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Election 2012: Top 10 Money Men

Romney's No. 2

Harold Simmons, 81, owner of Contran Corp., a Dallas-based conglomerate worth an estimated $9 billion that specializes in metals and chemical production and waste management.

Total: $16 million

Simmons is a longtime backer of GOP and conservative causes. He has donated $16 million to the party's efforts this year, including more than $11 million to American Crossroads and $800,000 to Restore Our Future. Simmons and his wife, Annette, also gave $2.2 million to Super PACs backing former GOP presidential candidates Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Simmons has been active in political fundraising since the 1990s and in 2004 was a $4 million backer of the Swift Vets campaign, the GOP-backed effort to discredit Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's military record in the Vietnam War. Simmons' Titanium Metals Corp. reportedly is a top producer of titanium for weapons and other industrial uses. He also owns a majority stake in Valhi Inc., a Texas-based waste management company, and could benefit from a proposed Nuclear Regulatory Commission rule change that would allow the company's Texas facility to store spent uranium from nuclear power and weapons plants. Contran's subsidiaries have spent $200,000 this year lobbying the NRC, Energy Department, the Senate and House on metals and waste issues, and $4.3 over the past decade, including efforts to protect a Pentagon rule limiting titanium purchases to U.S. producers. Simmons was fined $19,800 by the Federal Election Commission in 1993 for exceeding the then-annual $25,000 limit on individual campaign contributions, which has since been lowered.

(AP Photo)



Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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