by KRISTEN A. LEE (Daily News)
Call them the $1 billion men.
The final fundraising tallies for President Obama and Mitt Romney each topped $1 billion after a last-minute surge of money from mega-donors like Sheldon Adelson.
Final campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that the 2012 election broke the $2 billion mark to become the most expensive presidential race in American history.
Mitt Romney’s donors alone gave nearly $86 million to bolster his losing campaign in its final weeks. That included $33 million to pro-Romney political action committees from Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul.
In total, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, poured $95 million into the effort to elect Romney and other Republican candidates over the course of the election.
Adelson recently told The Wall Street Journal that he planned to double his roughly $100 million investment in Republican causes by the next election cycle.
That goal could be complicated, however, by troubles at his casino company, particularly tussles with the federal government over tax revenues and government probes into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which targets money-laundering and international bribery.
The main super PAC backing Romney, Restore Our Future, raised $22 million in the race’s final stretch, bringing its campaign total to $152 million.
The Adelsons added $10 million to that final fundraising surge, as well as $23 million to Karl Rove’s pro-Romney super PAC American Crossroads.
The pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action, took in $15 million in the final weeks of the campaign.
Although the massive haul didn’t get Romney into the White House, his national finance chairman, Spencer Zwick, still declared a victory, describing the fundraising effort as “the most successful in Republican Party history.”
Via Michael Charney