By Brandon Reid
Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, is just 75 days away, and recent nationwide polls show presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in a near dead heat with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
An Aug. 22 Gallup Tracking poll showed Romney edging Obama 47-45 while an Aug. 22 Associated Press poll had Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 46 percent. An Aug. 23 Rasmussen Tracking poll had Obama and Romney tied at 45 percent.
According to OpenSecrets.org, the Center for Responsive Politics, as of Aug. 23, Obama’s campaign has raised $348.4 million in comparison to Romney’s $193.3 million and spent nearly $263 million in comparison to Romney’s $163 million.
Obama’s campaign is carrying a debt of $2.8 million, while Romney’s campaign is debt-free.
Obama’s campaign has $87.7 million in cash on hand, in comparison to Romney’s $30.2 million.
Breaking down the donations, 39.6 percent of Obama’s individual contributions have come from small donations while 80.7 percent of Romney’s individual contributions have come from large donations.
Obama has received $348 million in individual contributions with nearly $138 million in small individual contributions and $214 million in large individual contributions.
Romney has received $192.4 million in individual contributions with $37 million in small individual contributions and $156.6 million in large individual contributions.
Obama’s campaign has received zero dollars from political action committees (PACs), while Romney’s campaign has received $838,481 from PACs. Romney has also self-financed $52,500 of his campaign in comparison to $5,000 in self-financing for Obama. Neither candidate has accepted federal funds.
Obama’s top five contributors are as follow: 1. University of California, $491,868; 2. Microsoft Corp., $443,748; 3. Google Inc., $357,382; 4. DLA Piper, $331,715; and 5. Harvard University, $317,516.
Romney’s top five contributors are as follow: 1. Goldman Sachs, $676,080; 2. JPMorgan Chase & Co., $520,299; 3. Morgan Stanley, $513,647; 4. Bank of America, $510,728; and 5. Credit Suisse Group, $427,560.
By state, Obama has received $30.5 million from California, nearly $19 million from New York, nearly $10 million from Illinois (his home state), $9 million from Massachusetts (Romney’s home state) and $8 million from Florida.
Romney has received $17.6 million from California, $13.5 million from New York, $13.5 million from Texas, $13 million from Florida and $5.6 million from Massachusetts.
Obama’s top five sectors include the following: 1. Other, $43.3 million; 2. Lawyers & Lobbyists, $15.7 million; 3. Finance, Insurance & Real Estate, $12.1 million; 4. Miscellaneous Business, $12.1 million; and 5. Communications/Electronics, $10.9 million.
Romney’s top five sectors include the following: 1. Other, $29.2 million; 2. Finance, Insurance & Real Estate, $28.6 million; 3. Miscellaneous Business, $12.2 million; 4. Lawyers & Lobbyists, $7.7 million; and 5. Health, $6.4 million.
The Energy & Natural Resources sector has donated $4.2 million to Romney’s campaign and $1.3 million to Obama’s campaign.
OpenSecrets.org ranked Obama’s quality of disclosure at 85.6 percent and Romney’s quality of disclosure at 76.9 percent.
Kinzinger supports Romney’s energy plan
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., issued a statement Aug. 23 in support of Mitt Romney’s plan for energy independence.
A member of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, Kinzinger said the following in his statement regarding Romney’s energy plan:
“Few challenges are so vital to the future of our nation as the need to dramatically reduce the current and growing reliance of the United States on imported petroleum — oil oftentimes imported from regions of the world hostile to the interests of the United States. Gov. Romney understands that only through a comprehensive energy policy, as the one he proposed today, will the United States see increased energy independency, stable energy prices and the creation of much-needed high-paying jobs here at home. Additionally, several economic reports have noted that over 1 million jobs could be created through the benefits from affordable energy and demand for products that use gas.
“After nearly four years, President Obama’s commitment to energy independence never moved beyond his campaign speeches. From stonewalling the permitting process to blocking the Keystone Pipeline, his opportunity to lead on this issue has passed. American businesses and consumers have suffered the consequences of his inaction long enough.
“Gov. Romney is a forward-thinking leader who will tackle our pressing issues. He is exactly what we need right now to begin America’s economic comeback.”
Following is Romney’s energy plan, as presented on his campaign website, mittromney.com:
As president, Mitt Romney will make every effort to safeguard the environment, but he will be mindful at every step of also protecting the jobs of American workers. This will require putting conservative principles into action.
Significant Regulatory Reform
The first step will be a rational and streamlined approach to regulation, which would facilitate rapid progress in the development of our domestic reserves of oil and natural gas and allow for further investment in nuclear power.
• Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals
• Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities
• Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas
• Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
• Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview
• Expand NRC capabilities for approval of additional nuclear reactor designs
• Streamline NRC processes to ensure that licensing decisions for reactors on or adjacent to approved sites, using approved designs, are complete within two years
The United States is blessed with a cornucopia of carbon-based energy resources. Developing them has been a pathway to prosperity for the nation in the past and offers similar promise for the future.
• Conduct comprehensive survey of America’s energy reserves
• Open America’s energy reserves for development
• Expand opportunities for U.S. resource developers to forge partnerships with neighboring countries
• Support construction of pipelines to bring Canadian oil to the United States
• Prevent overregulation of shale gas development and extraction
Research and Development
Government has a role to play in innovation in the energy industry. History shows that the United States has moved forward in astonishing ways thanks to national investment in basic research and advanced technology. However, we should not be in the business of steering investment toward particular politically favored approaches. That is a recipe for both time and money wasted on projects that do not bring us dividends. The failure of windmills and solar plants to become economically viable or make a significant contribution to our energy supply is a prime example.
• Concentrate alternative energy funding on basic research
• Utilize long-term, apolitical funding mechanisms like ARPA-E for basic research
Following is information about Obama’s energy plan, as presented on his campaign website, www.barackobama.com:
President Obama has made protecting the environment a priority, moving us toward energy independence, investing in clean energy jobs, and taking steps to improve the quality of our air and water. As of November 2010, the Obama administration’s policies have helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the clean energy industry.
President Obama enacted the largest expansion of land and water conservation and protected wilderness in a generation. He also created the America’s Great Outdoors initiative to develop a community-led conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st century.
President Obama is committed to putting in place an ‘all-of-the-above strategy’ to develop every available source of American energy while making sure we never have to choose between protecting our environment and strengthening our economy.
Posted Aug. 23, 2012