Who bankrolled the super PACs in March? Tracking the monthly disclosures

Super PACs are required to report their donors on the 20th of each month unless they file quarterly. Engagement Editor Cole Goins used social storytelling platform Storify to round up coverage of the most recent flood of reports.

Who bankrolled the super PACs in March? Tracking the monthly financial disclosures

Super PACs are required to report their donors on the 20th of each month unless they file quarterly. Here's a roundup of the coverage of the most recent flood of reports.

Storified by Cole Goins · Mon, Apr 23 2012 13:26:50

Ahead of the disclosure deadline, the Associated Press' Jack Gillum offered an overview of what this month's financial reports could tell us about the state of the candidates and their supporters:
Reports to Detail Post-Super Tuesday Cash(WASHINGTON) - For the first time since the Super Tuesday primaries, voters are getting a look at just how much money presidential candid...

Club For Growth Action

Conservative group Club for Growth Action, the super PAC of Club for Growth, reported raising $705,000 in March, a big drop from the $1.8M they brought in during the month of February. 
#SuperPAC Club For Growth Action raises $705K in March, incl. $250K from hedge fund manger Robert Mercer: http://bit.ly/HWg2oC #source2012iWatch News
Club for Growth super PAC corporate donors: Renaissance Technologies (250k); EOE Inc (150k); PO&G Resources (100k) http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00487470/779377/Luke Rosiak
That $705,000 contribution from Robert Mercer, co-CEO of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, comes in addition to the $1 million that he gave to pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future last July. As OpenSecrets Blog's Russ Choma points out, Mercer's donations to GOP-leaning groups is somewhat at odds with political giving by another executive at Renaissance Technologies: The firm's founder and chairman, James Simons, has given a total of $1.5 million to Majority PAC, a super PAC that supports Senate Democrats.
Hedged Bets at Renaissance Technology - OpenSecrets Blog | OpenSecretsRobert Mercer is the co-CEO of Renaissance Technology, a type of hedge fund known as a "quant" -- one that makes its decisions based pure...
Club For Growth Action closed out March with more than $5 million in the bank, which, as Bloomberg's Greg Giroux reports, will be used to support candidates who share the group's distaste for big government.
Club for Growth Super-PAC Has $5 Million in Bank - BloombergThe Club for Growth's super-PAC has more than $5 million in the bank - funds it will use to aid candidates who share its aversion to taxe...

Cooperative of American Physicians

As iWatch News' Michael Beckel reports, doctors' group The Cooperative of American Physicians kept the in-kind contributions flowing to its super PAC, which has bankrolled nearly all of the nearly $2 million that the group has on hand. 
The Cooperative of American Physicians donated another $85K to its #superPAC in March new FEC filings show http://bit.ly/HYlMuG #source2012Michael Beckel

Restore Our Future

Restore Our Future, the super PAC giant supporting presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney, amassed another $8.7 million in March, bringing in more hefty contributions from corporate and financial interests. 
Pro-Romney #superPAC Restore Our Future raised ~$8.7M in March, ended month w/ $6.5M on hand: http://bit.ly/HZdQuD #source2012iWatch News
Big corporate donors to #superPAC Restore Our Future in March: Huron Carbon LLC, Seaspray Partners LLC & Fair Oaks Finance LLC #source2012Michael Beckel
Texas billionaire and GOP superdonor Harold Simmons ponied up another $600,000 to Restore Our Future last month, raising his total giving to the group to $800,000. 
Texas billionaire businessman Harold Simmons gives another $600K to pro-Romney #superPAC in March http://bit.ly/IcTD3Q #source2012Michael Beckel
Simmons has spent plenty to help groups backing Romney's primary challengers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich but has appeared to settle on Romney as his favorite candidate, a sentiment expressed in reporting from POLITICO's Ken Vogel. 
So why is Simmons pouring all this money into super PACs supporting Republican candidates in November? As Businessweek's Julie Bykowicz reports, a certain unfilled nuclear waste dump might have something to do with his GOP generosity:
Republican Donor Simmons Seeks Rule to Fill Texas DumpHarold Simmons built a West Texas dump for radioactive waste that is bigger than 1,000 football fields and he can't fill it. To turn it i...
Another familiar name for Restore Our Future: Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who gave an additional $850,000 in March, bringing his total Restore Our Future donations to $1.05 million.
Hedge fund exec Ken Griffin, who said ultra-rich have "insufficient influence" in politics gave pro-Romney #superPAC another $850K in MarchMichael Beckel
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune’s Melissa Harris in March, Griffin said he though the ultrawealthy had "insufficient influence." Read more about the politics of Griffin's prolific contributions on our Consider the Source Tumblog:
Billionaire political donor says billionaires have "insufficient influence" In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune's Melissa Harris, Kenneth Griffin, CEO and founder of hedge fund Citadel,...source2012
As the Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold reports, William Koch gave another $1 million to Restore Our Future last month through Huron Carbon, a subsidiary of Oxbow Carbon, a privately held fossil fuel supplier that Koch founded and runs: 
William Koch gives another $1 million to pro-Romney 'super PAC'Mitt Romney speaks at the RNC State Chairman's National Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, April 20, 2012. (Jae C.
In her in-depth profiles of the Koch brothers, the New Yorker's Jane Mayer detailed the fallout between William and Freddie, the lesser-known of the four siblings, and the more visible Charles and David. William and Freddie attempted to oust Charles from his powerful perch at Koch Industries in 1980, but failed. A legal fight ensued for the next seventeen years:
The Billionaire Koch Brothers' War Against ObamaOn May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was ...
One emerging mystery from Restore Our Future's monthly filing stems from Seaspray Partners LLC, which was reported as contributing $400,000 in March.  
The address for Seaspray Partners LLC, which gave RoF $400K in March, is 2 blocks from Sunday's Palm Beach Fundraiser for Romney'campaignGarrett Haake
Seaspray Partners LLC, another corporate donor to Romney super PAC, based at $1.8M home of airline exec Napo HohnLuke Rosiak
Using the address listed on the super PAC's report, Bloomberg initially linked the donation to a Florida-based company owned by Scott DeSano, who denied having anything to do with the contribution. Restore Our Future's spokeswoman admitted that the group provided the wrong address for SeaSpray, and would be amending their filing “in the coming days to reflect the correct address for the company.” 
Romney Bid Backed by Disgraced Former Fidelity TraderA firm that was one of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's top financial boosters in March is owned by a former Fid...

FreedomWorks For America

Tea party-aligned super PAC FreedomWorks For America disclosed a $295,000 haul in March, including $96,000 in "in-kind" contributions from its nonprofit arm, FreedomWorks Inc., which isn't required to disclose its donors.
Freedomworks raised $300k last month, but 1/3 was from its non-disclosing nonprofit arm. No donors > $25k.Luke Rosiak
FreedomWorks' #superPAC raised $295K last month, w/ $96K from its nonprofit arm. Our earlier investigation: http://bit.ly/HYHBh5 #source2012iWatch News
Along with exposing the luxurious perks former House Majority Leader Dick Armey enjoys on behalf of FreedomWorks, an investigation from iWatch News' Rachael Marcus highlighted how the group's super PAC had received nearly half of its $3.5 million income through March from its non-disclosing nonprofit:
Tea party leader Dick Armey gets first-class treatmentChief of nonprofit backing populist tea party movement enjoys big salary, other perks.

Endorse Liberty

Pro-Ron Paul super PAC Endorse Liberty reported raising a mere $13,000 in March, $8,000 of which came from donations less than $200. The group currently has $54,000 on hand.

Americans For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow

After bringing in more than $825,000 last year, comedian Stephen Colbert's super PAC, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow," appears to have reached a fundraising plateau, collecting just under $44,000 in March.
Stephen Colbert's super PAC raised ~$44K in March, all but one $297 donation from donors giving <$200 http://ow.ly/aqefC #source2012Evan Mackinder
Colbert super PAC stumbles - Dave LevinthalComedian Stephen Colbert's super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow Inc., may be longing for yesterday today. In March, it ra...
Colbert's super PAC may no longer be raking in the dough, but it does still have $794,000 in the bank. Which, as the Atlantic's Connor Simpson points out, is a lot more than most super PACs have to spend:
The Colbert Super PAC Is Richer than Your Other Favorite Super PACStephen Colbert's super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, is sitting on a large, intimidating pile of money, but doesn't se...

Campaign For Primary Accountability

Anti-incumbent super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability, which has a stated goal to “level the playing field in primary elections,” raised $646,000 in March, and had $438,000 in the bank at the end of the month. Read FactCheck.org's profile of the group for more behind their agenda:
FactCheck.org : Campaign for Primary AccountabilitySpending target: Unknown The Campaign for Primary Accountability is a Texas-based super PAC founded in September 2011 by construction mog...
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor caused a stir within his own party when it was revealed that he made a $25,000 donation to the anti-incumbent super PAC, which he said was supposed to be designated for ads supporting Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger in an incumbent vs. incumbent primary with fellow GOP Rep. Don Manzullo.
Congressional Memo: Cantor Donated to Anti-Incumbent GroupWASHINGTON - By definition, the majority leader of the House has the majority of incumbents to protect in an election. So it came as some...
Another revealing fact highlighted by the Campaign for Primary Accountability's March financials: By spending nearly $800,000 in March, the group has been actively targeting incumbent members of Congress in competitive races across the country. POLITICO's Abby Phillip reports:
Shadowy super PAC spent big in March - Abby PhillipThe Campaign for Primary Accountability, a super PAC that has targeted incumbent members of Congress, raised more than $645,000 in March,...

Priorities USA Action

Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC supporting President Obama, brought in more than $2.5 million last month, a huge improvement from the mere $59,000 it raised in January, but still a fraction of what the super PAC supporting Obama's presumed opponent Mitt Romney brought in.  
Priorities USA reports $2.5 million in donations - less than 1/3 Restore Our Future's $8 million haul. http://bit.ly/HZEP9DOpenSecrets.org
Top giver to pro-Obama #superPAC Priorities USA Action in March: writer Amy Goldman of NY who gave $1M http://bit.ly/I1pFBH #source2012Michael Beckel
also heir to Sol Goldman's real estate fortune MT @mjbeckel Top giver to pro-Obama #superPAC in March: writer Amy Goldman of NY who gave $1MAlina Selyukh
Perennial Strategy Group LLC & Consolidated Distribution Company LLC each donated $50K to pro-Obama #superPAC in March http://bit.ly/I1pFBHMichael Beckel
Other big Priorities donors: comedian Chelsea Handler, investor Bernard Schwartz & Anne Earhart, granddaughter of oil baron J. Paul GettyAlina Selyukh
Investment CEO Bernard Schwartz, an active donor to Democrats, gave Priorities $100,000 last month, along with $200,000 to pro-Democrat group Majority PAC. Ithaca Journal's Brian Tumulty has more on Schwartz and other wealthy New Yorkers who have given big to presidential super PACs:
Wealthy New Yorkers funnel cash to presidential candidatesWASHINGTON -- New York's presidential primary will take place too late to influence who becomes the Republican nominee, but state residen...
After comedian Bill Maher made headlines in February by giving a $1 million contribution to Priorities, another comedian, Chelsea Handler, kicked the group $100,000 last month. 
Bill Maher Pledges $1 Million to Priorities USA Action, Obama Super PACslatester
Another salty comedian gives to pro-Obama group Priorities USA. Chelsea Handler gave $100k in March, follows in Maher's $1 mil footstepsMelanie Mason
While $2.5 million won't catch Priorities up to the GOP's super PAC heavyweights, it was more than the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads raised in March:
Obama 'super PAC' out-raises American Crossroads in MarchWashington -- Priorities USA Action, the "super PAC" supporting Obama’s reelection, raised $2.5 million in March, ending the month ...
This is surprising: American Crossroads raised $1.2 million in March, less than Priorities USA's $2.5 million.Matea Gold

American Crossroads

Which brings us to Crossroads' interesting report.
Pro-GOP #superPAC giant @AmericanXRoads only raises $1.2M in March, w/ $700K from Ken Griffin: http://bit.ly/JVaVzz #source2012iWatch News
Top @AmericanXRoads donor in March ($700K) was Citadel hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin, who was also Restore Our Future's #2 last month.Alina Selyukh
In 2010 hedge fund exect Ken Griffin & his wife gave $500K to @AmericanXroads. This election he's given $1M -- & it's only April #source2012Michael Beckel
After giving $25K to pro-Romney #superPAC in Feb., HBI Financial donates $25K to @AmericanXroads in March http://bit.ly/JVaVzA #source2012Michael Beckel
In 15 months in current election cycle #GOP #superPAC @AmericanXroads has raised same amount it did in 9 months in 2010: $28M #source2012Michael Beckel
What's especially interesting about American Crossroads' first quarter haul, is the fact that the group announced raising $49 million in concert with its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS, in the first three months of 2012. That means more than $39 million of Crossroads' claimed contributions went to a group which isn't required to disclose its donors. As iWatch News' Michael Beckel reported earlier, 62 percent of the $123 million that the Crossroads political machine raised through 2011 went to the non-disclosing GPS.
Crossroads political machine funded mostly by secret donorsKarl Rove-linked political nonprofit releases tax returns, out-raises super PAC sister.
Crossroads' activity is on par with the Republican National Committee's fundraising, which brought in $122 million through the end of March. POLITICO's Ken Vogel reports:
Sign of the times: @AmericanXRoads outraising @GOP this year, thanks to unlimited, secret $, @jameshohmann & I report: http://politi.co/HTOxq1Kenneth P. Vogel
RNC at a Crossroads - Kenneth P. Vogel and James HohmannSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Here at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess Resort, the Republican National Committee is mired in the minutiae of the no...
Reuters' Samuel Jacobs adds more context to Crossroads' emergence as a shadow GOP, reporting on Rove's ambitions to make the groups "a permanent figure on the political landscape — a big-money, independent group that works in concert with the Republican Party on strategy and involves its most influential donors."
Rove rides again, as a force behind RomneyWASHINGTON | Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:29pm EDT WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly a decade ago he was dubbed "Bush's Brain," for his influence in gu...

Red, White and Blue Fund

Red, White and Blue Fund, the main super PAC backing now-withdrawn presidential candidate Rick Santorum, enjoyed some hefty contributions from several familiar heavyweights before his departure from the race in early April. Among them: Wyoming investor Foster Friess kicked in another $500,000; energy executive William Dore gave another $750,000; and Annette Simmons, wife of GOP superdonor Harold Simmons, contributed $200,000, on top of her $1 million gift in February. 
Foster Friess, Bill Dore & Annette Simmons all gave more in March to pro-Santorum super PAC, which pulled in $2.6M: http://is.gd/dKaM8rKenneth P. Vogel
And what can the Red, White and Blue Fund do with its leftover cash now that Santorum has bowed out? Pretty much whatever it wants:
Santorum's withdrawal leaves super PAC without a candidateRed, White and Blue Fund super PAC backed Santorum, vows to back conservatives.

Winning Our Future

Winning Our Future, the super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, disclosed yet another $5 million contribution from Miriam Adelson, wife of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. The couple, along with their family members, gave a whopping $21.5 million to the super PAC, which reported having $5.8 million on hand at the end of March.
Let it go, Miri. Sheldon Adelson's wife gives another $5M to Newt super PAC: http://is.gd/xnWLXoKenneth P. Vogel
Pro-Newt super-PAC raised $23.9 mln thru Mar -- $21.5 mln (90%) from Sheldon/Miriam Adelson & 4 members of their familyGreg Giroux


All told, super PACs have raised more than $100 million in the first quarter of 2012, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation. That's more than the groups raised in all of last year.
Super PACs first quarter haul: More than $100 million in political contributions - Sunlight Foundation Reporting GroupSuper PACs first quarter haul: More than $100 million in political contributions Super PACs raised more in the first three months of 2012...
Republican Super Pacs' haul at $100m as Romney and Obama battle for cashGOP-leaning fundraising groups plan to make the most of their advantage after Democrats' late embrace of Super PacsTwo of the biggest Rep...
And finally, a shout out to all the reporters and campaign finance nerds who stayed up late on Friday combing through the super PAC filings as they arrived at the Federal Election Commission:
#FF, pouring over FEC filings edition: @DanEggenWPost @mjbeckel @mateagold @alinaselyukh @lukerosiak @davelevinthal @abbydphillip @PaulBluKenneth P. Vogel
How many of you out there are spending your Friday evenings reading FEC filings? From my Twitter feed, looks like a bunch of you.Rick Hasen
@rickhasen Guilty as charged.Matea Gold
sigh. MT @rickhasen How many of you out there are spending your Friday evenings reading FEC filings?Melanie Mason
@rickhasen Is there a better way to spend a Friday night???!!??Fredreka Schouten
What else would we be doing? RT @rickhasen: How many of you out there are spending your Friday evenings reading FEC filings?Cole Goins
As always, you can join in on iWatch News' coverage of the moneyed interests behind the 2012 election by using the #source2012 tag on Twitter and "like" our Consider the Source series on Facebook to get our latest investigations.


Campaign donations, lobbying and influence in government and reports on the special interests that are funding elections and buying power.