Fresh off his first public speech of the year in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney’s political action committee has intensified donations to Congressional Republicans as the former Massachusetts governor works to solidify broad levels of support heading into the 2012 presidential contest.
Romney’s Free & Strong America PAC on Thursday announced “yet another wave of contributions” totaling $93,000 spread across 45 Republicans in Congress, many of them freshmen.
“Governor Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC is setting a furious pace as it seeks to build on GOP gains from the 2010 midterm elections,” reads the announcement, which notes that the former governor’s year-to-date donations to federal candidates now exceeds $300,000.
That’s far beyond any other prospective GOP White House contenders and follows a similar pattern that began before the 2010 midterms.
While many donations had targeted early presidential contest states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, Thursday’s round of giving was far more diverse. The contributions included just one to a Senate candidate — $5,000 to Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.). The rest were $2,000 contributions to freshman Representatives such as Rick Berg (R-N.D.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R-Texas), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), just to name a handful of the 44 House beneficiaries.
While Romney has been quietly lining up supporters on the ground in New Hampshire and elsewhere in recent months, the steady stream of campaign donations has largely been the only public signal that he is pursuing the presidency. His likely run intensified last week, however, when he made his first public speech in New Hampshire.
Look to see such activity ramping up in the coming weeks and months. The first GOP presidential primary debate is set for less than two months from now.
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Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.