While the Barack Obama presidential campaign continues to release quarterly lists of who is bundling contributions for his campaign, iWatch News reports that unlike the president and past candidates of both parties, GOP White House hopefuls are still not disclosing their campaign bundlers (supporters who collect “bundles” of campaign checks to deliver to their favored candidates):
In previous election cycles, GOP presidential candidates disclosed the names of their big-money “bundlers.” For some, it was a source of pride. President George W. Bush famously installed a tiered system for his biggest fundraisers, dubbing them “Pioneers,” and “Rangers.” In 2008, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., followed suit by posting the names of his bundlers on his campaign site.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP frontrunner for this year’s nomination, released the names of his top 2008 donors, but not the amounts. He has yet to disclose even the names of his bundlers for the upcoming election.
The Campaign Legal Center’s Meredith McGehee says “There has been no strong commitment from the current GOP candidates to ‘one up’ Obama” on transparency issues,” partially because they do not perceive it as a salient issue for their constituency.
With numerous Super PACs refusing to release donor lists until after key primaries are over and the Citizens United ruling now permitting 501(c)(4) groups free to spend huge sums on independent expenditures without ever making their funders public, this lack of voluntary disclosure by the candidates is just one more way the 2012 election may be the least transparent of the post-Watergate era.