PUBLIC CITIZEN * PUBLIC CAMPAIGN
April 13, 2004
Campaign Reform Groups Call on Bush and Kerry
to Name Super-Bundlers
Twenty-Five “Rangers” Have Collected More Than $500,000 for Bush Campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The heads of Public Citizen and Public Campaign Action Fund sent letters to President Bush and U.S. Sen. John Kerry today, asking them to release the names of all individuals who have raised at least $500,000 in “bundled” contributions for their campaigns.
According to a report in this week’s National Journal (“Bush Fundraisers Keep Roping in Cash” by Peter Stone), at least 25 individuals have collected at least $500,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign. Mercer Reynolds III, the campaign’s national finance chairman, acknowledged the existence of these super-bundlers at an early April gathering to honor top fundraisers at the Reynolds’ family “plantation” in Georgia. Both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney made appearances at the event.
In March, Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook and Public Campaign Action Fund Executive Director Nick Nyhart sent letters to Bush and Kerry, requesting the names of any individuals who had raised at least $500,000 for their campaigns. Neither campaign has replied.
“The public has a strong interest in the disclosure of such super-bundlers,” Claybrook and Nyhart wrote in their most recent letter to Bush and Kerry, available at www.WhiteHouseForSale.org. “When an individual is responsible for such large infusions of campaign money into a candidate’s coffers, disclosure of the donors is essential to avoid public cynicism about our democracy.”
The Bush campaign previously has released the names of 187 “Rangers” and 268 “Pioneers” – honorary titles given to backers who raise at least $200,000 or $100,000, respectively. The Kerry campaign has identified 182 contributors who have collected at least $50,000. A Web site created by Public Citizen to track 2004 contributors, www.WhiteHouseForSale.org, features a searchable database with information on the super-bundlers for both campaigns as well as copies of both letters.
“We ask that you continue to maintain transparency in your campaign fundraising practices and disclose all the names of those who have bundled $500,000 or more,” Claybrook and Nyhart wrote.