Restore Our Future, the Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, was the big winner in the outside-groups-supporting-a-candidate money race. It raised $18 million in the last six months of 2011 and had $24 million cash on hand, as of the first of the year.
Of course, it spent $9 million in Florida, $2.5 million in South Carolina, and $2.7 million in Iowa. For those counting at home, that’s $14.2 million spent on just TV and radio ads and doesn’t include keeping the lights on and paying salaries.
Restore’s number dwarfs what Obama-aligned Priorities USA Action was able to raise – just $1.2 million in the last six months of the year, $4.4 million overall. (NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports Priorities was able to raise an addition $1.3 million from another money arm of the group that doesn’t have to report. The Crossroads enterprise raising money the same way – with two separate groups and different reporting requirements.)
Some fun facts:
- 80% of Priorities USA's money came from the SEIU and Steven Spielberg, but dwarfed by Restore's money.
- Restore Our Future received seven $1 million checks, 12 $500,000 contributions, and 62 $100,000 checks.
- Poor Rick Santorum. Consol Energy donated $150,000 to Restore Our Future. Santorum was a paid consultant for Consol. The total Consol donated to Red, White, and Blue Fund, the Super PAC supporting Santorum? Zero. From January 2010 to August 2011, Santorum made $142,500 from Consol, $7,500 less than Consol contributed to Restore.
- Wyoming investor Foster Friess gave $912,000 to Red, White, and Blue.
- Friess wasn’t the only big donor to the pro-Santorum group. John Templeton, son of the founder of Templeton investments, contributed $550,000. Templeton's father was Sir John Templeton, who sold Templeton funds to Franklin in 1992, which now exists as Franklin Templeton Investments.
*** CORRECTION *** An earlier version of this post incorrectly noted that Templeton was the former chairman of Franklin Templeton Investments. He is not. He's the son of the man who sold Templeton funds to Franklin in 1992.