By Alina Selyukh
WASHINGTON, June 20 The outside "Super PAC"
helping U.S. President Barack Obama's election campaign raised
$4 million in May, according to a source familiar with the
figures, marking its best month since it was created.
The group, Priorities USA Action, had struggled to catch up
to its deep-pocketed Republican rivals in the money chase ahead
of the Nov. 6 election, but the source said June is already
better than May in terms of the Super PAC's cash haul.
By comparison, Restore Our Future, the Super PAC political
action committee backing Republican candidate Mitt Romney raised
$5 million in May, its report filed with the Federal Election
Overall this campaign season, Restore Our Future has
reported raising $61.5 million, while Priorities USA, the source
said, has already put $20 million in the bank and has another
$20 million in hard commitments.
Priorities USA Action's official filing is due to be
presented to the FEC by the end of Wednesday.
Super PACs, spawned by a 2010 Supreme Court decision
allowing outside groups to raise and spend unlimited amounts of
money, are readying for probably the most expensive campaign in
U.S. history. Outside spending has already topped $100 million.
Given the Obama's campaign's own fund-raising prowess,
Democrats have been slower to embrace the notion of a Super PAC.
Only in February did Obama announce a change of heart on his
opposition to Super PACs, leaving Priorities USA with an uphill
climb to convince the liberal wealthy of its crucial role.
In May, for the first time, Romney's campaign fundraising -
donations subject to legal limits - topped Obama's, bringing in
more than $76.8 million. Obama and his Democratic allies raised
some $60 million in the same period.
Romney's Super PAC, Restore Our Future, came to prominence
for funding attack ads which helped the former Massachusetts
governor defeat rival Republican presidential hopefuls during
the primary season.
In April, Restore Our Future raised $3.9 million compared to
$1.6 million for Priorities USAA.
Restore Our Future had $8.4 million left in cash on hand at
the end of May after spending $4.8 million on advertising, FEC
Priorities USA has so far spent some $15 million on
advertising, much of it in recent weeks on ads across six states
hitting Romney on his private equity past and immigration
The pro-Obama group plans to spend another $10 million on
the air through the end of summer, the source said.
Restore Our Future, for its part, on Wednesday launched a
$7.6 million ad spree in nine battleground states, picking on
Obama's gaffe earlier this month that "the private sector is
The group is one of several Republican outside spending
groups helping Romney catch up and overtake Obama's campaign
Much of Restore Our Future's cash in May came from
first-time donors, including a $500,000 check from Arkansas
billionaire investment banker Warren Stephens.
Another check of that size came from Pennsylvania healthcare
executive and founder of Select Medical Rocco Ortenzio,
whose total donation is now $750,000.
Three companies linked to Robert Brockman, an executive at
Dayton, Ohio-based Reynolds and Reynolds, split a $1 million
donations. The companies - CRC Information Systems Inc,
Fairbanks Properties LLC and Waterbury Properties LLC - share a
P.O. box with his Brockman's car dealership support company.
Notably absent from the filing is billionaire Las Vegas
casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose $10 million pledge to the
group this month is expected to be disclosed in July.