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Iowa Democrats call on presidential candidates to disclose bundlers

Iowa Democrats are calling for Republican presidential candidates to disclose their major fundraisers to Iowan voters.

Sue Dvorsky

“This is not a personal request from me,” IDP chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said Wednesday. “The IDP doesn’t want to see these numbers, Iowan voters do. So today we are calling on the Republican presidential candidates to follow lead of President Obama, President Bush and Senator McCain and disclose the names of their bundlers.”

Bundlers are major donors or fundraisers for candidates, where the proceeds are combined together, hence the name. They have become a contention point for both parties when it comes to disclosure, and voters’ desires to know what organizations and individuals financially back presidential candidates. Candidates, however, are not forced by law to reveal their major donors.

“Iowa has one of the best campaign transparency laws in the country, and we would expect presidential candidates who want to get votes in Iowa to live up to that standard,” Iowa Sen. Jeff Danielson (D-Cedar Falls) said. “An informed electorate is important to make Democracy work.”

Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/jeff_danielson_125.jpgJeff Danielson

President Barack Obama has reportedly already revealed his prominent donors, among them fashion mogul Anna Wintour and many of Hollywood’s major players. Obama’s bundlers’ donations totaled $35 million in the second quarter, according to the report.

The legal limit to donate in the presidential primaries is $2,500.

Obama also revealed bundlers in 2008, as did his opponent Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz). Former President George W. Bush did the same during his last presidential campaign, as well.

Danielson and Dvorsky said they specifically had not reached out to individual campaigns asking for disclosure; rather, Wednesday’s appeal was stemmed from an ABC broadcast report, which asked candidates to reveal bundlers, and it appeared to Democrats from the report that “[GOP candidates] will not” willingly make such disclosures.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, has reached out to her counterparts in the Republican National Committee, asking them to encourage transparency from candidates during the election cycle, including bundlers disclosure. The IDP said they would like to see their own counterparts at the state level do the same.

“Iowans deserve to know who is paying for the TV ads, the billboards and the BBQ at the straw poll,” Dvorsky said.

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