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writing for godot

Mitt Romney's Big Money

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Written by Clint Hulsey   
Sunday, 07 August 2011 10:24
Last quarter, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney raised 18 million dollars for his campaign. Romney took in more than half a million dollars from registered lobbyists. One of Mitt Romney's big fundraisers have been lobbying for a foreclosure firm while foreclosure fraud is still going on at an alarming rate. Some are suggesting that Goldman Sachs may have switched allegiances, as they gave a quarter of a million to Mitt Romney and just $10,000 to Obama. Obama has had a very corporate friendly presidency to say the least (and his administration, along with the last several, have been very friendly to Goldman Sachs), but this is evidently not enough for the behemoths on Wall Street.


A Mitt Romney Super-PAC (called Restore Our Future) has raised 12.2 million dollars for him so far this year. The PAC is run by ex-Romney officials from his previous presidential run. Not a single contributor to the PAC gave less than $1000, and 4 contributors gave more than a million dollars. Politico reports that it is unclear who is making these donations, but John Paulson (a billionaire hedge fund manager who bet that the housing market would collapse, making him wealthy off of others' misfortune) did reveal his name.

Most notably, a firm gave the Romney PAC a million dollars and then quickly dissolved. Even NBC pointed out that this is obviously secret money circumventing campaign finance laws. Democracy21 stated “This case of the secret $1 million donor shows the extraordinary lengths that people are prepared to go to in order to hide their campaign contributions from the American people.” After a couple days of controversy and speculation, the anonymous donor end up coming forward. He is Ed Conrad , a former top executive at Bain Capital (which Mitt Romney co-founded). Both Conrad and his wife gave $2,500 each to Romney's presidential committee, which is the max allowed. He also gave $2,300 toward Romney's 2008 White House run. Politico writes “Conard has no major history as a Republican donor, and is not a known name within bundler circles.” I guess how one defines “major” is up to the writer, but Conrad does have a history of political donations. For example, Ed Conrad gave $1,000 to a PAC called Americans for New Leadership in 2010. The PAC gave almost $300,000 to the Republican ad (if you have been on political websites, I guarantee you have seen their ads) group Newsmax Media. The PAC only spent in two elections in 2010. They spent against Harry Reid (an eye-popping $157,000) in the Senate and for Republican (challenger at the time, he won his race) Joe Heck (about $3,000) in the House. Heck's top 3 donors were the health-care industry, defense, and casinos. His race was one that characterized the 2010 elections, the Democrat out-raised the Republican, but outside spending was overwhelmingly tilted for the Republican.

Romney's Super-PAC also received 1 million dollars a piece from 2 “Utah” businesses that don't seem to exist. Their addresses are phony and they don't really do any business according to a Fox affiliate in Utah.

Romney has also hired key ex-Bush lawyers for his campaign. He hired Robert Bork, who was nominated for the Supreme Court, but was not confirmed in 87. Mary Ann Glendon, who is an anti-abortion lawyer (Romney once championed abortion rights), also joined the campaign. Former FEC chairman (under Ford and Nixon) Richard Wiley, currently a lobbyist, also joined the Romney campaign. The lobbying firm Wiley is working (Wiley Rien) for lobbies for AT&T, Motorola, and several other companies. The issue that the group is most interested in is radio and television, as shown by which bills they lobby for and against. The Wiley situation shows everything that is wrong with our political system and our campaign finance system, and Romney's prowling around with such powerful and wealthy individuals shows just how dangerous he is as a political player, and just how devolved and corrupt our political system currently stands.
 

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