Remember when a Mitt Romney political action committee received a $1 million donation from "W Spann LLC," a mysterious company that was created in March and dissolved in July? And we all thought it was al Qaeda or Dr. Claw or someone? Turns out it was just a regular old rich guy!
Yes, our million-dollar man is some dude named Edward Conrad, who is apparently a former executive of Romney's old firm Bain Capital. (Above: Artist's rendering.) And he's just exercising in his constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech, which, you'll be glad to remember, is, in the context of political donations, the same thing as money:
Created by former aides to Romney, Restore Our Future raised $12.2 million during the first six months of 2011. The outside group is not officially connected to Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and can receive endless funds from individuals and corporations, thanks in part to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling known as "Citizens United."
"They're raising unlimited money from donors who can only give limited contributions to the candidate himself, and then are spending money directly to support the candidate," said Fred Wertheimer, president of watchdog Democracy 21, which called on the Justice Department and FEC this week to investigate the contribution.
"The whole operation is a sham," he said, "and the sooner we figure out how to do something about this, the better."
Conrad must have a lot of free speech, to be able to spare a million free speech-bucks! (He and his wife also maxed out their personal contributions of free speech to the Romney campaign this summer at $2,500 each.) But let's not forget that rich people have more of a right to have their political preferences known, because of... the constitution, or whatever.