This weekend, Mitt Romney is hosting what was supposed to be a top-secret “posh” retreat in Utah to allow his top donors access to strategy and to rub elbows with Republican elites. No doubt, it is an opportunity for his top donors, like Foster Friess to flood Romney’s coffers with their millions — or billions. But as The Washington Post notes, “Rove’s appearance could raise questions because of laws barring any coordination between super PACs and campaigns.”:
More than a dozen Republican heavy-hitters are scheduled to join the private retreat as special guests. According to a fundraiser who is attending, they include some GOP stars thought to be in contention to be Romney’s vice presidential running mate: Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. John Thune (S.D.).
George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove, who helps run American Crossroads, the well-funded GOP super PAC, is planning to speak at the retreat, said the fundraiser, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the event and spoke on the condition of anonymity. Rove’s appearance could raise questions because of laws barring any coordination between super PACs and campaigns.
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, also is scheduled to attend, according to the fundraiser.
Other expected guests include former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and James A. Baker III, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, strategist Mary Matalin, and commentators Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes.
The meeting coincides with good news for Romney’s campaign, which for the first time last month raised more money than President Obama. The campaign and the Republican National Committee jointly raised $77 million in May, outpacing the $61 million that Obama and the Democratic National Committee reported collecting.
Karl Rove’s American Crossroads is a 527 Super PAC. Here’s what Wikipedia notes on the subject:
Technically, almost all political committees, including state, local, and federal candidate committees, traditional political action committees, “Super PACs”, and political parties are “527s.” However, in common practice the term is usually applied only to such organizations that are not regulated under state or federal campaign finance laws because they do not ”expressly advocate” for the election or defeat of a candidate or party.
When operated within the law, there are no upper limits on contributions to 527s and no restrictions on who may contribute. There are no spending limits imposed on these organizations; however, they must register with the IRS, publicly disclose their donors and file periodic reports of contributions and expenditures.
Because they may not advocate for specific candidates or coordinate with the candidate’s campaign, many 527s are run by interest groups and used to raise money to spend on issue advocacy and voter mobilization outside of the restrictions on PACs.
Hard to imagine Rove’s speech will not ”expressly advocate” for Romney.
Head over to BuzzFeed, who has an excellent set of graphics that show the money race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Obama may be “sitting on a big pile of cash,” but the one chart BuzzFeed can’t produce is the one that shows all Romney’s mystery donors and how many billions they have between them.
Image via American Bridge 21st Century on YouTube
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