Business leaders give $287,500 to pro-Haley group

04/22/2014 9:25 PM

04/22/2014 9:26 PM

The pro-Nikki Haley political group, The Movement Fund, raised $287,500 during the first three months of the year but spent $400,000, mostly on a television ad promoting the governor’s education plan, according to an Internal Revenue Service filing.

The fund had about $61,000 on hand as of March 31.

The group, known as a 527 organization under the federal tax code, is key in helping Haley win re-election in November. The fund can accept unlimited donations. State law caps individual contributions at $3,500 per election cycle.

Florida pharmaceutical entrepreneur Raj Mantena gave another $200,000 to The Movement Fund in February, bringing his total contributions to $500,000 over the past 11/2 years, according to documents filed with the IRS.

To start the year, the group also received:

•  $25,000 from Alice Manufacturing of Easley, led by Smyth McKissick, who sits on Haley’s campaign fundraising committee

$20,000 from Rosen Associates, the Miami developer of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research in Greenville

•  $20,000 from Nelligan Sports Marketing president Tim Hofferth and his wife, Lisa, who live in Chapin
•  $10,000 from Walbridge Corp., a Detroit construction firm that built the ZF Transmission plant in Gray Court
•  $5,000 each from a pair of Midlands corporate executives – Zeus Manufacturing president John Worley Jr. and TEC Thermal Engineering founder W.H. Best
•  $5,000 from Myrtle Beach real estate investor Donald Leonard, whom Haley reappointed as chairman of the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank

The Movement Fund started airing ads last month supporting Haley’s $175 million education plan. The fund aired spots a year ago criticizing Democratic gubernatorial challenger Vincent Sheheen’s support for expanding Medicaid in the state under the Affordable Care Act. Haley has rejected the expansion.

The group spent $300,000 with a California media-placement firm, Target Enterprises, during the past quarter, according to its IRS filing.

Most of the other expenditures went to consultants in the Washington, D.C.-area including political consultant Jon Lerner’s Red Sea; Columbia Haley adviser Tim Pearson’s Salt Box Strategies; fundraiser Marisa Crawford’s MJC Consulting; and the Bowers Law Office, run by Butch Bowers.

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