No. 2: Harold Simmons, 81, owner of Contran Corp., a Dallas-based conglomerate worth an estimated $9 billion that specializes in metals and chemical production and waste management.
Total: $22 million
Simmons is a longtime backer of GOP and conservative causes. He has donated $22 million to the party's efforts this year, including $17.5 million to American Crossroads. Simmons gave Rove's committee $6.5 million in early October. Simmons has donated $2.3 million to Restore Our Future â¿¿ $500,000 in September. Simmons and his wife, Annette, also gave $2.2 million to Super PACs backing former GOP presidential candidates Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Simmons has been active in political fundraising since the 1990s and in 2004 was a $4 million backer of the Swift Vets campaign, the GOP-backed effort to discredit Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's military record in the Vietnam War. Simmons' Titanium Metals Corp. reportedly is a top producer of titanium for weapons and other industrial uses. He also owns a majority stake in Valhi Inc., a Texas-based waste management company, and could benefit from a proposed Nuclear Regulatory Commission rule change that would allow the company's Texas facility to store spent uranium from nuclear power and weapons plants. Contran's subsidiaries have spent $200,000 this year lobbying the NRC, the Energy Department, the Senate and the House on metals and waste issues, and $4.3 million over the past decade, including efforts to protect a Pentagon rule limiting titanium purchases to U.S. producers. Simmons was fined $19,800 by the Federal Election Commission in 1993 for exceeding the then-annual $25,000 limit on individual campaign contributions, which has since been lowered.
Bob J. Perry, 80, head of a Houston real estate empire worth an estimated $650 million.
Total: $18.3 million
Perry has given $18.3 million to aid the Romney campaign and allied causes so far this election season. His most recent donation was $1 million to Rove's super PAC in October. Long active in Texas and national GOP politics, Perry has donated a total of $10.7 million to Restore Our Future and $7.5 million to American Crossroads. Before backing Romney this year, Perry gave $100,000 to the super PAC backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry (no relation). Bob Perry has been a fixture of GOP fundraising in Texas and nationally dating back to former President George W. Bush's Texas gubernatorial races in the mid-1990s. Perry was a top Bush presidential "bundler" and also gave big to the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth campaign in 2004, donating $4.4 million to the effort to discredit Kerry.