For years, Spencer J. Zwick worked and raised money for Mitt Romney. Now he runs his own consulting firm, SJZ Inc., and Romney has paid it $4.6 million for "fundraising consulting." It's a familiar story in the Romney campaign, which relies on an unusually high number of consulting companies, all run by a close-knit group of his former staffers, reports the Washington Post. Indeed, four of these consultants share an address in Massachusetts, one of which was formed in 2011 specifically to handle Romney campaign needs.
While campaign consultants aren't unusual, strategists say it's more common to try to keep staffers in-house; George W. Bush even made Karl Rove sell his consulting business before coming to work for him. Watchdog groups, meanwhile, complain that the consultants make it hard to tell where campaign cash is ultimately going—some firms have been tied to the super PAC backing Romney. "If there are important people working for this firm who get favors down the line during a President Romney administration, you will never know about that," a Sunlight Foundation director says.