It’s no secret that Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) strategy for winning the Republican presidential nomination relies heavily on amassing more campaign cash than his fellow contenders. The GOP frontrunner has come under scrutiny in the past few weeks for several shady contributions from anonymous donors and political action committees. As ThinkProgress has reported, Romney’s biggest campaign donors are Wall Street bankers representing the very firms that caused the financial crisis, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.
Now new financial disclosure forms filed at the end of July reveal that Romney has raked in more campaign dough from lobbyists than all of the other Republican candidates combined:
According to disclosure forms filed at the end of July, 61 registered lobbyists and five lobbyist-linked political action committees contributed $137,650 to Romney’s campaign between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011. The former Massachusetts governor raised more money from lobbyists during this period than all of his competitors combined.
The other Republican candidates who received contributions from lobbyists in the first half of 2011 were, in order of most money received, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty ($63,204), former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman ($31,600), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) ($25,500), former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum ($8,800), and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) ($125). The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) do not accept contributions from registered lobbyists.
Romney, a former venture capitalist who made his lucrative career by slashing jobs, has also relied on fundraising by Tea Party billionaire David Koch and a lobbyist for a robo-signing foreclosure mill. He’s also taken an early lead among the top bundlers who raised money for George W. Bush and John McCain.
(HT: Huffington Post)