Today, the Washington Post editorialized about Sen. Hillary Clinton’s
(D-N.Y.) one-million-dollar ask of supporters for her presidential bid.
This dwarfs the $200,000 which Bush asked prospective Rangers to raise.
Every four years, the bar for presidential fundraising shoots
skywards – 2008 will surely take us to new stomach-turning heights.
The Federal Election Commission sets contribution limits at $2,300 per
person for the primary, and allows another $2,300 per person for the
general election. Big donors get around these limits by driving truck
loads of cash through a loophole known as bundling. It allows people
(especially those of the lobbyist variety) to keep funneling money
to candidates long after reaching their personal limit. Examples of
bundling include lobbyist who host fundraisers or corporate CEO who ask
employees to make donations.
If running for president means asking supporters to gather this obscene
amount of money, the public deserves to know who the bundlers
are, whose money they are bundling and how much they bundle. Both Bush
and Kerry chose to tell the public this information in the 2004
election, but such disclosure of bundling is entirely voluntary. It
should be mandatory.
Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Marty Meehan
(D-Mass.) are co-sponsoring a bill (H.R. 633) that would require
disclosure of bundling by lobbyists for all presidential and
congressional candidates. The Senate already passed this measure in
their lobbying and ethics reform bill (S. 1). You can take action here to ensure the House does the same.