Romney Fundraisers Quietly Amass Millions
One major Romney donor, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss fundraising practices behind the scenes, acknowledged that Romney financiers who serve as event hosts or are listed as members of campaign finance committees are likely Romney's bundlers and generally asked to raise a certain amount.
Romney's largest source of donations is employees at Goldman Sachs , the New York-based investment and securities firm. More than $426,000 flowed into the Romney campaign in 2011 from individuals who identified themselves as Goldman Sachs managers or employees, and the Romney campaign has listed several senior or former Goldman Sachs executives as lead fundraisers of its campaign events, including John Whitehead, the firm's former chairman.
One top Goldman Sachs fundraiser is Muneer Satter of Chicago, a managing partner who heads the firm's Mezzanine Group. Satter was a co-chairman of Romney's national finance committee during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid. Satter was a lead fundraiser for at least two events for Romney in 2011, one in New York in December and another in Chicago in May, and gave $195,000 to the super PAC supporting Romney. Satter did not return several telephone messages from the AP.
Eisenberg, a senior adviser to the Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts private equity fund, would not say whether he was a bundler. But his activities bear the hallmarks of a major fundraiser.
A former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and a $500,000-level bundler for McCain in 2008, Eisenberg was a lead fundraiser for Romney events in New York in October and December, and he hosted a reception at a New York law firm in late September. He also gave $25,000 to the super PAC supporting Romney, adding to a $100,000 donation to the group in February from KKR founder Henry Kravis. Donors listing KKR as their place of business gave $36,000 to Romney's campaign in 2011.
Two other major sources of Romney's campaign money are the New York investment bank JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse , the international bank based in Switzerland.
The former chairman of JPMorgan, William B. Harrison, was a lead fundraiser at a New York event for Romney in mid-December. Two executives of JPMorgan subsidiaries, Andy Sriubas and Reinier Prijten, were listed at events for Romney last fall. And four senior JPMorgan executives — among them the bank's vice chairman, James B. Lee and former Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, now the firm's director of Florida, Central American and Caribbean operations — hosted a separate December fundraiser for Romney.
In the two weeks before and after the December fundraisers, the Romney campaign received more than $60,000 in contributions from JPMorgan employees, according to federal election records.
The chairman of Credit Suisse in New York, Eric Varvel, was listed on invitations for two fundraisers for Romney in New York in October and December, as well as for a New York fundraiser earlier this month. The Romney campaign reportedly took in nearly $2 million from that event and another in New York that day.
Donors who listed their employer as JPMorgan accounted for $305,000 in contributions to Romney last year, according to campaign records. More than $283,000 came from individuals who identified Credit Suisse as their place of employment.
Bobbie Kilberg, chief executive officer of the Northern Virginia Technology Council in suburban Washington, helped collect more than $2.2 million and said she is "profoundly proud to be identified as a person who raises money for Mitt Romney."
Kilberg said she has worked with a team of Romney supporters who have held a series of fundraisers for him, including a June 29 event at the Ritz Carlton in Northern Virginia, which brought in nearly $350,000. An Oct. 25 gathering at her home in McLean, Va., raised $356,000. That was followed by another fundraiser that collected more than $1.5 million.
Daniel Dumezich, a partner with the Winston & Strawn law firm in Chicago, said he held fundraisers for Romney in Indiana. He also helped organize volunteers and supporters for the campaign. Dumezich said his goal was to inspire others to support Romney, encouraging them to write checks and to find others to give money. Dumezich said he doesn't mind being identified as supporting Romney. But he said he doesn't have an opinion about whether Romney's campaign should also disclose how much he and others are raising.
"I haven't thought about that," he said.