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Romney raised money he can't spend

Remember the story about the money Mitt Romney raised in unregulated state PACs? The Politico now reports: As Republicans and Democrats rush to raise cash in the crowded presidential field, GOP former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney could forfeit $1.9 million in campaign donations.

Romney has vaulted into the top tier of GOP presidential candidates, in part by using an innovative fundraising strategy designed to offset some advantages enjoyed by competitors who are members of Congress.

Part of that strategy involved establishing campaign committees in states that are key to the nomination and allowed him to accept contributions in excess of federal limits. Such state money cannot be spent directly on presidential campaigning, but it can be used to lay the groundwork by hiring staff, renting offices and building goodwill by contributing to state and local politicians.

Other candidates have used the strategy but none as effectively as Romney, who raised nearly $7.1 million through committees set up in seven states before Jan. 3. That's when he declared his presidential intentions with the Federal Election Commission and established a presidential fundraising committee. Those filings brought him under federal campaign finance laws and essentially put off limits the $1.9 million left over in his state committees. -- The Politico

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