War Chest 2012: Romney Campaign Begins Taking Greater Individual Donations

“When Mitt Romney became the presumptive GOP nominee, his campaign became a father, of sorts, to multiple accounts. Now, donations can be as high as $75,000 a person.”

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Editor's note: Citydesk will be regularly tracking campaign war chests, local and national, as we follow donations to candidates for the White House, U.S. Congress and the Idaho Statehouse.

If Damond Watkins, Melaleuca's vice president of corporate relations, has his way, fundraising for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will soon see massive increases, coming in larger amounts from individual donors.

“Normally, individual campaign donations are capped at $2,500,” said Watkins, who was recently placed on administrative leave from Melaleuca to assist with Romney’s campaign. “But when Mitt Romney became the presumptive GOP nominee, his campaign became a father, of sorts, to multiple accounts. Now, donations can be as high as $75,000 a person.”

What allows donors to bypass the $2,500 individual donation limit is Romney Victory, Inc., a new joint fund-raising committee composed of Romney’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and Republican organizations in Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont.

According to Trevor Thorpe, political director for the Idaho Republican Party, a joint fund-raising committee allows donors to make large contributions to a single organization, which then disburses the maximum allowable amounts to multiple organizations benefiting Romney’s campaign.

For example, a $75,800 donation to Romney Victory, Inc. serves as donations amounting to $2,500 for the primary election, $2,500 for the general election, $30,800 for the Republican National Committee and $10,000 for the Republican Party’s federal accounts in each of four battleground states in the upcoming election. Each of those amounts represents the maximum allowable donation at its level.

As one of four states comprising Romney's new joint fund-raising committee, the Idaho Republican Party will become a much larger player in Romney’s fund-raising operations, leading up to the general election.

“It’s not that the money will necessarily be spent in Idaho, but it’s great for Idaho to be involved,” said Travis Hawkes, Idaho finance chair for Romney’s campaign. “Idaho has a great relationship with Gov. Romney and the campaign, so we were definitely honored to be a part of the joint fund-raising agreement.”

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