Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mystery Company Donates $1 Million To Romney and Folds

Mitt Romney
A mysterious company, W Spann, gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, an independent political committee supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president and then quickly folded, raising questions about the donation.

The existence of the million-dollar donation — as gleaned from campaign and corporate records obtained by NBC News — provides a vivid example of how secret campaign cash is being funneled in ever more circuitous ways into the political system.

Campaign finance experts say the use of an opaque company like W Spann to donate large sums of money into a political campaign shows how post-Watergate disclosure laws are now being increasingly circumvented.

Much of this, the experts say, is because of last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political advocacy, including giving to supposedly “independent” super PACs like Restore Our Future. That ruling also opened the door for newly created nonprofit groups — such as Crossroads GPS, started by Karl Rove — that spent tens of millions of dollars on attack ads during last year’s campaign without disclosing any donors.

“This is sham disclosure. It’s a barrier to disclosure,” said Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a Washington think-tank that specializes in campaign funding issues, when asked about the W Spann LLC donation to Restore Our Future.
It’s one more example, he said, of how American political campaigns have gone “back to the future” and to the “pre-Watergate days (of 1972) when Richard Nixon was raising unlimited amounts of money without disclosure.”

Breaking News: Myster Donor comes Forward

Former Bain Capital managing director Ed Conard came forward Friday night and admitted that he is the creator of W Spann LLC, the company that contributed $1 million to the pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future.
Conard issued a statement to Politico admitting that he was the source of the contribution and asking that Restore Our Future amend its report to list his name, as opposed to W Spann, on records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

For details, see the Huffington Post article below.

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