Public Citizen Releases Updated ‘White House For Sale’ Website to Track Bundlers
On Site, Visitors Can Get Names, Home States and Employers of Major Fundraisers for 2012 Presidential Election
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Public Citizen today released an updated version of its White House for Sale website, which has kept track of the presidential candidates’ “bundlers” since 2004. Bundlers are major fundraisers whose efforts are monitored and credited by the campaigns to which they funnel contributions.
The website, available at www.citizen.org/WhiteHouseForSale, features a searchable database that lists all of the bundlers that President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney have disclosed in the 2012 campaign. So far, Obama has disclosed the names of 638 bundlers, including all who have raised at least $50,000.
Romney, on the other hand, is not releasing the names of any bundlers except those required by law: bundlers who are registered lobbyists and raise at least $15,000 in a quarterly period. As a result, Romney has disclosed the names of only 34 bundlers. Romney stands to be the first major party nominee since the 2000 election who has refused to voluntarily disclose his major bundlers.
“More money will be raised in 2012 by the presidential candidates than ever before – more secret corporate slush funds spent attacking the character of these candidates and more opportunities for corruption and scandal as the Big Money-bundlers seek returns on their investment,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “Public Citizen has revitalized the WhiteHouseForSale website to help voters sift through what is likely to be one of the loudest and corrosive presidential elections in recent history.”
Visitors to the site can learn the bundlers’ employers, the states where they live and ranges of how much they have raised. The website also gives users the ability to look at other presidential races and compare this season’s spending totals and disclosures to historical spending. The website also includes materials on the history of bundling, the presidential public funding system and the use of public funding for elections in the states. It provides a discussion of activities at the party nominating conventions, including the corporate financing of the conventions and the late-night soirees that dominate convention activities.
“We believe this site can provide important information for the public, reporters, researchers and others who want to know who is amassing large amounts of money for the candidates,” said Michael Lewis, researcher for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.