Behind the Veil of the Super-PACs

It nearly got obscured by the Florida primary results and the associated talk, but there’s now pretty extensive coverage of the disclosures made yesterday on the identity of major contributors to Super-PACs, those would-be arbiters of our future so kindly liberated by the U.S. Supreme Court to offer us their long, green political “expressions.”

Given its impact in Iowa and Florida, Romney’s Super-PAC naturally got the most attention. Here’s the nut of the New York Times write-up on these worthies:

All told, the group, Restore Our Future, raised about $18 million from just 200 donors in the second half of 2011.

Millions of dollars came from financial industry executives, including Mr. Romney’s former colleagues at Bain Capital, who contributed a total of $750,000; senior executives at Goldman Sachs, who contributed $385,000; and some of the most prominent and politically active Republicans in the hedge fund world, three of whom gave $1 million each: Robert Mercer of Renaissance Technologies; Paul Singer of Elliott Management, and Julian Robertson of Tiger Management.

Harlan Crow, the Texas construction magnate, gave $300,000 personally and through his company. William Koch, whose brothers Charles and David are among the country’s most prominent backers of conservative causes, gave $1 million personally or through Oxbow Carbon, the energy company he founded. Members of the Walton family, founders of the Walmart chain, gave over $200,000, while Bob Perry — a wealthy home builder who has long been the top patron of Mr. Romney’s erstwhile rival, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas — chipped in $500,000 in early December.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s a mixed bag of Bain and Goldman folk; three hedge-fund guys; a Koch; some Waltons; and the original “Swift Boater.” And that’s for the “responsible moderate” in the GOP race.

Thanks again, Supremes.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.