Many of the wealthiest donors are contributing to super PACs, particularly on the conservative side.
Restore Our Future took in $8.7 million last month, including $850,000 from Chicago financier Kenneth Griffin; $1 million from a firm headed by Florida investor Bill Koch; and $500,000 from James Davis, chairman of the New Balance athletic shoe company. Davis also gave $500,000 to the group last year, leading to protests from gay rights activists.
Liberal super PACs have had little success matching their conservative rivals. Priorities USA Action, a super PAC formed by two former Obama aides, says it raised just $4.5 million from January to March.
The Obama campaign also released its list of more than 530 official fundraisers who help bundle together checks from friends and associates, including 117 people who have raised $500,000 or more. Romney has declined to release his own campaign bundlers, except for a handful of lobbyists who must be identified by law.
The Obama campaign said Friday that it had returned $50,000 raised by a New York supporter accused in court of defrauding a businessman, impersonating a bank official and dodging creditors.
Spokesman Ben LaBolt said the campaign returned a donation of $35,000 from the fundraiser, Abake Assongba, and another $15,000 from her husband, Anthony J.W. DeRosa. Assongba had been on the campaign’s public list of campaign bundlers earlier, but was absent from the updated list released Friday.
The Washington Post reported last month that Assongba was dogged by a collection agency and a court order to pay more than $10,000 in unpaid rent for her former Brooklyn apartment, among other issues. Assongba was also sued by a Swiss businessman in Florida who alleged being a victim of an e-mail scam. Assongba disputed the allegations.
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Photos: President Obama on the campaign trail