Supporters of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney tend to fancy themselves red-blooded capitalists. So it would probably upset them to learn they funded someone else's business, and get none of the profit.

BlueSwarm LLC freely admits its fundraising management software was built for Romney, the remarkably lifelike 2008 Republican presidential contender. Its pride is understandable from a marketing, if not legal, standpoint: the system attracted some favorable press during the campaign.

But the code's use in subsequent campaigns by entirely different candidates, and its repurposing to fill BlueSwarm's coffers, raises questions over whether Romney's donors are getting a raw deal. The same finance director who drove the custom software for Romney, Spencer Zwick, is now finance director for California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. And, go figure, Whitman is a prominently advertised BlueSwarm user, using the software to coordinate her fundraising operations.

It's unclear how much, if anything, Whitman is paying to use the code. But other politicians are paying "astronomical rates" for BlueSwarm access, an anonymous tipster claims.

Somehow we don't think Romney's many Utah Mormon donors would appreciate the spoils of their generosity being provided to candidates like Whitman, a "socially moderate," gay-friendly female California CEO who supports (at minimum) civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Or being funneled to a closely-held LLC. They probably should have found some way to properly liquidate their software assets at the end of the campaign (*cough*).

If you know more about this tangled web of software, politics and money, do email us.