Dr Sampat Shivangi from Mississippi helped Governor Romney raise $1.7 million in July. (South Asian Times)
Away from the public glare, prominent Indian-Americans supporting Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney are believed to have raised between USD 15-20 million for his presidential campaign. While Romney campaign has not released any fundraising statistics from ethnic coalitions nor has it made public the list of its bundlers or exclusive Stars and Stripes members, the list of big donors include over 200 prominent Indian Americans.
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The ‘Indian-American Coalition’ was established in November 2011 by the Romney Campaign National Finance Committee Chairman Spencer Zwick to recognise not only the individual donor, but also the larger community under a group identity. There have been other ethnic coalitions in the Romney campaign’s Finance Committee such as Jewish American coalition, Women’s coalition, Veteran’s Coalition, etc.
By conservative estimates Indian-Americans supporters of Romney believed to have collectively helped raise between USD 15-20 million for his campaign, according to those familiar with the fundraising efforts. “An Indian American coalition in a Presidential Campaign’s National Finance Committee is new and historic. Such a decision of the Romney Campaign has produced the desired results,” Indian American supporters of 65-year-old former governor of Massachusetts say.
Some of the prominent Indian-American bundlers/Star and Stripes members include Sampat Shivangi from Mississippi, Sudhakar Shenoy and Shreedhar Pottarazu from Virginia, Zach Zachariah, Akshay Desai and R Vijaynagar from Florida, Bharat Barai from Indiana, Rupesh Sreevastava and Raj Vatticutti from Michigan. “Everyone has contributed funds, bundled money or held an event that has raised a minimum USD one million,” Sue Ghosh Stricklett, Stars & Stripes Member, Romney Finance Committee, told PTI during a conference call with top Indian-American donors.