The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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October 18, 2012

Romney gets unexpected source of contributions

WASHINGTON — This week, Mitt Romney disclosed the identities of people who have donated to him over the past three months, and while many of his biggest contributors work at top financial firms such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, those companies are not his largest source.

That is a much more surprising — and modest — company: the Rothman Institute, a Philadelphia-based orthopedic clinic. Sixty-five doctors at the chain, which comprises more than 15 offices, donated to Romney on Sept. 17, including 20 who each gave $25,000, according to the report filed with the Federal Election Commission. The money went to Romney Victory, a joint effort of Romney's campaign and the Republican Party, which will spend on his behalf. An executive with the company did not return a call requesting comment.

The contributions from Rothman doctors add up to $751,000, which is over 50 percent more than the next highest total, $480,000, donated by employees of the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The companies themselves cannot donate, but employees and top executives make the contributions with their own money, often with their business interests in mind.

Financial firms such as KKR and energy giant Occidental Petroleum fill out the rest of Romney's top sources of money. Romney also raised $266,000 from executives at NASCAR. Romney said earlier this year that he doesn't follow the sport very closely, but he added, "I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners."

Another top source was the education software company Jenzabar, which is run by Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Robert Maginn, a top Romney supporter. A former executive sued Jenzabar and Maginn in the summer, alleging, among other things, that the company reimbursed employees for their donations, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

Jenzabar employees gave $165,000 to Romney during the third quarter, and the company itself donated $250,000 to Restore Our Future, a super PAC backingRomney. A company official did not return a call requesting comment.

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