WASHINGTON (AP) - Tuesday's "super" PAC releases will reveal who the millionaires are behind this year's presidential election.
Outside groups funded by anonymous donors and working on behalf of candidates they support have pummeled Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and others for the past two months by spending millions of dollars on mostly negative TV ads that have had an enormous impact on the fight for the Republican presidential nomination.
For the first time since they started shaping this campaign, many of those "super" political action committees are set to disclose just who is financing their pseudo-campaign operations. Many took advantage of a change in federal rules that essentially let them shield their donors' identities until after key primary elections in January. But they still must submit their financial reports to the Federal Election Commission by Tuesday.
Only a handful of donors are known, including Las Vegas billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson. His two checks for $5 million apiece to Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich group, essentially kept the former House speaker's White House campaign afloat at critical junctures just before the South Carolina and Florida primaries.
Bain Capital executives and Romney friends have lined the bank accounts of the pro-Romney group Restore Our Future. Former Bain executive Edward Conrad donated $1 million last spring and Marriott International Inc. CEO J.W. Marriott Jr. gave the group $500,000, seed money spent to successfully hammer Gingrich in Iowa late last year as he started to rise.
In the midst of the upcoming reveals of the top GOP contender's supporters, one of the arguably more notable "super" PACS also disclosed its donors for the first time. Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, the movement created in jest by comedian Stephen Colbert, disclosed that it had raised $825,475 from its creation in the middle of 2011 through December 31.
Ninety percent of the contributions to Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrowwhich can receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and unionscame from smaller donations, mostly under $250. Smaller donations are not required to be listed on "super" PAC disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission.