Friday, February 24, 2012

Bundle Of Joy

We've heard a lot about the effect of Citizens United on the current election cycle. SuperPACS have been dropping tons of money in the various campaigns, and that will continue at least until the November election. But there are other sources of campaign revenue, including small donations and those donations collected by "bundlers." Up until the superPACs, bundlers were among the most important sources of revenue for candidates, especially at the national level.

I dropped by Open Secrets and discovered something I did not know about them.

...On the Democratic side, 444 bundlers have been collecting money for the re-election committee of President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee, up from 357 at the end of September.

On the Republican side...well, we really don't know. To date, no Republican presidential hopefuls have released the identities of their bundlers beyond the names of those who are lobbyists, which is required by federal law.

Bundlers, well-connected people who encourage their networks of friends and associates to donate to a particular candidate, gather those contributions and deliver them to the campaign. In return, they are often rewarded with access, influence, or even posts within the administration.
[Emphasis added]

That's right: the identities of bundlers don't have to be reported unless they are lobbyists. In the past, the GOP candidates have generally released that information (most recently John McCain did so in 2008 election). Not this time. As a result, the Open Secrets report is woefully incomplete. There is nothing to compare.

I always wonder about things like this. Are the GOP candidates just being coy? Are they protecting their backers in the "unlikely event" they lose? For whatever reason, I am pretty disappointed.



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