By Alina Selyukh and Alexander Cohen
(Reuters) – Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney has cast himself as an outsider to Washington’s political gridlock, and his rivals as insiders who have been part of the problem in the nation’s capital.
But when it comes to financing his campaign, Romney has courted a key symbol of Washington’s establishment: its lobbyists, the quietly powerful forces who are hired to try to influence government decisions.
And like financial titans on New York’s Wall Street, the political insiders on Washington’s K Street are investing heavily in a potential match-up between President Barack Obama and Romney.
Nearly 390 registered lobbyists and lobbying political action committees (PACs) have contributed more than $1.5 million to Romney’s campaign and Restore Our Future, the independent Super PAC that backs Romney, according to a Reuters analysis of filings with the Federal Election Commission and the Senate Office of Public Records.
The tally is far more than what any other Republican candidate or his Super PAC has received.
On the Democratic side, Obama has distanced himself from lobbyists, but his re-election effort is not free from lobbying interests, according to the filings.
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- Super PACs Are Attacking Romney a Lot More Than Obama (nationalreview.com)
- Romney clobbers President Obama in June fundraising – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Who Is ALEC? (dfw.cbslocal.com)