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Financial industry makes up nearly half of pro-Romney super PAC donations

The financial industry is the biggest single contributor to a super PAC supporting Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, accounting for 48 percent of the $43.2 million raised so far by the organization, according an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.

Private equity funds and hedge funds were the biggest contributors to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney political action committee, kicking in at least $13.5 million of the $20.5 million given by the financial industry, according to the CPI analysis of Federal Election Commission records. Most of the rest came from investment banks and other asset managers and so-called “non-bank lenders,” it said.

The financial industry support is potentially significant because Romney, a former private equity executive, has said he favors repeal of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in the wake of the mortgage meltdown to regulate the financial industry and protect consumers. He also has declined to be pinned down on whether he would favor eliminating the “carried interest” tax loophole, which has helped make private equity and hedge fund managers enormously wealthy over the years.

Click here to read the full CPI report.

NBC’s Michael Isikoff also has reported on the contributors to Restore Our Future, which is by far the best-funded of the super PACs backing presidential candidates in the 2012 election. Among the biggest is Texas homebuilder Bob Perry, who gave the group $3 million.