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The Republican National Committee has released a new Web-only ad hammering President Barack Obama for his ties to former California State Controller Steve Westly, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

"Meet Steve Westly," the ad says. "He raised over $500,000 for Obama's campaign. With Obama in office, Westly Group investments have received $500 million taxpayer dollars. Westly was even appointed to a top advisory role, influencing how taxpayer money was spent."

The ad comes as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continues to defend against criticism of his time at Bain Capital.

"Obama's friends are doing fine," the ad says, "but the middle class isn't."

Westly is a bundler, or major fundraiser, for the Democratic president. His company, The Westly Group, had investments in companies helped by the Obama administration, including electric car maker Tesla Motors and green building company CalStar Products.

The companies were among scores of firms granted tax credits through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and Westly spokesman Joel Berman said Westly's portfolio did not benefit from his campaign activities.

"The ad implies a political payoff that never happened," Berman said. "We have taken every single step along the way to be as transparent as possible, to be above board and do this all the right way."

Editor's note, 1:12 p.m.: A previous version of this post said incorrectly that Joel Berman is a spokesman for The Westly Group. Berman is a spokesman for Steve Westly.


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