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As President Bush Starts Spending Campaign Cash, His List of Big-Money Bundlers Grows by 39

March 15, 2004

As President Bush Starts Spending Campaign Cash, His List of Big-Money Bundlers Grows by 39


WhiteHouseForSale.org Web Site Tracks Information in a Searchable Database With Information About 455 Rangers and Pioneers Identified by Bush-Cheney Campaign


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Since its last announcement on February 9, the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign has added 39 names to its ranks of major contribution bundlers, increasing to 455 the total number of Rangers and Pioneers. This elite group has provided at least $64.2 million for the president’s record-breaking drive to raise as much as $200 million, according to Public Citizen’s WhiteHouseForSale.org.

The Bush-Cheney campaign on Friday disclosed the names of six new Rangers and 33 new Pioneers. In addition, 16 fund-raisers who previously attained the status of Pioneer in the 2004 election cycle have moved up to the rank of Ranger. According to fund-raising totals tracked by WhiteHouseForSale.org, the Bush campaign now has raised at least $159 million to spend during a primary season in which he is unopposed.

The financial sector, which has consistently provided the greatest number of Bush’s Rangers and Pioneers, added some influential Wall Street names to the list of those who are investing heavily in the president’s re-election. On the day after they hosted a $1.6 million fund-raising event in Long Island, Morgan Stanley executives Phillip Purcell and Richard F. Powers III were included on the campaign’s list of new Rangers. So was the event’s co-chairman, Geoffrey T. Boisi, the former head of investment banking at JPMorgan.

“Financiers account for a third of Bush’s new elite donors, including top executives from JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia and Bank of America,” said Andrew Wheat, research director for Texans for Public Justice, which worked with Public Citizen to create WhiteHouseForSale.org. “It’s almost as if these banks had a huge regulatory scandal that they’re trying to defuse.”

Also new to the list is Otis B. Ingram, government affairs committee chairman for the Forest Landowners Association, which advocates for tax breaks for forestry companies and the loosening of environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act.

Based on the new data, states that have provided the greatest number of Rangers and Pioneers are Florida (51), Texas (50), California (40), New York (40) and Georgia (20). Those totals reflect the latest additions, which include eight new Rangers or Pioneers from New York, five from Georgia, four from Florida and four from Kentucky, where Bush attended a fundraiser on Feb. 26.

In the past 10 days, the Bush-Cheney campaign has held seven major fundraisers – five of which Bush attended. During this period of intense fund raising, the Bush-Cheney campaign made its first outlay of campaign money on television advertisements in 17 states that have been identified as battleground states for the November election.

“Elite fundraisers who represent special interests are funneling outrageous amounts of money into the president’s campaign,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. “Every time those ads appear on our TV sets, we should worry about what favors are expected in exchange for the funds to put them there.”

WhiteHouseForSale.org, which was created to track contributors to Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, is updating its searchable database with the names of the new Rangers and Pioneers, along their home states, employers and occupations. The Bush campaign now has 187 Rangers, those fundraisers who bundle at least $200,000 in individual contributions, and 268 Pioneers, who each have brought in at least $100,000.

Puerto Rico, where Vice President Dick Cheney made a fundraising visit on Feb. 20, has now placed its first name on the Ranger and Pioneer list – Ranger Cesar Cabrera, executive director of the Puerto Rico G.O.P and the San Juan developer whom Bush appointed to the Freddie Mac board of directors. So far, only Rhode Island and North Dakota are not represented among the Rangers and Pioneers.