The pro-Nikki Haley group, The Movement Fund, has $7,000 on hand headed into the fall campaign after spending $100,000 to produce and air a television advertisement touting the governor’s $180 million education reform plan last quarter, according to an Internal Revenue Service filing this week.
The political group, which can accept unlimited contributions from supporters, spent nearly $54,000 more than it raised in the April-to-June period. It was the second consecutive quarter that the fund’s spending outpaced its contributions.
The Movement Fund started 2014 with $173,644. It has spent $561,000 while taking in $394,500 during the first half of the year.
Haley, a first-term Republican governor from Lexington, does not need much more financial support at the moment to outspend her main November opponent, Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden.
Haley’s campaign has brought in $1.9 million this year, outraising Sheheen by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. She has nearly three times as much money in the bank – $4.5 million versus $1.7 million – as Sheheen, whom she beat by 4.5 percentage points in 2010.
Last quarter, Florida pharmaceutical entrepreneur Raj Mantena gave another $72,000 to The Movement Fund, bringing his total contributions to $572,000 over nearly two years, according to documents filed with the IRS. Retired businessman William Hanley Jr. of Palm Beach, Fla., contributed $20,000.
The Movement Fund spent $44,500 with political strategist Jon Lerner’s Washington, D.C.,-area Red Sea firm to produce the television ad and another $60,000 to buy airtime. Lerner received another $15,000 in fees.
Movement Fund adviser Tim Pearson, who also works on Haley’s gubernatorial re-election campaign, was paid $22,000 during the quarter.
Last year, the political group, known as a 527 organization under the federal tax code, had $627,000 in revenue and spent $580,104, according to documents filed with the IRS.
The Movement Fund spent $300,000 on television ads last year questioning Sheheen’s support of nationwide health care reform. Haley and the S.C. Legislature have opposed expanding the low-income Medicaid insurance program that is part of that reform.