On the eve of the Democratic convention, Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that is supporting President Barack Obama's reelection campaign, has announced that it raised $10 million in August, via this report in the New York Times. However, we won't know who has donated this money until official reports are due at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) later this month.
Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, has not yet released its fundraising totals for August. In July, the group raised $7.5 million. Top donors to the group include Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson; Bob Perry of Perry Homes; and Edward Conard, formerly a top executive for Bain Capital.
The $10 million August total for Priorities USA marks the highest point for the group's fundraising so far this year, outpacing the $7.4 million raised in June, the previous high point. Past big donors to the group include Dreamworks' Jeffrey Katzenberg, profiled here in Sunlight's "Stealthy Wealthy" series; as well as comedian Bill Maher; Newsweb CEO Fred Eychaner; and former Qualcomm CEO Irwin Jacobs.
Overall, Priorities has made $22.3 million in independent expenditures to date, according to official reports, far less than Restore Our Future's $82.5 million. Romney's campaign told donors in Tampa last week that direct fundraising efforts had yielded $100 million in August, according to this report in Politico. However, Obama retains a fundraising lead earned during the primary months when GOP candidates were still competing against each other, as Sunlight's Bill Allison has reported.
Super PACs and campaigns often release fundraising totals to the press and insiders before official reports are due at the FEC. It's a way to rattle their sabers, making a show of strength as measured by their dollar-collecting prowess. The next official FEC reports are due September 20, weeks after the conventions close their doors.
Priorities USA and Restore Our Future did not respond to requests by Sunlight by the time of this posting to release details about their August fundraising and donors.