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Payday lenders rally for Romney super PAC

Who's behind these 'outside' groups that are growing bigger than the campaigns -- and where did they come from?

Updated: 4:08 p.m. ET

Restore Our Future, a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, got a boost in February from an industry that is currently under fire by the Obama administration: payday lenders.

At least seven payday lending companies threw their support - and a cumulative $227,500 - toward Mitt Romney's super PAC in February, according to the PAC's latest FEC filings. Meanwhile, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is increasingly targeting those companies, which offer small, short-term loans secured against a customer's next pay-check, often with high interest rates, in its oversight of financial institutions.

Restore Our Future declined to comment to CBS News on whether or not they had made any overtures to the payday lending industry.

Romney's super PAC raised a little less money in February ($6.4 million) than in January ($6.6 million). But February's total is largely due to one large donation of $3 million from Texas homebuilder Bob Perry, which made up almost half of the super PAC's income.

Restore Our Future spent less in February ($12.2 million) than in January ($13.9 million) and came into March with $10.4 million in the bank.

The FEC filing lists three locations under "fundraising event" expenditures, including The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Boston Park Plaza and Carmine's Restaurant in Washington DC.

Aside from Perry's contribution, there were no other million dollar donations to Restore Our Future in February. However, the super PAC did get $100,000 from another Texas billionaire, Harold Simmons, who is currently the largest super PAC donor to date. Simmons has already given Restore Our Future $100,000, in addition to the contributions he has made to other PACs.

Chicago hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who recently told the Chicago Tribune that the super rich have "insufficient influence" in politics, gave $100,000 to Restore Our Future -- bringing his total donations to the super PAC to $200,000.

Meg Whitman's husband, Stanford neurologist Dr. Griff Harsh, gave $100,000 to Restore Our Future in February following his wife's January donation to Restore Our Future of $100,000.

A subsidiary of The Apollo Group, which runs the for-profit University of Phoenix, made a $75,000 contribution to the PAC. The for-profit school industry has lobbied strongly against new regulations from the Obama administration's Department of Education.

Jerry Perenchio, the former chairman of Univision, gave Restore Our Future $500,000. Raymond Ruddy, who is known for funding anti-Planned Parenthood initiatives, also emerged as a new donor to Romney's super PAC in February.

With reporting from Sarah Fitzpatrick

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