McCain now upping ante on donor and bundler disclosure. Once behind, jumps ahead of Obama.

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The McCain campaign opens its books on bundlers and small donors after the Friday New York Times noted the Obama and McCain campaigns lagged on updating lists of big fund-raisers. (Sun-Times work on this front was noted in the article.) Now the McCain campaign is pledging a new series of moves to increase transparency. Obama through his presidential run has stayed a few steps ahead of the competition. Click below for McCain campaign manager Rick Davis about setting up new searchable data base and "best effort" monthly reports. Will Obama meet and match or up?

July 11, 2008

Michael J. Malbin, Executive Director
Campaign Finance Institute

Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director
Center for Responsive Politics

Bob Edgar, President
Common Cause

Fred Wertheimer, President
Democracy 21

Mary G. Wilson, President
League of Women Voters of the United States

Joan Claybrook, President
Public Citizen

David Arkush, Director
Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Ellen Miller, Executive Director
Sunlight Foundation

Gary Kalman, Director of Federal Legislative Office

The McCain Campaign has received your letter dated June 25, 2008. We would like to
thank you for your organizations’ admirable efforts in promoting transparency and accountability
in the election process. As you well know, John McCain has been a tireless crusader for
campaign finance reform for many years. Our campaign has worked hard to embody Senator
McCain’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the political process.

We are pleased to say that much of the information requested in your letter is already
available on the McCain Campaign website. The website lists the name, city, and state of our top
fundraisers (“Trailblazers” and “Innovators”). In addition, the campaign already provides a
searchable database of every donor who has contributed one dollar or more, even though the
FEC reports only require identification of donors of $200.00 or more. The database also lists the
city and state of the contributor as well as the date and amount of the contribution.

However, we appreciate your suggestions for even greater transparency and will take
immediate steps to adopt them. We will list the names, cities, states, employers, and occupations
of all our volunteer fundraisers who have raised $50,000 or more. This includes funds raised for
the campaign itself and the Victory 2008 Joint Fundraising Committees in which the campaign

Listing a “single dollar figure” of the amount raised by each fundraiser as you request
cannot be done in the midst of the campaign because it is changing on an individual basis almost
daily – that is why we use broader categories. However, we will continue to use our best efforts
to update the fundraising categories on a monthly basis. This information will be published on
our website at:

Small donors play a highly important role in the McCain Campaign: our average
donation is only $156.00. We agree with your suggestion that it would be useful to incorporate a
web search capacity to make available additional information about our small donors ($1.00 -
$200.00). Accordingly, we now included on our website the capability to view a list of donors
by typing in a zip code. We have also provided the same location search capability for
contributions from United States citizens who live outside the country. Following the search
query the website provides a complete list of donors from that zip code or country. You may find
this searchable database at:

Consistent with John McCain’s record on campaign finance reform, the campaign has
worked hard to provide voters with a public and transparent disclosure of our fundraising
information. I hope these additional steps help to further shed light on the campaign’s
fundraising efforts.


Rick Davis
Campaign Manager
John McCain 2008



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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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