Obama, Dems dominate GOP in April fundraising

Romney super PAC falls short despite hedge fund haul

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Pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future doubled its monthly take but was outraised the second month in a row by pro-Obama Priorities USA Action.

Steven Senne/AP

As President Barack Obama attacks Mitt Romney's tenure at a private equity firm, the former Massachusetts governor continues to benefit from six- and seven-figure contributions made by former peers to a super PAC supporting his candidacy.

Restore Our Future reported $4.6 million in contributions for April, including $1 million from John Kleinheinz, a San Antonio, Texas-based hedge fund manager and $250,000 from Stephen Zide, a former colleague of Romney’s at Bain Capital.

The real total, however, appears to be $3.9 million — the super PAC reported a $750,000 refund of a donation from Texas homebuilder Bob Perry. Perry is still the top donor at $4 million. Overall, though, it was a disappointing haul for the group — when factoring the refund, the amount was less than half what it raised the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee outraised Romney and the Republican National Committee by a nearly 2-1 margin in April, which appears counter to media reports last week that indicated the two camps were running about even.

Last week, the Obama campaign started an advertising blitz attacking Romney’s tenure at Bain, claiming that the company was responsible for buying a steel company, saddling it with debt and then shutting it down, leaving hundreds of employees out of work. Romney says he left Bain two years prior to the closure of the company.

John Kleinheinz is founder of Capital Partners Inc., which manages a fund with nearly $2 billion in assets. Stephen Zide has been a managing director at Bain Capital since 2001 and an employee since 1997, according to the company’s website. He gave the super PAC $250,000 in March of last year bringing his total contribution to Restore Our Future to $500,000.

Other donors tp Restore Our Future from the investment world included billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. who gave $100,000 and Marc Leder and Rodger Krouse, co-CEOs of Sun Capital Advisors Inc. Ross is chairman and CEO of WLRoss & Co. and is a well-known corporate buyout specialist. Sun Capital is a Florida-based private equity company.

The second-biggest donor to the super PAC was oilman and Romney energy advisor Harold Hamm, chairman and CEO of Continental Resources Inc. of Oklahoma City. Hamm gave $985,000 according to the Federal Election Commission.

Last month, the Center for Public Integrity reported that half of Restore Our Future’s funds have come from the finance industry, with the largest contributions coming from ultra-wealthy hedge fund and private equity managers.

In the overall money race, the Democrats dominated.

The Obama campaign raised $25.7 million for the month, $10 million less than March, but more than double Romney’s $11.7 million. The Obama campaign reported $115 million cash on hand compared with Romney’s $9.2 million.

The Democratic National Committee reported raising $14.3 million for the month and had $24.3 million cash on hand compared with the Republican National Committee’s $11.4 million raised and $34.8 million cash on hand.

The combined total for the Democrats was $40.1 million compared with $23.2 million for the Republicans. Numerous media reports last week, citing unnamed sources, indicated that Romney’s joint fundraising total nearly matched that of the Obama camp. The Republican National Committee's press office did not return calls seeking clarification.

The discrepancy may lie in how the “Romney Victory, Inc.” joint fundraising committee is doing its math. In addition to the campaign and RNC, the joint committee includes four state parties and both Republican House and Senate fundraising arms.

The two other major partisan super PACs had relatively disappointing months. American Crossroads, which supports Republican candidates, raised $1.8 million. Super donor Harold Simmons, billionaire chairman and CEO of Contran Corp., was responsible for $1 million of the total. The group reported reported a hefty $25.5 million in the bank, however.

Priorities USA Inc., which supports Obama, raised $1.6 million with $1 million of the total coming from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. It was a million dollars less than what the organization raised in March. It reported $4.7 million in the bank.