Mitt Romney’s biggest fans

If you haven’t heard, the names of the major donors were released last week for all the active super PACs (Political Action Committees) for the last quarter of 2011 as reported by the Deseret News last week.

Some expected and uexpected local names appear in the mix for the Mitt Romney leaning super PAC Restoring our Future as well as a number of people with ties to Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded and led before entering politics. Restoring our Future, was created by former aides to Mitt Romney, and has focused primarily on defeating Newt Gingrich during the primaries but may have to pivot towards Rick Santorum given his surge on Tuesday. If Romney wins the nomination, the super PAC will likely turn it’s attention to Obama.

Below is a list of donors of local (Utah, Idaho) interest or a connection to Bain Capital.

Donors of Interest

  1. Edward Conard ($1,000,000) – Investor and former top executive at Bain Capital, the private equity firm Mr. Romney helped start.
  2. John Paulson ($1,000,000) – Another hedge fund acquaintance. Founded the hedge fund Paulson & Company. Known for earning billions betting against the subprime mortgage market.
  3. Eli Publishing Inc. ($1,000,000) – A Provo based company. The registered agent on state records is Steven J. Lund, co-founder and former CEO of Nu Skin Enterprises. Contributed to Mr. Romney’s fund-raising effort for the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
  4. F8 LLC ($1,000,000) – Has offices at the same location as Eli Publishing. Jeremy Blickenstaff, who is Lund’s son-in-law, and the owner of Blickenstaff’s toy store in Provo, is listed as the agent for F8 according to State records.
  5. Melaleuca ($1,000,000) – An Idaho Falls-based MLM. Donations were made by billionaire co-founder Frank VanderSloot, who is a national finance co-chairman for Romney.
  6. Paul Edgerley ($500,000) – A managing director at Bain Capital.
  7. John Connaughton ($250,000) – A managing director at Bain Capital since 1997.
  8. Domenic Ferrante ($250,000) – Another managing director at Bain Capital.
  9. Stephen Zide ($250,000) – Another managing director of Bain Capital.
  10. Jenzabar Inc. ($250,000) – A software company run by CEO Robert A. Maginn Jr., who is the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, the finance co-chairman of Mr. Romney’s last presidential campaign and a former senior partner and director at Bain & Company.
  11. Steven Barnes ($125,000) – Another managing director at Bain Capital.
  12. Deborah Barnes ($125,000) – Who is listed as a homemaker in the filing. The wife of Steven Barnes.
  13. Kevin Rollins ($187,500) – Former C.E.O. of Dell Computer and former partner at Bain. Currently a senior advisor at TPA Private Equity.
  14. Debra Rollins (62,500) – Listed as a homemaker in the filing. Wife of Kevin Rollins.
  15. David Bullock ($100,000) – A managing director of Salt Lake City based Sorenson Capital.
  16. Larry H. Miller Group of Companies ($100,000) – Founded by Larry H.  Miller, now run by son Greg Miller and wife Gail. Owner of The Utah Jazz, Megaplex Theatres and the Larry H. Miller group of car dealerships.
  17. Slocum and Associates ($100,000) – Salt Lake City company owned by businessman Jonathan W. Bullen, a real estate investor who is also owner and president of Provo College, Eagle Gate College, and Evolution Fitness. Mr. Bullen, was one of Romney’s national finance co-chairman for his campaign in 2008.

John M. Huntsman, Sr. was also the foremost donor to the Jon Hunstman, Jr. leaning super PAC Our destiny, chipping in $1.9 of the 2.7 million dollars the PAC has raised. Super PAC’s do not have to return donations so it will be interesting to see if Huntsman, after having bowed out of the GOP primaries, encourages them to turn their attention to aiding Romney or hold onto it for a future run at government office by the former Utah Governor.

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