Money Men: The Powerful and the Secret Names Behind Campaign Dough
In politics, a bundler plays a critical role in providing the life blood of a campaign: money.
Bundlers raise money, in chunks of $2,500, which is the maximum any individual can contribute to a campaign by law. But bundlers raise a lot of campaign cash; with enough friends and colleagues contributing $2,500 each, the bundler can help bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars —even more — for the campaign.
Of President Obama's top 350 bundlers, Bill Allison, Editorial Director at the Sunlight Foundation, says Obama's list includes 68 who serve on some kind of government board. Obama's bundlers include George Kaiser, the single largest investor in Solyndra.
"Kaiser and folks from his foundation had a number of meetings at the White House," says Allison. "There's email traffic that shows that Solyndra was discussed at some of these meetings. So clearly…the bundlers get in the door and get the chance to present their priorities and their interests."
When President Obama was running for office he implied he would lower the number of political appointees to embassies. But a 2011 study by the American Foreign Service Association concluded that he has actually appointed more than any president in the last 20 years.
And while we're dissecting the President's bundlers, we should note we cannot do the same for his rival, Republican Mitt Romney.
Because Romney keeps his bundlers' names secret. Why not disclose? His Republican predecessors, George W. Bush and John McCain disclosed the names of their campaign bundlers.
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