Obama Spends More on Campaign Than He Raises

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 08:48 PM

President Barack Obama spent more on his re-election effort last month than he raised, ending May with $109.7 million cash on hand, according to U.S. Federal Election Commission reports filed today.

The $39.1 million his campaign took in was outpaced by $44.6 million it paid for television advertisements, employees, offices and other expenses, the reports show. The spending rate is a reversal from the past three months, when the campaign was taking in millions of dollars more than it was spending.

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Republican challenger Mitt Romney reported raising $23.4 million last month, bringing his total to almost $124 million, less than half of Obama’s $261 million haul. Romney had $17 million in the bank, one-sixth of the incumbent’s total.

The money is just part of the cash being poured into the campaign. Both candidates are raising funds jointly with national and state political parties, allowing donors to give larger contributions. In addition, nonprofit groups and super- political action committees can take in unlimited corporate, union and individual donations.

Obama’s political advisers told reporters today they expect Romney to wind up with a money advantage as the outside groups supporting the presumptive Republican presidential nominee spend as much as $1 billion. The advisers, who asked for anonymity to discuss tactics, said they’re braced for a close election and are counting on their political organization to turn out voters in critical states.

Gay Marriage

Obama’s comments on May 9 that gay couples should be able to marry may have boosted his fundraising, the FEC reports suggest. He raised more than six times as much money on the day of his announcement as he did the day before, $1.8 million compared with $282,404.

“It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said in an ABC News interview. That day, his campaign started an e-mail fundraising blitz tied to gay marriage. The money bump continued the next day, with the campaign raking in another $1.6 million.

On May 10, Obama dined at actor George Clooney’s Los Angeles house -- an event that campaign officials said raised a total of $15 million for the president, the Democratic National Committee and state parties.

Intensifying Campaign

In another sign the campaign is intensifying, the $44.6 million that Obama’s re-election campaign spent in May was more than the $42.9 million he spent in the previous three months combined.

Together with his general-election partners, the Democratic National Committee and other groups, the May fundraising figure for Obama rises to $60 million, his campaign previously said.

Priorities USA Action, a super-PAC founded by former Obama aides, reported raising $4 million last month. Super-PACs are not supposed to coordinate with the campaigns.

Romney’s campaign has said he and related groups such as the Republican National Committee and state parties raised $76.8 million last month. The former Massachusetts governor spent $15.6 million, less than he took in during May.

One pro-Romney super-PAC, Restore Our Future, reported to the FEC today that it raised almost $5 million in May and had $8.4 million cash on hand as of the end of the month.

Anti-Obama Ads

Restore Our Future has raised a total of $61.5 million since January 2011. During the Republican nomination battle, the group placed television ads attacking Romney’s opponents and it’s now airing anti-Obama ads.

American Crossroads, a Republican super-PAC founded with the help of political strategist Karl Rove, also is set to report on its fundraising today.

Restore Our Future’s largest May contribution of a combined $1 million arrived May 22 from three companies registered to the same post-office box in Dayton, Ohio.

Auto supplier executive Robert Brockman is the common denominator of those companies, according to corporate filings. Brockman is chairman and chief executive officer of Reynolds & Reynolds, a Dayton-based company that provides office supplies and professional services to car dealers and automakers.

CRC Information Systems Inc. and Fairbanks Properties LLC each gave $333,333 to the super-PAC, while Waterbury Properties LLC contributed $333,334. Brockman is listed as manager of Fairbanks in filings with the Florida Division of Corporations. He is the registered director of Waterbury, according to Texas tax records. CRC is a Reynolds company.

Billionaire Developer

A spokesman for Reynolds said Brockman wasn’t immediately available to comment. Brockman has given the maximum $5,000 to Romney’s campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that tracks political donations.

Restore Our Future also collected $428,400 from the family that owns a 33-square-mile retirement community near Ocala, Florida. Billionaire developer H. Gary Morse, chief executive officer of The Villages of Lake Sumter, and his wife, Renee Morse, contributed $200,000, while three of his children gave the rest, FEC reports showed.

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The Morse family made its contributions on May 1, according to the FEC reports. Sumter County, home of The Villages, has almost twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats and is a regular fundraising stop for Republican candidates. Developer Morse is part of Romney’s Florida finance team.

Ron Paul

Representative Ron Paul of Texas raised $1.8 million in May, more than half of it in contributions of $200 or less, bringing his total to $40.8 million. He had $3.3 million in the bank.

Paul announced May 14 that he would no longer spend money to compete in the Republican presidential primaries. He reported just $969,622 in expenditures for the month.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania made little dent in retiring their million-dollar Republican presidential campaign debts. Gingrich raised $495,233 last month and still owed $4.7 million. Santorum took in $454,328 and reported debts of $1.9 million.

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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 08:48 PM
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