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Tim Kiska: Following The Money Monday

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Mitt Romney

(File photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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By Tim Kiska
I’ll post a blog every Monday dealing with political money: Who’s getting it? Who’s giving it? Where is it going?

With the crew of Republican presidential candidates ready to land on Oakland University Wednesday night, here’s a look at where the state’s big GOP donors are placing their bets.

They’re wagering heavy on Mitt Romney.

According to the Federal Election Commission, he’s picked up more 75 cents out of every dollar ponied up for Republican presidential candidates in the state this year.

Romney has received a little more than $1 million in donations through September 30. The second-place finisher, Ron Paul, isn’t even close. He received about $26,000 from his Michigan fans.

Three things are striking about Romney’s donor list:

• The amounts. Tons of $2,500 contributions—the maximum for an individual. The average contribution out of the Birmingham/Bloomfield zip codes stands at $1,742. Paul’s contributions tend to modesty, with $100 donations more the norm. Paul made his biggest haul in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. But even there, the average donation was $181.

• The geography: The Oakland County big money is lining up behind Romney–$432,130 from the aforementioned Birmingham/Bloomfield neighborhood, alone.

• The names: Just a few who hit the $2,500 max —  Quicken Loans’s Dan Gilbert, businessman Bob Liggett, real estate’s Burt Farbman, media’s Keith Crain, American Axle’s Dick Dauch, entrepreneur Roger Penske, GM’s Mark Reuss, and mogul Al Taubman.

Also curious: Michigan’s own Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who briefly ran for the presidency, picked up very little ($13,400) from his home state. The number is testimony to the absurdly futile nature of McCotter’s presidential campaign.

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