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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Super Money and Super PACs

Super PACs supporting presidential candidates continue to take in six- and seven-figure contributions from individuals who also have given the legal maximum to the candidate's campaign committee.

During 2011, the super PAC supporting GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney pulled in contributions from 172 individuals who also gave the legal maximum to Romney's campaign -- 84 percent of Restore Our Future's 205 donors.

The double-givers included five individuals who gave $1 million to the super PAC: hedge fund titans Paul Singer, John Paulson and Julian Robertson, homebuilder Bob Perry and former Bain executive Edward Conard, according to a new analysis by Democracy 21, theCampaign Legal Center and the Center for Responsive Politics.

On the other side of the aisle, the figures were less dramatic: 15 of the 55 individuals who donated to Priorities USA Action, the pro-Barack Obama super PAC formed by two of his former aides, maxed out to Obama’s campaign committee. Those 15 include Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks Studios, who gave $2 million to Priorities USA Action. The number of people giving to both committees could increase now that Obama has given his blessing to the super PAC's efforts, reversing his earlier stance.
Meanwhile, the entertainment media ride to the rescue:
Comedian Bill Maher has pledged $1 million to a super PAC supporting President Obama's reelection bid, some welcome news for a group that has struggled to raise money compared with its conservative rivals.
The gift to Priorities USA Action comes after the PAC’s dismal fundraising month in January. It managed to bring in only $58,800 whileconservative super PACs are bringing in millions.
The host of HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" announced his donation Thursday during a webcast for a Yahoo! standup comedy series.
"Most important advice I ever got in show business, as true today as then: Always bring your wallet onstage," Maher said in a Twitter post.
Priorities USA Action sent its own tweet, thanking Maher for his “generous donation.”