On bundlers, some "straight talk"

A new report suggests that when it comes to disclosing the bundlers who raise money for the candidates, McCain's campaign is more transparent than Obama's.

Published July 30, 2008 8:27PM (EDT)

On Wednesday, the Center for Responsive Politics released a report comparing the campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama on their openness about campaign donors. The result? To this point, McCain has been more transparent about his donors, especially the "bundlers" -- individuals who raise massive sums of money for a campaign.

The report concluded that McCain has divulged much more information about his bundlers than Obama has. Unlike Obama, McCain has indicated bundler sums that have gone to joint committees and not directly to the campaign itself. As the Politico's Ben Smith points out, Obama's lack of openness on this issue provides "a way for somebody who wants to keep a low profile and raise a lot of money for the campaign to do so."

Neither campaign, however, has exactly set the political world on fire with its disclosure policies. Neither campaign provides precise figures for how much each donor and bundler have supplied nor the amount bundlers have raised for their respective political parties.

Bundlers are often tied to lobbyists. Both candidates have condemned the influence of lobbyists on the political process in the past, but a recent CNN article alleged that each campaign has taken money from lobbyists. The article goes on to point out that while Obama has acquired a great deal more from small individual donors than McCain has, Obama has also collected $52.2 million from bundlers. However, that number pales in comparison with the more than $75 million McCain has gathered from his top 500 fundraisers.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.