NPR : News

Campaign Finance Reports Show Ups And Downs For Candidates, SuperPACs

A new disclosure report documents how Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry lost his fundraising base. Donors gave up long before Perry dropped out two weeks ago.

The Texas governor launched his campaign back in August with a gusher of cash from conservative allies, especially in his home state.

He gathered up nearly $7 million in the first three weeks, which turned out to be more than double what he got over the past three months.

Perry's year-end report to the Federal Election Commission shows that fourth-quarter fundraising came to just $2.9 million. Perry burned through $14 million before giving up his White House bid and endorsing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Reports from Gingrich and the other GOP candidates are due to be filed by midnight.

SuperPACs are also filing reports with the FEC. The superPAC of comedian and sometime-politico Stephen Colbert reports that it raised $824,000 last year. And Colbert says it's gone over $1 million since then.

Colbert's treasurer tells the FEC that Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow went over the $1 million mark Monday.

In a letter, the treasurer quotes Colbert saying this about the superPAC: "I got 99 problems but a non-connected independent-expenditure-only committee ain't one of them." (The treasurer goes on to add: "I would like it noted for the record that I advised Mr. Colbert against including that quote.")

Still, truth be told, some other superPACs have individual contributors who have given more than Colbert's entire donor base.

The big expenses reported by Colbert's superPAC: $14,000 for his lawyer, former FEC Chairman Trevor Potter; $31,000 for T-shirts; and $56,000 for raising and processing all of those contributions.

We'll have more on the candidates' and superPACs' FEC filings as they trickle in.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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