Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ralph Nader To Haunt Obama?

ralph nader, founder of public citizen, and one time presidential candidate, may want to shake up the system again and run for president. he's expected to announce something along those lines tomorrow on meet the press. the candidate he's likely to go after is obama.
because so-called "bundlers" have contributed more to obama's campaign than any other.

a bundler is a name given to wealthier people--ceos, hedge fund managers and groups--- who pool large sums of money to contribute. then there are "lobbyist bundlers," who are wealthy types registered as lobbyists. Obama has fewest of these.

even though mccain has the most bundlers and most lobbyist bundlers, obama has raised the most money from his bundlers and lobbyist bundlers.

according to, a public citizen website:
obama has raised: $137,431,963 from 359 "bundlers" and 9 "lobbyist bundlers."
clinton: $118,360,205 from 322 bundlers and 19 lobbyist bundlers.
mccain: $48,700,196 from 468 bundlers and 59 lobbyist bundlers.

nader's real goal seems to be revamping campaign financing, which is a good thing. here is public citizen's solution:

Once campaigns make an oral or written agreement designating a person as a fundraiser and provide the fundraiser with some form of tracking mechanism, the campaign should be required to disclose the details of that person’s fundraising success as part of the campaign’s filings with the Federal Election Commission. Disclosure reports on bundlers should contain the following:
The name, address, occupation and employer of each bundler, each contribution of more than $200 raised by the bundler, the original source and date of each contribution of more than $200 raised by the bundler, and total contributions raised by the bundler for each reporting period.
This would open the books for all to see who raised large sums of campaign money for the candidate.

but nader will probably start by knocking the candidate with the most money, obama.

obama likely has been receiving the funding because, like his other set of supporters, those of us who are not rich, they are inspired and want to see him as the next president. but bundlers are perceived to be people who demand favors for their donations. let's hope obama's not promising favors in exchange for money. i give obama the benefit of the doubt on this one and i believe he's said he hasn't solicited these funds.

the names of the bundlers needn't be disclosed, which adds to the perception of corporations trying to get something in return for their donations, and public citizen is right. there needs to be reform.

from Bundlers who direct money to presidential candidates tend to be first in line for plum ambassador positions and other political appointments. Industry titans and lobbyists are more likely to receive preferential treatment from elected officials if they raised large amounts of money for them.