Presidential Candidates Should Disclose Fundraising Activities, Public Citizen Says

Jan. 17, 2008

Presidential Candidates Should Disclose Fundraising Activities, Public Citizen Says

Consumer Group Asks Candidates to Provide Details of Top Bundlers’ Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the presidential primary season heads into its most crucial stage, most of the presidential candidates are still keeping secret the amount of money their top “bundlers” have raised for their campaigns.

Public Citizen today sent letters to the seven major candidates who have yet to provide any insight into how much their top fundraisers have raised. The letters ask the candidates to promptly disclose the names of bundlers who have brought in at least $100,000. The letters also note that this minimal standard for disclosure was set by then-Gov. George W. Bush in his 2000 presidential campaign.

All of the remaining candidates, except for Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Rep. Duncan Hunter, are relying on bundlers, a term for fundraisers who raise large amounts of cash and whose efforts are tracked by the campaign they are supporting.

But only Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have provided any insight into how much their bundlers have raised. Obama names bundlers who have raised at least $50,000, $100,000 and $200,000; Clinton names bundlers who have raised at least $100,000.

None of the other remaining candidates – John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson – has provided any data about how much money bundlers have funneled into their campaigns.

“Bundlers play an oversized role in financing presidential campaigns,” Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook said. “Before casting their votes for president, voters have a right to know the identities of the candidates’ most important fundraisers.”

READ the letters to the candidates, as well as the best available information on presidential bundlers.

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