Priorities USA Action, Pro-Obama Super PAC, Continues Lackluster Fundraising

The super PAC supporting the reelection campaign of President Barack Obama had another lackluster month of fundraising in April, pulling in only $1.58 million, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Sunday night.

Priorities USA Action has had a difficult time raising the kind of money that top-tier super PACs like the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future and the Karl Rove-linked American Crossroads have been able to raise. The group has raised $10.57 million since being founded in 2011, far behind the $50-plus million raised by Restore Our Future and the $28 million raised by American Crossroads.

The group had hoped to improve its fundraising after the president endorsed its efforts in February. The president's endorsement came after having criticized the proliferation of super PACs and independent spending enabled by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

Despite that endorsement, few have given.

In April, the vast majority of the super PAC's money came from a $1 million contribution by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. Another $250,000 came from the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States of America.

The failure to attract individual donors continues to haunt Priorities USA Action. Potential donors have offered a host of reasons for not donating, including a desire to protest the Citizens United decision by not taking part in the system it has spawned, policy differences with the president, a distaste for negative political advertising and a continuing game of chicken between supporters of the president and donors who backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary campaign.

Some donors who ponied up to the super PAC had hoped that their contributions would signal to other donors that it was important to give. Comedian Bill Maher, who gave $1 million in February, explained his donation by stating, "All the liberals were saying it's in the bag for Obama -- I guess because all the Republicans were making such fools of themselves and the economy was turning around, and because, very often, liberals don't pay that much attention to politics. And I was telling them, 'No, it's definitely not in the bag for Obama. He's being outspent and he's going to be outspent.'"

The super PAC ended April with $4.7 million cash on hand. Most of that has already been put into a $4 million advertising campaign attacking Mitt Romney for his work at the helm of Bain Capital.