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Super PACs: FEC report sheds light on powerful influence of a few big donors (+video)

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• Make US Great Again, a super PAC supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry, raised $5.3 million, mainly from energy company executives. After giving $1 million to Governor Perry’s super PAC, Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons gave $500,000 to Winning Our Future, supporting Gingrich. Perry suspended his campaign on Jan. 19, after dismal showings in the polls and early primaries.

• Our Destiny PAC, a super PAC supporting former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who withdrew from the race on Jan. 16, had received 70 percent of its funding from the candidate’s father, Jon Huntsman Sr., executive chairman of the Huntsman Corporation ($1.9 million). Our Destiny PAC spent $2.5 million on Mr. Huntsman’s behalf.

• GOP hopeful Ron Paul is backed by three super PACs – Endorse Liberty Inc., Santa Rita Super PAC, and Revolution PAC – which have spent $3.7 million supporting his campaign. Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, a founder of PayPal, is the leading donor at $900,000.

• Super PACs supporting President Obama, together, raised $3.1 million in the second half of 2011. By contrast, super PACs attacking the president, such as American Crossroads and FreedomWorks for America, report raising $20.3 million over the same period.

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