WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Tuesday disclosed the amounts his very top fund-raisers — called bundlers — are pulling in for his presidential campaign.
Obama superbundler list at the end...
Initially, Obama’s campaign revealed the names of people who raised at least $50,000 for him; now the campaign is disclosing the elite superbundlers — those raising $100,000 and $200,000. There are 327 Obama superbundlers, including couples listed as a single unit.
Obama is disclosing more information than chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is willing to reveal about the amounts her top players are raising. Clinton’s campaign puts out a list of her “Hillraisers,” bundlers who are responsible for generating at least $100,000.
The new Obama list shows that Hollywood moguls David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who hosted a fund-raiser for Obama in February, have a different level of commitment to the Chicago Democrat. Katzenberg is credited with raising $200,000 and Geffen $50,000.
Chicago area superbundlers for Obama at the $200,000 level include Lou Susman, Neil Bluhm, John Rogers, Jim Crown, Tina Tchen and Penny Pritzker, Obama’s national finance chairman who is hosting a fund-raiser for Obama at her home on Friday.
Bundlers, who work their networks on behalf of a candidate, are crucial to campaigns because federal law limits an individual donation to $2,300 per election.
In terms of just breaking out the amounts raised by superbundlers, compared with the other candidates, Obama’s list “would rank the best,” said Taylor Lincoln, research director for Public Citizen, a watchdog group tracking big dollar campaign fund-raising. Lincoln added a qualifier--that the overall bar for 2008 presidential candidates is low and not as good as President Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004, when names and hometowns of bundlers were disclosed.
Obama offers names and amounts — no city, state or employer. Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) gives city and state, but no amount. GOP contender Mitt Romney gives employers and states. Clinton, as noted, just gives names.
“In a head-to-head competition with Clinton, he has eclipsed [Clinton] in disclosure,” Lincoln said, however, “there is room for better.”
Sheila Krumholz, the executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics said Obama is ‘taking a step in the right direction” but “There's still more information about bundlers that the public deserves to know, though -- where do they live, where do they work, how much money, precisely, have they raised for the candidate and which donors can the bundler take credit for enlisting.”
Because all the Obama bundlers are donors, it is possible to research federal records and figure out — if there are no duplicate names — who’s who. Why not do it yourself? “It puts the onus on the public to do the work instead of providing us with what they already know,” Lincoln said.
LINK to background briefing on bundling.....
Click here to view the Obama bundler list