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Pro-Obama 'super PAC' raises $6 million in June

July 13, 2012|By Melanie Mason
  • President Obama greets well-wishers upon arrival at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
President Obama greets well-wishers upon arrival at Langley Air Force… (Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty…)

Priorities USA Action, the “super PAC” supporting President Obama, raised $6.1 million last month, its co-founder said Friday.

Bill Burton, the group’s senior strategist, announced on Twitter that June was the best fundraising month yet for the Democratic group, which has been active on the airwaves in slamming GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney’s tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital.

In an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” which will air this weekend, Burton said the group has raised $20 million in the cycle so far and also secured $20 million in commitments for future donations.

The biggest check last month, Burton said in the interview, came from Irwin Jacobs, former director of Qualcomm Inc., who, along with his wife, Joan, gave the group $2 million.

The Democratic group has lagged in fundraising compared to its Republican counterparts Restore Our Future, which supports Romney, and American Crossroads, a group generally aligned with the GOP. But Priorities has been up on the air in 11 media markets in five battleground states, skewering Romney’s private equity past.

Strategists for both sides in the presidential contest have acknowledged that the anti-Romney ads have had an impact. The efficacy of the Bain attacks is central to Priorities' pitch to big-dollar donors, as the the New York Times magazine illustrated in its profile of the group last weekend.

In a separate statement, the four major Democratic super PACs — including Priorities USA Action — announced they had raised more than $25 million combined in the last quarter. The constellation of coordinated groups also includes House Majority PAC, which targets House races, the Senate-focused Majority PAC and American Bridge, the network’s research group. Historically, the Democratic groups have lagged behind their Republican counterparts, in large part because until earlier this year President Obama had indicated a distaste for super PAC fundraising.

“Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and their right wing allies are preparing to spend overwhelming amounts of money to flood Washington with supporters of their extreme agenda,” said the groups in a joint statement. “Together we’re ensuring that Democrats will have the resources to level the playing field and fight back against the right’s attacks in order to keep the White House, maintain a majority in the Senate and take back the House.”

More details on the groups’ finances, including their contributors and how much money they have on hand, will be available later this month when they submit their filings to the Federal Election Commission.

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