Updated 1:54 p.m. | President Barack Obama’s fundraising operation was still going strong after the most expensive election in history, according to year-end Federal Election Commission reports, the final disclosures for this cycle.
Obama for America collected $5.8 million in the reporting period that covers Nov. 27 through Dec. 31, a Political MoneyLine tally shows, while Obama’s joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee, the Obama Victory Fund 2012, pulled in $1.9 million.
Obama may be the only two-term president to continue fundraising even after his re-election, said Kathy Kiely, managing editor of the Sunlight Foundation’s reporting group. Kiely said she could find no record of previous presidents who maintained their fundraising operations following their second elections.
Both Obama’s campaign and joint fundraising committees also disbursed large sums during the final reporting window, according to Political MoneyLine. Obama for America disbursed $7.9 million in the year-end reporting period. The committee had $3.3 million in cash on hand but was $5.9 million in debt.
Most of Obama for America’s receipts were from the Obama Victory Fund joint fundraising operation, which reported $1.3 million in cash on hand. The Obama Victory Fund transferred $5.3 million to Obama for America. The DNC also got $225,000, with smaller sums going to various state party committees.
The DNC raised $1 million on its own during that same period, paying $6.5 million for polling, payroll, direct mail, legal consulting and other expenses, and ending up with $4.3 million in cash on hand. The DNC also transferred $1.4 million to state party committees. The Republican National Committee raised $2.3 million in December and ended the year with $4.7 million in cash on hand and no debt.
Obama’s prolific postelection fundraising may boost his new grass-roots tax-exempt group, Organizing for Action, the successor to his campaign committee. The group has drawn controversy because it will raise unrestricted money and, as a 501(c)(4) social welfare nonprofit, is not subject to campaign reporting rules — though organizers have said they will voluntarily disclose its donors.