Lisa Zagaroli, writing for McClatchy Newspapers, reports on the growing importance of bundlers in presidential campaign fundraising. These "mega-fundraisers" are very skilled at using their business and personal contacts to raise large amounts of campaign cash for a specific candidate. Only a few presidential candidates have released any information on who is doing the bundling but we know that the bundlers usually have super access to the candidates. No presidential campaign has released both the names of their bundlers and the amount each individual fundraiser has raised. Each campaign has adopted varying degrees of disclosure on who is raising their big bucks.
On October 30, Congressional Quarterly reported that Federal Election Commission is working on new bundling rules. One proposal, which came out of the Congress, is to only disclose the bundlers who are federal lobbyists. The McClatchy report indicates that the FEC is interested in going beyond this.Continue reading
It's not just because of the name that I like the idea behind this new report (actually, the first installment of a new report) from Public Citizen's Congress Watch: it brings together several kinds of information on members of Congress in one place. It lets users look at contribution totals to incumbents from lobbyists, PACs, donors who don't live in the member's home state, small (under $200) donors, as well information on the junkets that members and their staff have taken. It also provides nice summary data by state (here's New York, for example).Continue reading