Romney’s PAC Cash Tops Among ‘12 Contenders

by Robert Costa

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney hauled in $1.8 million for his political-action committee in the second quarter, bringing his PACs total for the year to nearly $3.5 million. That sum, the Boston Globe reports, “dwarfs that of other possible 2012 Republican presidential candidates and establishes the former Massachusetts governor as a potent political force.”

Romney has also devoted considerable money to building an extensive national political network, doling out more than $400,000 to various 2010 candidates through his Free and Strong America political action committee and its state-level affiliates.

All told, Romney has collected $3.4 million since the beginning of the year – more than double the roughly $1.3 million that each of his next closest rivals in the money chase, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, raised during the same period.

With less than four months until the midterm elections, Romney has nearly $2.2 million left in the bank, giving him the financial muscle necessary to be a power player in Republican politics as November nears.

This quarter, according to Federal Election Commission reports, Palin raised $865,000 and contributed $87,500 to GOP candidates, leaving her PAC with about $1 million on hand. Pawlenty took in $724,000, shelled out $84,000 to candidates, and has $940,000 on hand. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who won the Iowa caucus in 2008, took in about $258,000. FEC reports for other potential 2012 contenders should appear soon.