A few weeks after some individual donors hit their campaign contribution limits to President Obama’s reelection campaign, they made donations to the super PAC supporting him, extending their financial support to the shadow campaign that’s backing his bid for another four years in the White House. This new trend has just begun to emerge in the most recent super PAC financial disclosures filed over the weekend with the Federal Election Commission. It’s another impact of the sweeping changes in campaign finance law set off by the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, which opened the door for unlimited contributions to organizations that expressly advocate for or against a candidate’s election. That gives deep-pocketed supporters a new avenue for showing their support once they’ve passed the FEC limits, which limit individual donors to $5,000 per election cycle — $2,500 for the primary election and $2,500 for the general.
An analysis of super PAC and candidates’ financial filings by Sunlight shows donors to both Obama and his almost-certain GOP rival, Mitt Romney, beginning to move to super PACs as they hit their ceiling for giving to the White House hopefuls. While Obama’s campaign has been slower to start up and peak on fundraising, more individual donors to his campaign have also donated to various Democratic-leaning super PACs compared to those backing Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. So far, 45 of Obama’s maxed-out campaign contributors and 13 of Romney’s have given to various super PACs, an analysis of campaign contributions and a list of super PAC donors for this election cycle show.
Another Sunlight analysis shows how closely intertwined Priorities USA Action and Obama campaign fundraising are geographically. Seventeen of Obama’s maxed-out donors have also donated to Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC. One of those is Amy Goldman, a million dollar donor to the super PAC. Associated with Sol Goldman Investments, a top New York City real estate company that owns about 100 buildings in Manhattan, she hit her $5,000 limit for the Obama 2012 campaign last fall. Last month, she made a $1 million donation to Priorities USA Action.