“In the 2004 general election, our big donors were still important to the extent that we needed them to give to the [Republican National Committee], but we were basically done fundraising by the time the convention rolled around because we accepted public financing,” Schlapp said. “Whereas now, it’s important for the campaigns, the super PACs, the 501(c)4s and the national parties to shepherd the big donors all the way through the elections, because they’re going to be getting asked for big checks right up until Election Day.”
The exclusive and sometimes secretive big donor events in Tampa are being organized by super PACs, Romney’s campaign and even some of the biggest donors, themselves, who, POLITICO has learned, have organized their own series of dinners and panels that are expected to draw big names as well.
The Romney campaign has designated two waterfront hotels — the Westin Tampa Harbour Island and the Marriott Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club — for its bundlers. Those who have committed to raising $250,000 or more – “Stars,” in the campaign’s parlance — get to attend briefings with Jeb Bush, Rice, Haley, Tim Pawlenty, Bob McDonnell and other big names, according to an agenda obtained by POLITICO.
American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, which were founded by Rove, have lined up some high-powered names for a Thursday morning breakfast briefing for donors and prospective donors. In addition to Rove and Barbour, the former Mississippi governor who has been raising cash for Crossroads, speakers are expected to include Florida Sen. Rubio and Jeb Bush.
The event is closed to the press, said spokesman Jonathan Collegio, who a few months ago had said Crossroads wasn’t planning to have any kind of presence at the convention.
Restore Our Future, the super PAC devoted to boosting Romney, is holding a briefing Wednesday, though officials from the group declined to comment on it.
And Americans for Prosperity – the nonprofit that last week announced a $25 million ad campaign expressing disappointment in President Barack Obama – is planning a Thursday reception honoring Koch, and fellow big donor Art Pope, a North Carolina businessman.