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  2016 U.S. Presidential Election (Moderators: TJ in Oregon, Virginiá)
  How do bundlers operate?
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Author Topic: How do bundlers operate?  (Read 209 times)
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« on: April 18, 2015, 06:15:16 pm »

I've been wondering how difficult or not it is to be a campaign bundler. I was thinking about this and I'm curious how much money someone can raise given the right connections- are we talking $50,000 with ease considering campaign finance limits? Could I get 100 rich friends to give $2,500 and call it a day? Anyone with some experience or knowledge explain this to me because I'm curious. Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 07:52:35 pm »
« Edited: April 18, 2015, 07:55:35 pm by RGriffin »

In multiple ways, depending on the candidate, issue, etc. If you think you got what it takes and you don't have a particular candidate to support, then you want to look for "Leadership PACs" with which you can get involved; in a lot of cases, these are just front groups for politicians/donors who want to increase their clout (and fund raisers who want to do the same). Candidates do this, too, of course, in more ways than one...Nunn had an "Emerging Leaders Council" I was invited to join as a congressional liaison but I was simply too busy with local organizing to add anything else to my plate. It was led by an Obama bundler and there were heavy fundraising components attached to it the best I could tell.

I'm not 100% sure how formal bundling works with respect to candidate campaigns but I'll tell you this...at the state level, even a well-known candidate (we'll use Jason Carter for this scenario) is only likely to raise around $20k from a typical, non-elitist fundraising reception/rally/meet-and-greet. A similar number ($20k) was his average daily fundraising total across all sources.

There is no strictly legal process for bundling in the sense that you're merely collecting checks (they do need to be checks unless you have a more comprehensive way of collecting them) and turning them in all at once. If for a statewide candidate you can contact the campaign as someone who they don't even know or who has only been involved as a drone, and tell them that you have $20,000 in checks in their candidate's name, then they're going to make you a bundler - in all but the largest states, that's likely to be one or more days of fundraising for them: anywhere from a quarter of a percent to one percent of what they'd raise in a cycle. At the congressional or more local levels, we're talking even less to impress.

Even for President, yes...a bundler has in effect been defined as someone who raises just $50,000 (or more) due to McCain and Obama's 2008 pledge to release names of bundlers who pulled in more than $50,000 for them, which isn't much. Obama had around 750 bundlers in 2012 and only about 250 raised $500,000 or more; 500 raised more than $200,000; 160 raised less than $100,000. Romney didn't disclose his, precisely because there is no obligation from the FEC to disclose bundlers because the practice doesn't require any special qualification, regulation or documentation as long as you're keeping the contributions separate (and preferably as checks) and then turning them in with the recorded donor information.

Editorial note: as a black Republican you could milk that whole "we're not racists, we're just Republicans" angle for all it's worth with WASPs
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