A new independent expenditure-only political action committee backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has raised more than $12 million in the first half of the year, the group reported over the weekend, a staggering amount that will fund advertising on Romney's behalf throughout the primary season.
The group, Restore Our Future Inc., is allowed to collect unlimited funds from individuals and corporations. It relied on 86 individuals and corporations for their seed money, including on some of the biggest donors in the Republican Party.
Two Utah-based corporations and a Madison Avenue firm each gave $1 million. So did John Paulson, the founder of New York-based hedge firm Paulson & Co. Half a dozen Romney allies, including several former Bain Capital employees and two members of the Marriott family, chipped in $500,000 (Mitt Romney's first name, Willard, is in honor of the Marriott family patriarch).
And the team backing Romney's bid is even collecting cash from those more closely associated with other candidates: Texas homebuilder Bob Perry, the money man who funded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth advertisements in 2004, sent $500,000 to the PAC on Romney's behalf. Perry has been a political benefactor of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (no relation), contributing millions to the governor's campaigns over the last decade (Then again, Bob's contribution doesn't mean he's abandoning Rick; Bob Perry gave Romney's PAC money in early March, back when Gov. Perry was still insisting he would never run for president).