Entries in Funraising (4)


Pro-Obama Super PAC Reports Best Fundraising Month Yet

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting Obama, raised $4 million in May, according to its Federal Election Commission report released on Wednesday.  This marks the group’s best fundraising month since it began, and a big improvement from April, when they raised just $1.6 million.

The group reported spending $4.2 million in May, and ended the reporting period with $4.5 million cash on hand.  They report owing no debt.

Priorities’ total raised for the month was not that far behind the pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future, which has so far surpassed the Democratic group in its fundraising.  Restore Our Future reported raising roughly $5 million in May.  The group still holds a sizable cash-on-hand advantage; it reported ending the month with $8.4 million in cash.

There were no celebrity donors to Priorities this month -- past donors have included Bill Maher and Jeffrey Katzenberg -- but there were a few million-dollar donors: a retired woman named Barbara Stiefel in Coral Gables, Fla; Franklin Haney, CEO of FLH Company, a real estate development company in Washington, D.C.; and Steve Mostyn, an attorney in Houston.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Hit $5M with 100th Fundraiser in New York

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Obama will attend his 100th re-election fundraiser Thursday night during a visit to New York City that’s expected to raise at least $5.1 million for the 2012 campaign.

Obama will mingle with some of his wealthiest benefactors at four separate Manhattan events, including two intimate receptions at private homes, a swanky dinner at ABC Kitchen and a star-studded gala, featuring musical performances by The Roots, Ben Folds and Ingrid Michaelson.

The fundraising trip -- the president’s second to the Big Apple this year -- comes as the Obama campaign makes an aggressive push for cash to counteract what they see as the looming influence of pro-Republican super PACs.

It also marks an effort by Obama to rekindle his relationship with donors in the financial sector who were among his most generous backers in 2008, but have not yet matched that level of support.  He raised nearly $16 million from contributors in the securities and investment business in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, but only $2.3 million so far this cycle.

Among the hosts of Obama’s New York events are seven of his top campaign financiers, or bundlers, who have maxed out contributions to the president and Democratic National Committee and amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars from their friends and colleagues who have done the same.

They include UBS Americas chairman and Obama golfing partner Robert Wolf; Observatory Group co-founder Jane Hartley; Pfizer executive Sally Susman; Chelsea Piers president Tom Bernstein; and Centerview Partners co-founder Blair Effron.  Each has bundled more than $500,000 for Obama this election cycle, according to the president’s campaign.

One hundred guests are expected at the first event -- a private reception -- where tickets started at $5,000 apiece, a campaign official said.

Obama then joins 80 supporters at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen where dinner costs $35,800 a plate.  He then speaks to a larger gala of 900 guests at the adjoining ABC Carpet & Home department store hosted by author Deepak Chopra, music executive Russell Simmons and others.  Tickets for the gala started at $1,000.

Obama wraps up his evening with another reception at a private residence with 90 guests, each paying $10,000 to attend, according to a campaign official.

The proceeds from all the fundraisers benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account that funnels the first $5,000 of an individual’s contribution to the Obama campaign and the remainder, up to $30,800, to the DNC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Money Wars: Obama Dominates Fundraising Battle, Romney Bests GOP Rivals

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The general election is still 10 months away, but the most expensive election in U.S. history is well underway.

Campaign finance reports due Tuesday show the money race is on as GOP candidates fill their war chests for a fierce primary battle and President Obama stockpiles millions for the general election.

For the first time in presidential campaign history, super PACs have been thrown into the funding mix, and many posted huge fundraising numbers. With the ability to take unlimited donations, super PACs pulled in some six-figure contributions from a number of big-name donors.

Here's a rundown of who's winning the money game and how much the candidates and the super PACs that support them raked in for 2011:

The Obama Campaign: $39.9 million

President Obama was the big winner in the fundraising game in both the most recent filing period and in 2011 as a whole. His official campaign brought in nearly $40 million from October through December, beating the top two GOP candidates' totals combined. Obama for America raised a whopping $139.5 million in 2011.

After spending $19.5 million in the past four months of 2011, the Obama campaign has $81.8 million cash on hand and is $3 million in debt.

The Romney Campaign: $24.2 million

While Mitt Romney's totals fell far behind Obama's, the GOP front-runner brought in twice as much money as the next highest GOP fundraiser, Ron Paul. From October through December, Romney raised $24.2 million, bringing his total fundraising this cycle to $56.8 million.

Unlike his likely general election rival, Romney's campaign has no debts. It had nearly $20 million cash on hand and spent $18.7 million in the final months of 2011.

Restore Our Future: $17.9 million

The pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, raised more than any other GOP candidate, besides Romney, in the final months of 2011. The group, which can collect unlimited donations, brought in $17.9 million from October through December.

After spending $6.5 million, much of which was on ads attacking Newt Gingrich in Florida and New Hampshire, Restore Our Future had $23.6 million cash on hand at the close of 2011.

Some of the super PACs' largest donors were hedge-fund managers, three of which -- Paul Singer, Robert Mercer and Julian Robertson -- gave $1 million. William Koch, one of the infamous billionaire Koch brothers, who often donate to conservatives, gave the pro-Romney Super PAC $250,000 under his personal name and another $750,000 under his company's name.

The owner of Big Boy Restaurants International LLC gave $25,000 and the chairman of the Tribune Co. gave $50,000.

The Paul Campaign: $13.3 million

The fourth-highest fundraiser was the Ron Paul campaign, which collected $13.3 million from October through December, bringing Paul's total fundraising to $25.4 million in 2011.

Paul spent about $15 million during the past four months of 2011 as the GOP race was in full tilt heading into the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus, where Paul finished a close third. The Paul campaign had no debt and nearly $2 million cash on hand at the close of 2011.

The Cain Campaign: $11.5 million

Although his presidential bid is now just a memory splashed with 9-9-9, Herman Cain's campaign posted big fundraising numbers before he dropped out of the GOP race Dec. 3. From October through December Cain raised $11.5 million, nearly three times as much as he gathered during the first eight months of 2011.

After spending $11.8 million during the final months of 2011, Cain ended both his presidential aspirations and the year with $986,000 in cash on hand and about half a million dollars in debt.

The Gingrich Campaign: $9.8 million

The past four months of 2011 were not high points on the Gingrich polling radar. Therefore, the $9.8 million he pulled in from October through December did not capture the momentum, or money, he captured following his Jan. 21 win in the South Carolina primary.

Gingrich ended 2011 with $2.1 million in cash and $1.2 million in debts after spending $8 million over the closing months of last year.

Winning Our Future: $2 million

The pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future was a latecomer to the presidential candidate support game, not officially forming until Dec. 13. With the Federal Election Commission financial disclosure deadline Dec. 31, this most recent filing likely does not capture the super PAC's full fundraising capability.

In the two weeks it was raising money, Winning Our Future collected $2 million and spent $910,000. At the close of 2011, it had $1.2 million cash on hand.

Despite new campaign finance laws allowing super PACs to collect unlimited funds from corporations, not one business donated to the Winning Our Future super PAC in 2011. The three largest donors each gave $50,000.

One of those big hitters-- Harold Simmons, the chairman and CEO of Dallas-based manufacturing holding company Contran Corp.-- also contributed $1 million to the pro-Rick Perry super PAC.

Priorities USA: $1.02 million

While President Obama blew the GOP candidates out of the water in 2011 fundraising, the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA fell to the back of the pack. The group pulled in slightly more than $1 million in the last half of 2011, bringing its yearly total to $4.2 million.

Priorities USA ended the year with $1.5 million cash on hand after spending $1.5 million over the last quarter. Nearly all the group's donors were individuals, although two organizations donated large sums.

The Service Employees International Union Committee on Political Education gave half a million dollars in the last half of 2011, matching an earlier $500,000 donation and bringing its total contributions to $1 million. The American Association for Justice PAC contributed $50,000. And Hollywood director Steven Spielberg donated $100,000.

The Santorum Campaign: $920,000

Rick Santorum is the only candidate still in the GOP race who raised less than $1 million in the final four months of 2011. The Santorum campaign brought in $920,000 from October through December.

This low total does not reflect the momentum Santorum gained from his win in the Iowa caucus, after which his campaign reported collecting $1 million in 24 hours.

Santorum spent $826,000 in the last quarter of 2011, much of which he spent traversing Iowa from town hall to coffee shop meet-and-greet. He ended the year with $279,000 cash on hand.

Red White and Blue Fund: $729,000

The pro-Santorum super PAC raised slightly less than the candidate it supports, collecting $729,000 from October through December. The Red White and Blue fund spent $651,000 over the same time period and ended the year with $78,000 cash on hand.

Nearly half of the group's money came from one donor, Foster Friess, a Wyoming investor who gave $331,000 to the super PAC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama Steps into the 2012 Campaign

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- "The Closer" of the 2008 presidential campaign has officially stepped into the 2012 race.

First lady Mrs. Obama, speaking from a podium decorated with 2012 signage, in her first formal speech of the re-election campaign, said her husband needs supporters to stick with him and “be in this with him for the long haul.”

In the first peek at her 2012 message, Mrs. Obama called on voters to once again believe in her husband, even when some supporters have questioned him over the last few years in office.

“Even in the toughest moments, when it seems like all is lost, and everybody is wringing their hands, and calling, worrying and calling -- what's going on, what's he doing, what's going on -- I’m one of those people -- Barack Obama never loses sight of the end goal,” Mrs. Obama said at the annual Women’s Leadership Forum National Issues Conference in Washington, D.C., Thursday. "He never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise, even if it comes from some of his best supporters.  He just keeps moving forward.”

Mrs. Obama said in the moments when everyone is sweating and worried about the possibilities of a bill not passing or negotiations falling through, her husband keeps his cool thinking about the end game. Mrs. Obama essentially asked the group in the audience to think about the end game when casting their vote this time around in 2012.

Admitting that there are so many challenges and so much work to go, Mrs. Obama said it’s “easy to forget what we’ve done along the way,” and she ticked through a laundry list of accomplishments during her husband’s first term, including cutting taxes for middle-class families, credit card reform, a childcare tax credit, passing the equal pay for equal work law, health care reform, clean energy reform, education reform and ending "don’t ask, don’t tell."

Mrs. Obama also highlighted the May 1 killing of Osama bin Laden.

The first lady asked for people in the audience to declare that they’re “in” for the 2012 re-election campaign, and stressed how hard her husband will work for four more years, if re-elected.

“He works so very hard every day,” she appealed to the crowd. “It’s unbelievable, starting first thing in the morning every day and going late into the night, hunched over briefings, reading every single word of every single memo he gets, making notes, writing questions, making sure he knows more than the people briefing him, because all of those wins and losses are not wins and losses for him. They’re wins and losses for the folks whose stories he carries with him, the folks he worries about and prays about before he goes to bed at night."

All proceeds from the day-long fundraising event, aimed at women donors and featuring senior women in the administration, go to the Obama Victory Fund. President Obama is set to address the group Thursday evening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio