Bloomberg News

Florida Retirement Home Builder Among Donors to Romney Group

June 20, 2012

The family that owns a 33-square- mile retirement community near Ocala, Florida, wrote checks totaling $428,400 last month to a super-political action committee supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Billionaire developer H. Gary Morse, chief executive officer of The Villages of Lake Sumter, and his wife, Renee Morse, contributed $200,000, while three of his children gave the rest, according to U.S. Federal Election Commission reports filed today.

The family’s donations were among those itemized by Restore Our Future, a super-PAC which raised about $5 million last month and had about $8.4 million cash on hand as of May 31, the reports show.

Romney, President Barack Obama and the super-PACs backing them are due to file their May monthly financial disclosure reports by midnight.

Romney and his general-election partners the Romney Victory Fund raised $76.8 million last month, the campaign previously said. Obama and his joint committee raised about $60 million, his campaign said.

Other groups set to file today include American Crossroads, a Republican super-PAC founded with the help of political strategist Karl Rove, and Priorities USA Action, a super-PAC founded by former Obama aides.

Super-PAC’s Role

Restore Our Future has raised a total of $61.5 million since April 2011. During the Republican nomination battle, the group placed television ads attacking Romney’s opponents and it is now airing anti-Obama ads.

Super-PACs can raise unlimited sums from individuals and companies and can support a particular candidate so long as the campaigns don’t coordinate with one another.

Restore Our Future’s largest May contribution of a combined $1 million arrived May 22 from three companies registered to the same post-office box in Dayton, Ohio.

Auto supplier executive Robert Brockman is the common denominator of those companies, according to corporate filings. Brockman is chairman and chief executive officer of Reynolds & Reynolds, a Dayton-based company that provides office supplies and professional services to car dealers and automakers.

CRC Information Systems Inc. and Fairbanks Properties LLC each gave $333,333 to the super-PAC, while Waterbury Properties LLC contributed $333,334. Brockman is listed as manager of Fairbanks in filings with the Florida Division of Corporations. He is the registered director of Waterbury, according to Texas tax records. CRC is a Reynolds company.

Maximum to Romney

A spokesman for Reynolds said Brockman wasn’t immediately available. Brockman has given the maximum $5,000 to Romney’s campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that tracks political donations.

The Morse family made its contributions on May 1, according to the FEC reports. Sumter County, home of The Villages, is home to almost twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats, and so is a regular fundraising stop for Republican candidates. Developer Morse is part of Romney’s Florida finance team.

May marked the first time he and his family members gave to Restore Our Future, according to FEC reports.

The Villages is one of the world’s largest retirement communities, where Morse has built and sold more than 44,000 homes since 1983.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Bykowicz in Washington at jbykowicz@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net


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