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Trumps Romney With Small Donors

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the scramble for campaign cash, President Obama has proved once again that he’s king, at least among American small-dollar donors.

Nearly half -- 48 percent -- of Obama’s $118 million haul in 2011 came from individuals giving $200 or less, according to a new analysis by the Campaign Finance Institute.

Small-donor contributions made up only nine percent of the 2011 fundraising total for Mitt Romney.

But it’s on the other end of the donor spectrum that Romney holds more sway: He gathered 82 percent of his funds from donors giving  $1,000 or more, the Campaign Finance Institute found.  Those high-dollar donors comprise just 28 percent of Obama’s total.

Looked at in absolute sums, Obama raised more money from small donors last year -- $56.7 million to $56.3 million -- than Romney collected from all donors combined.

Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, said the figures could represent a significant advantage for Obama beyond the bottom line.

“Because small donors can give again, and may be willing to serve as campaign volunteers, successful small-donor fundraising can serve a political purpose that goes well beyond the reported dollars,” Malbin said in a statement.

Obama isn’t the only candidate relying on small donations to play a major supporting role in his campaign.

Newt Gingrich received $6 million, or 49 percent of his fundraising total, from contributors giving $200 or less in 2011. Ron Paul netted $12 million, or 48 percent of his total, while Rick Santorum gathered $700,000, or 32 percent of his reported total last year.

The Obama campaign said it had received contributions from more than 1.3 million donors with the average donation being $55.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Hauls $24 Million in Fourth Quarter

James Devaney/WireImage(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- The Romney campaign announced Wednesday that it raised $24 million during the fourth quarter, surpassing the amount of money raised in the previous quarters of the campaign and bringing the grand total of primary contributions raised in 2011 to $56 million.

Coming off an important primary win in New Hampshire, the campaign said Wednesday it has $19 million in cash on hand and that Romney contributed none of his personal fortune to his campaign, which has in the past week seen successes in both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.

The $24 million raised in the fourth quarter comes after the campaign raised high dollar amounts in the second quarter -- $18 million – and in the third, when they raised $14 million.

Contributions were received from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and no general election money was collected, according to the campaign.

The full financial disclosure report has not yet been made public by the Federal Election Commission.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told ABC News last month that he expected to have raised $9 million in the fourth quarter, but would also have debt.

The Ron Paul campaign reported earlier this week that it raised $13 million for the fourth quarter.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum has not released his fundraising numbers yet, but has seen a surge in support after his close second place finish in Iowa, raking in $2 million in just two days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio