Firm donates $1 million to pro-Romney PAC, then disappears

By David Edwards
Thursday, August 4, 2011 11:43 EDT
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Big donors have found yet another way to anonymously funnel obscene amounts of money to political candidates.

Restore Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, received $1 million from W Spann LLC, one of the biggest donations of the 2012 campaign season so far. Months later, the firm dissolved, leaving few clues to the true identity of the donors.

New reporting from NBC’s Michael Isikoff sheds some light on the mysterious corporation.

The company was founded on March 15, donated to the Super PAC on April 28, and then closed shop on July 12. Corporate records show it was founded by Boston estate tax planning lawyer Cameron Casey, but the owners were not disclosed. The midtown Manhattan office building where the company was supposedly located has no record of the tenant.

According to Casey’s bio, she “develops wealth transfer strategies for private clients” and “provides comprehensive estate planning advice to high-net-worth individuals.”

“What you have here is a roadmap for how people can hide their identities” for the purposes of making political donations, former Federal Election Commission general counsel Lawrence Noble told Isikoff. “There is a real issue of it being just a subterfuge.”

Last year, the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling paved the way for corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to Super PACs or other political advocacy. While Super PACs must remain independent from candidates, Romney has blurred the lines by speaking a private dinner for Restore our Future donors last month.

“This is an independent effort focused on getting Romney elected president,” Restore our Future campaign treasurer Charles Spies later told The Washington Post. Spies had previously worked as counsel to Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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