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.
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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.