Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign paid millions of dollars to companies led by top advisers and, by many measures, the campaign got less to show for it than in-house staffers performing a labor of love for President Obama’s campaign, expenditure records show.
The Romney team spent twice as much as the Obama campaign on direct mail and telemarketing, paying tens of millions of dollars to two companies tied to Romney aides. Republican operatives said that resulted in a potential conflict of interest that could explain why the party’s nominee relied heavily on those tactics, and not enough on the kinds of grass-roots efforts Mr. Obama rode to victory.
“The problem is the Republican consultants have a very incestuous relationship. They’re sending money to companies they all control at a profit, and they’re telling donors this is what wins elections. And I think they were exposed badly” on Election Day, said Drew Ryun, a former Republican National Committee official whose brother runs American Majority, a nonprofit that helps train Republicans to organize volunteers.
SCM Associates Inc., a company bearing the initials of close Romney associate Stephen C. Meyers, billed $48 million for direct mail, according to the records. FLS Connect, which counts as a partner Romney political director Rich Beeson, charged $36 million for telemarketing and robocalls, the records show.
Through Oct. 17, Mr. Romney and the RNC spent $130 million on direct mail, far more than the $80 million their Democratic counterparts spent, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of Federal Election Commission records. The largest portion of that money went to Mr. Meyers‘ company, which has been sending mail solicitations on behalf of Republicans since 1991. Mr. Romney and the RNC spent $60 million on telemarketing, compared with $25 million by Mr. Obama and his allies, with most of it going to FLS Connect, which also performed non-telemarketing work. ...
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