Restore Our Future

SOURCE:  Wikipedia, captured 2020-09-03
This page last modified: 2020-10-04 12:20:26 -0700 (PST)

  • Name: Restore Our Future
  • Founded: 2010-10-08
  • Launched: 2011-06-23
  • Founders: Mitt Romney aides
  • Purpose: Elect Mitt Romney as President
  • Type: single-candidate Super PAC in support of Mitt Romney
  • Revenue: ~$154 million (2012 election cycle)
  • Website:  [inactive]

    Restore Our Future is a pro-Republican Party political action committee (PAC) created to support Mitt Romney in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election. A so-called Super PAC, Restore Our Future is permitted to raise and spend unlimited amounts of corporate, union, and individual campaign contributions under the terms of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision.

    Restore Our Future was founded by Romney aides in 2010. Charles Spies, Restore Our Future's Treasurer and former general counsel for Romney's 2008 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, described Restore Our Future as "an independent effort focused on getting Romney elected president." Restore Our Future reported raising over $12 million in the first half of 2011, in the form of large donations from approximately 90 wealthy individuals and corporations. As of July 2012, Restore Our Future had raised more than $60 million, nearly half from Wall Street contributors. Charles Spies declined to discuss specific contributors to the PAC.



    As of July 2012, Restore Our Future had raised more than $60 million, a large portion of which came from Wall Street contributors.

    As of August 2011, the largest individual contributor to Restore Our Future was John Paulson, a billionaire and hedge fund manager who is, according to Politico, "famous for having enriched himself by betting on the collapse of the housing industry." An additional million dollars came from W Spann LLC, a dummy corporation with no record of actual business activities. W Spann LLC was incorporated, donated to the PAC, and then dissolved in a matter of months, attracting concern from election-watchdog groups and campaign-finance experts about the use of dummy corporations to shield large campaign contributions from public scrutiny.

    Several watchdog groups requested that the Justice Department and Federal Election Commission investigate donations to Restore Our Future from W Spann LLC as possible violations of campaign-finance law. Restore Our Future declined to provide additional details about the donation and asserted that it had complied with existing laws.

    In response to rumors, a spokesman for Bain Capital, a private equity firm previously headed by Romney, stated that W Spann LLC "is not affiliated with Bain Capital or any of our employees." Shortly thereafter, Edward Conard, a former top executive at Bain Capital who retired in 2007, came forward to state that he had formed W Spann LLC and funded and authorized the $1 million contribution. Conard requested that Restore Our Future amend its filings to reflect that he, rather than W Spann LLC, had donated the $1 million.

    Another entity, Paumanok Partners LLC, contributed $250,000 to Restore Our Future. Paumanok Partners LLC has been traced back to Romney donor William Laverack, Jr. Glenbrook L.L.C. was originally reported as donating $250,000 in August 2011, but in an amended filing with the FEC the Glenbrook donation was replaced by two $125,000 donations by Jesse Rogers, a former executive at Bain & Company.

    Two additional $1 million contributions came from corporations registered to the offices of two executives of Nu Skin Enterprises, a Utah-based multilevel marketing company selling skin-care products and dietary supplements. Other large contributors included members of the Marriott family, hedge-fund managers, and investors in Bain Capital.

    Several Affiliates of Melaleuca, Inc., an Idaho-based multilevel marketing company owned by Frank L. VanderSloot, have donated a total of approximately $1 million to the PAC. VanderSloot is also a National Finance co-Chairman of the Romney campaign.

    From federal contractors

    Despite a 36-year-old ban against federal contractors making federal political expenditures, Restore Our Future has accepted donations of $890,000 from at least five such companies, who are taking advantage of a legal gray area created by the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. Oxbow Carbon, a major coal and petroleum company founded by William Koch that contracts with the Tennessee Valley Authority, gave $750,000, and has insisted such donations are now legal. Another company, M.C. Dean, a Virginia-based electrical engineering company, donated $5,000, but has asked the funds to be returned after consulting with lawyers. The other companies are: B/E Aerospace, a U.S. Department of Defense contractor, which gave $50,000; Clinical Medical Services, which contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs, donated $25,000; and Suffolk Construction Co., which is building a U.S. Naval base, donated $60,000.

    Additional Funding Notes

    SOURCE:, captured 2020-09-03
    This page last modified: 2020-10-04 12:20:26 -0700 (PST)

    During the 2012 election cycle, no other Super PAC raised as much money as Restore Our Future, which collected nearly $154 million thanks to a network of deep-pocketed individuals, companies and partnerships.

    In all, nearly one-third of the money Restore Our Future raised came from individuals and organizations in the financial sector, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And nearly half of the early money raised by the pro-Romney group was from financial industry sources, with especially large contributions coming from hedge fund and private equity managers.

    Restore Our Future's staff includes Larry McCarthy, known for the infamous "Willie Horton" ad that helped sink Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis in 1988. The group ran attack ads in Iowa that were widely credited with undermining former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich's popularity and boosting Romney to a very close second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

    In fact, during the GOP presidential primaries, more than 93 percent of the nearly $43 million the group spent was on negative ads, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

    With its lush bank account, it dramatically outspent Romney's rivals and their allies and helped carry Romney to victory over Gingrich and former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, who were both substantially aided by super PACs during the extended primary fight.

    Romney attended several of Restore Our Future's fundraising events, including a dinner in New York on July 19, 2011. The dinner was also attended by one of the PAC's million-dollar donors, John Paulson, the hedge-fund manager who made billions betting against the housing market. In addition to his contribution to the super PAC, Paulson was also a leading fundraiser/bundler for the Romney campaign and hosted a money bash at his home in the Hamptons during the summer of 2011, as the Center for Public Integrity previously reported.

    Several big-dollar contributions to Restore Our Future came from obscure businesses suspected of being shell corporations to mask the identity of the actual donors.

    On multiple occasions, Restore Our Future refunded corporate contributions and then accepted the same amount of money from individual donors instead. Two of these situations involved former employees of companies that Romney himself used to work for.

    Additionally, in February, the group refunded a $100,000 donation from the Rod and Leslie Aycox Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was legally prohibited from donating to the super PAC.

    Among the super PAC's early donors were two other mysterious corporations, which each invested $1 million in Restore Our Future's success: F8 LLC and Eli Publishing, which share an address in Provo, Utah. They are connected to prominent Mormon businessman Steve Lund, the vice chairman of the board of nutrition and cosmetics company Nu Skin, and former Nu Skin lawyer (and Lund son-in-law) Jeremy Blickenstaff.

    Another Mormon business executive, Frank L. VanderSloot, has used a network of corporate accounts connected to his cleaning products, cosmetics and vitamins company, Melaleuca Inc. -- which has been accused by some of being a pyramid scheme -- to give $1 million to Restore Our Future in August of 2011. VanderSloot also personally gave the super PAC $100,000. And thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. FEC ruling, Melaleuca further directly spent more than $200,000 on pro-Romney television and radio advertisements by Election Day.

    Notably, Restore Our Future also received $2 million from the sons of hotel magnate John Willard Marriott, Sr., after whom Romney is named: J.W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr., and Richard Marriott, both influential Mormon businessmen, have each contributed $1 million to Restore Our Future. Romney previously served on the board of directors of the Marriott hotel chain and after his loss in November, he rejoined the company's board.

    In August of 2012, Restore Our Future received a $1 million contribution from reinsurance company OdysseyRe of Conn., a "wholly-owned subsidiary" of Canadian insurance and investment management giant Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. While officials with both companies maintained that the transaction complied with all U.S. campaign finance laws, Paul S. Ryan, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, told the Center for Public Integrity that OdysseyRe's donation raised "some legal red flags."

    Restore our Future spent exclusively to aid Romney during the GOP primary. After becoming the Republican presidential nominee, the super PAC nicknamed "Romney's Death Star" turned its sights on President Barack Obama, spending about $100 million during the general election, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

    See more data on Restore Our Future at, or more background information at

    Iowa ad

    In December 2011, Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post found that a Restore Our Future ad attacking Newt Gingrich in Iowa had a number of "egregious fouls" and "underhanded" treatment of Freddie Mac and abortion issues. The PAC had $3 million budgeted for the Iowa television campaign. Brittany Gross, a Restore Our Future spokesperson, declined to answer questions from Kessler about the ad.

    Board and staffing

    Restore Our Future's board of directors included treasurer Charles Spies; Carl Forti, political director for Governor Romney's 2008 campaign and of American Crossroads Super PAC; and Larry McCarthy, a member of Governor Romney's media team in 2008.

    Don Stirling, who was the 2002 Utah Olympics' local marketing chief and fundraiser working with Romney, worked with Restore Our Future during Governor Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.

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