(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Nevada state Democrats today called on Republican presidential candidates to disclose the names of their campaigns’ major fundraisers – known as bundlers – in the name of transparency.
President Barack Obama on July 15 released his list of major fundraisers, which he also did in 2008. The disclosure is not required by the Federal Elections Commission.
State Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, held a brief telephone conference with the media to ask Republican candidates to follow suit. Democrats around the country have made similar requests.
Denis noted that both President Bush and Senator John McCain disclosed major fundraisers during their campaigns for the presidency, but that none of the major Republican candidates seeking the presidency in 2012 have yet done so.
Current GOP candidate Mitt Romney also disclosed the information during the 2008 presidential primary.
An ABC News report dated July 20 said the major GOP candidates are declining to release the information.
Denis said Obama released the information because he “has always believed that sharing the name of major fundraisers is a critical step in making campaigns more transparent and accountable.”
“If the Republican candidates for president aren’t forthcoming about who exactly is helping them to get elected, how can we know for sure that those same people won’t be calling in favors if the candidate wins election (to) the White House,” he said.
Asked for a response, Ryan Mahoney, regional press secretary for the Republican National Committee, said: “If the Democrats insist on distracting Americans from their failure to have a plan to fix the debt crisis, they should look in the mirror and ask themselves why they continue to move the goal posts when it comes to fundraising transparency. This is the same party that gives special access to bundlers at the White House, takes money from state lobbyists, films political videos in the White House and whose president flip-flopped on public financing.”
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said: “Barack Obama is just trying to distract people from his disastrous record of failure on jobs and the economy. We disclose all of the information about our donors as required by law and anyone who is interested can review it publicly.”
ABC News described the process: “Bundlers are wealthy and well-connected individuals who give the maximum legal contribution to a campaign – $2,500 for the primary – and then get their friends and associates to do the same. The donations are ‘bundled’ together, often totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Republicans will be holding an early caucus in Nevada in February as the GOP candidates vie for the nomination and the opportunity to challenge President Obama in the November 2012 general election.