In hopes of identifying untapped Republican donors, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has secretly employed a data-mining firm based in Fort Worth, Texas to crunch thousands of minute, many times private details about Americans living in more than 120 million households, The Associated Press revealed on Friday.
The AP noted that Romney’s campaign hasn’t yet reported paying the firm any money, and neither has the Republican National Committee. However, a source within Romney’s campaign told AP reporter Jack Gillum that the candidate has hired Fort Worth-based Buxton Co. to provide what amounts to sales leads for the campaign’s fundraising staff. CEO Tom Buxton confirmed the claim, but the Romney campaign had no comment.
Buxton brags that it has “one of the largest databases of consumer information anywhere,” tracking more than 75,000 different characteristics about each person, including “brand loyalties, lifestyle choices, hobbies, purchasing behavior and media preferences.”