Although individual monetary contributions directly to presidential candidates are strictly capped at $2,500 to an individual candidate, many donors try to sidestep these rules by “bundling” contributions from many individuals together. By doing this, a bundler can raise extraordinary amounts of money for a candidate while still obeying campaign finance laws — and the bundler gets an extraordinary amount of access to the candidate.
Because of this loophole in the law, bundlers are very important in presidential campaigns and many reform advocates have called for campaigns to at least disclose the names of these bundlers. The Obama campaign is doing this, and the George W. Bush administration in 2004 disclosed as well.
However, the four remaining GOP presidential primary candidates have thus far not disclosed. Today, the influential conservative newspaper The Washington Examiner called on all the candidates to disclose:
None of the remaining four GOP contenders — Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul — has disclosed the names of their major bundlers. (Romney has made public the names of eight bundlers who are registered federal lobbyists.) They should change their practices now. Romney, whose poor handling of the release of his tax returns might have cost him an easy path to the nomination, should especially understand the value of giving more and not less information to the public. So should his opponents.
Bundlers have had a huge impact on the primary race thus far. In the third quarter of 2011 alone, Romney raised $500,000 from “some well-connected bundlers.”
Washington Examiner: Republican candidates should disclose all their bundlers