Romney Said to Use Secretive Data Mining
Mitt Romney’s success in raising hundreds of millions of dollars in the costliest presidential race ever can be traced in part to a secretive data-mining project that sifts through Americans’ personal information—including their purchasing history and church attendance—to identify new and likely, wealthy donors, the Associated Press has learned.
For the data-mining project, the Republican candidate has quietly employed since at least June a little-known but successful analytics firm that previously performed marketing work for a colleague tied to Bain & Co., the management-consulting firm that Mr. Romney once led.
The head of Buxton Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, Chief Executive Tom Buxton, confirmed to the Associated Press his company’s efforts to help Mr. Romney identify rich and previously untapped Republican donors across the country.
The Romney campaign declined to discuss on the record its work with Buxton or the project’s overall success.
There are no records of payments to Buxton from Mr. Romney’s campaign, the Republican National Committee or a joint fundraising committee. Under federal law, companies cannot use corporate money or resources, such as proprietary data analysis, for in-kind contributions to campaigns.
Mr. Buxton said he’s working for the Romney campaign because he wants “to be on the winning team.”