Candidates' Cash Going to Mailings, Security, Pizza...
First expense reports offer a glimpse into each campaign
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2011 7:27 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney greets fellow candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., prior to the start the Fourth of July parade in Amherst, NH, July 4, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – Want to get to know your 2012 candidates better? Take a look at what they're spending campaign cash on, courtesy of expense reports obtained by the Washington Post. The first major spending reports of the campaign reveal that the candidates have spent about $32 million so far.

  • Tim Pawlenty: You can tell the "upstart" candidate is focused on Iowa because he's spent $200,000 at businesses in the state. Total spent so far: $2.5 million, and a large percentage of that went toward payroll—odd since his top aides are working for peanuts. (Funny tidbit: He spent $7.07 at a Godfather's Pizza restaurant—that, of course, is the pizza chain formerly run by his opponent, Herman Cain.)
  • Mitt Romney: The "establishment" candidate spent money on, not surprisingly, security and consultants—plus $750,000 at businesses in New Hampshire. More of his budget—18%—goes to administrative expenses than any of his GOP opponents. Total spent so far: $5.7 million.

  • Ron Paul: Likes to spend money on burgers and barbecue, and frequent farmers markets. Does that make him the "folksy" candidate?
  • Michele Bachmann: The "grassroots" candidate has racked up $700,000 in fundraising and mail costs.
  • Newt Gingrich: As his $1 million in debt proves, he's the "luxury" candidate, having racked up a $500,000 bill for luxury charter jet services. Another $800,000 went toward tech-related services for his website.
  • Barack Obama: He's spending money on making more money, having used $5 million for fundraising efforts (including $185,000 to the Waldorf Astoria for a fundraiser there) and campaign staffers. Total spent so far: $14 million.
Click for more on each candidates' expenditures.