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Obama political group rents supporter list

Monday - 7/15/2013, 9:50pm  ET

KEN THOMAS
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nonprofit group supporting President Barack Obama's agenda paid the president's re-election campaign nearly $700,000 during the past three months to rent the campaign's extensive list of supporters and buy equipment.

Organizing for Action was formed out of the president's campaign earlier this year. Records released Monday show the group paid the president's campaign an initial fee of $300,000 for the list of supporters and monthly fees of $87,500 to rent it.

The group, which has been promoting Obama's agenda on gun control, immigration reform and climate change, raised more than $8 million between April and June. Records show the group spent about $100,000 on equipment purchases from the campaign during the past three months.

Overall, the president's campaign had about $300,000 in cash in the bank at the end of the filing period on June 30, according to Monday's filing with the Federal Election Commission. The campaign had nearly $3.5 million in debts.

The campaign of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reported $1.1 million in the bank at the end of June and no debt. Romney's filing shows that his campaign continues to pay off bills trickling in from last fall's election, although he earned money by renting lists of supporters as well.

Specifically, Romney's campaign earned about $130,500 from selling lists to two companies: Minnesota-based FLS Connect and Granite Lists of New Hampshire, which describes itself on Facebook as "the political world's most dynamic Republican lists."

This year's activity represents a small fraction of the overall spending in the 2012 presidential contest. Obama and Romney combined to spend more than $1.1 billion overall, which doesn't include hundreds of millions more from outside groups.

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Peoples reported from Boston.

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