Santorum, Gingrich campaigns owe millions

May 20, 2012

Republican Rick Santorum ended his presidential campaign with $2.3 million in debt while Newt Gingrich owed $4.8 million, new federal filings show.

Santorum bowed out in early April, owing $763,000 to top adviser John Brabender’s firm for television commercials and $640,000 to Arlington technology company Emotive LLC. His campaign had $1 million in the bank at the end of April, meaning he’ll need to raise an additional $1.3 million to settle his accounts, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission made Sunday night.

Former candidates often turn to the winner of the party’s nomination for help with retiring debt, assistance that former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty has received from presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Romney and Santorum met in Pittsburgh in early May to discuss a possible endorsement.

In April, Romney raised $11.4 million for his campaign and a total of $40.1 million, including money brought in by the Republican National Committee. That’s only slightly less than the $43.6 million raised by President Obama and the Democratic National Committee, which is spending on behalf of the president.

Obama and the DNC had a big cash-on-hand advantage, however. Democrats had $147.2 million in the bank for the race, compared with $61.4 million for Republicans.

Several new donors made big contributions to a super PAC backing Romney, including $1 million each from John Kleinheinz, a Texas hedge-fund founder, and Harold Hamm, chairman and chief executive of the oil and gas exploration company Continental Resources.

Hallador Energy of Colorado, a Nasdaq-listed coal-mining and oil company, gave $100,000 to the Restore Our Future PAC, which raised $4.6 million in April and had $8.2 million in the bank. Hallador’s chief executive, Victor Stabio, is a Romney donor.

Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC behind Obama, raised $1.6 million in April, with almost all of that coming from two unions. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association gave $1 million, and the United Association, representing plumbers and other trades, gave $250,000.

The Obama PAC has not been able to attract many people willing to donate large sums. Joe Kiani, the founder of medical-device maker Masimo, is the individual donor who gave the most, $100,000.

American Crossroads, a Republican super PAC created with support from George W. Bush administration political adviser Karl Rove, raised $1.8 million in April. Most of the money came from a single $1 million contribution from Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, who, along with Contran Corp., which he owns, has donated $13 million to Crossroads in the 2012 election cycle.

Obama’s campaign spent $14.3 million in April, including $2.4 million on Internet advertising and $1.8 million on media buys. Romney spent $12.5 million during the same month, with $2 million in media and $2.5 million on direct mail.

Obama’s campaign payroll was $3.7 million, compared with $645,000 for Romney.

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