• WASHINGTON (March 13, 2012) -- Nine government watchdog organizations today asked Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, as well as President Barack Obama, to reveal more details about fundraisers for their presidential campaigns who "bundle" contributions in amounts greatly exceeding what they're permitted to contribute on their own.

    The request for more transparency comes during Sunshine Week, and in the midst of an election season during which the candidates, party committees and outside groups are expected to spend more than ever before.

    Bundlers, who are often corporate leaders, lobbyists or Wall Street executives, can funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars, potentially even millions, to a campaign, despite the fact that individually they can give only $2,500 to a candidate for the primary season and the same for the general election. Despite the tremendous influence these individuals can have in a campaign -- and in an administration after the election -- the law requires only that campaigns disclose the names of bundlers who are registered lobbyists. While the Obama campaign has voluntarily disclosed the names of its bundlers and a general range of how much each has raised, it would be far more meaningful if all candidates identified precise, cumulative amounts for all their bundlers, the groups wrote in letters to each candidate.

    The letters were signed by the Campaign Finance Institute, Campaign Legal Center, Center for Responsive Politics, Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters of the United States, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation and U.S. PIRG.

    The nine groups ask the candidates to divulge not only the names of their bundlers -- which Obama and Sen. John McCain, the Democratic and Republican nominees, did in 2008, and which Obama is doing again in the 2012 campaign -- but to disclose the exact amount that each bundler raises for their official campaign committees as well as joint fundraising committees that benefit the campaigns. The groups also urge the candidates to release bundlers’ locations by city and state, and their occupations and employers -- disclosure no more burdensome than what the Federal Election Commission requires for any donor contributing more than $200.

    "We recognize that our organizations are asking you to share more information than the law requires of presidential candidates," the letters say. "But it's not more than the American public deserves to know."

    View the letters here.

    Campaign Finance Institute

    Campaign Legal Center

    Center for Responsive Politics

    Common Cause

    Democracy 21

    League of Women Voters of the United States

    Public Citizen

    Sunlight Foundation

    U.S. PIRG

    CONTACT:

    Kelly Ceballos, League of Women Voters of the United States: kceballos@lwv.org, 202-263-1331

     

  • The League and government watchdog organizations today asked presidential candidates and President Barack Obama, to reveal more details about fundraisers for their presidential campaigns who "bundle" contributions in amounts greatly exceeding what they're permitted to contribute on their own.  The request for more transparency comes during Sunshine Week and an election during which the candidates, party committees and outside groups are expected to spend more than ever before. Read the full release and letters here.

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  • The League and coalition partners wrote to follow up on the WhiteHouse.gov “We the People” petition, signed by over 25,000 individuals from around the country, calling on the President to nominate new commissioners to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) prior to the 2012 elections.

  • Panel moderated by Elisabeth MacNamara, LWVUS President

    Panelists: Eleanor Clift, Newsweek Political Reporter and The McLaughlin Group Panelist; Mickey Edwards, Director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership and former Congressman (R-OK); Trevor Potter, President and General Counsel of the Campaign Legal Center and former Chair of the Federal Election Commission

  • by Michael J. Malbin The thirty-year-old system for funding presidential nomination contests that seemed to work well for 20 years is now failing. This year, both major parties’ nominees rejected public matching funds; the legal ceilings for campaign spending are simply too low and inflexible. In addition, the public funding formula has failed to empower average donors, and the Presidential Election Campaign Fund cannot make timely payments because not enough people check the box on their income tax forms to pay for the program. Those who believe the system is worth saving should start thinking about the alternatives, soon.
  • by Anthony Corrado Experts are predicting a $1 billion 2008 presidential race; the total cost could end up being almost double the $760 million spent by all 2004 candidates. What’s causing this surge in campaign fundraising? Is there a solution to this money race?
  • On February 16, the League sent the following letter to the House of Representatives urging them to cosponsor H.R. 4010, the DISCLOSE 2012 Act. The bill would restore transparency to U.S. elections by requiring complete disclosure of spending on big-money advertising in candidate elections.

  • The League joined with 10 other organziations to send the following letter to the House of Representatives supporting H.R. 4010, the DISCLOSE 2012 Act.

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