Meet some (more) presidential bundlers … where you can

From April 2011 through March 2012, 532 well-connected Americans in 33 states raised at least $106 million to help re-elect President Obama.

So who are they? Glad you asked. The Obama team has continued precident set by other presidential candidates and voluntarily disclosed information about their high-powered bundlers — who they are, where they live, where they work and how much they live. Our updated infographic (here’s our original post) shows the latest information disclosed by the campaign, at the end of March.

And Romney? Well, he just won’t say much about who is bundlers are — at least, not beyond what he’s required to by law. What we do know: 22 lobbyist-bundlers have raised almost $3 million for Team Romney, so far.

The Center for Responsive Politics, along with several other watchdog organizations, has called on all presidential candidates to disclose information about their bundlers. You can read more about that effort here.

And as always, check out to find out more information and the campaigns’ bundlers. We’re tracking that here.

lion rbenv bundler mysql: uninitialized constant MysqlCompat::MysqlRes

On OSX Lion, when using rbenv and bundler I ran into the following problem when trying to run the rake db tasks:

uninitialized constant MysqlCompat::MysqlRes

This issue also came about when I was using rvm instead of rbenv.

To fix…

Add the following to bash profile:

export ARCHFLAGS="-arch x86_64"

export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH="/usr/local/mysql/lib:$DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH"

Run the following in terminal:

bundle config build.mysql --with-mysql-config=/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql_config

bundle install

A new [Romney] ad claims that Mr. Obama loves his “donor class” more than the middle class, and is showering them with favors.

But how did the Romney campaign, and the reports it relied on, know who the Obama bundlers were? Because the Obama campaign disclosed them, though it is not required to do so.

And that’s something the Romney campaign has refused to do. In fact, Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the campaign, told reporters today that it has no plans to ever disclose those fund-raisers, just as it is stonewalling on a full release of Mr. Romney’s tax returns.

It’s not hard to guess why the bundlers will remain secret, since such a list would show just how dependent the Romney campaign is on the financial sector, which is not beloved among voters

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign added 120 new fundraising “bundlers” during the third quarter who have brought in at least $17.5 million, including a former secretary of state and a platinum blonde pop star who has sold more than 40 million albums.

According to a newly released list from the Obama campaign, a total of 758 bundlers have raised at least $180 million for the president’s re-election efforts, including scores of well-connected individuals from California, New York and Obama’s home state of Illinois.

  • Listen

Why is Mitt Romney keeping his campaign bundlers secret?

Via NPR’s Peter Overby:

Every presidential nominee going back to 2000 has revealed the names of influential supporters known as “bundlers” because of the way they persuade others to give money to a candidate. Every nominee, that is, until Mitt Romney.

The most anyone can give directly to any presidential campaign is $5,000, and everyone who gives that much is listed in the Romney campaign’s monthly disclosures.

When it comes to the bundlers, though, the campaign chooses to keep those names secret.

Listen to the audio segment above and read the full story from NPR’s Morning Edition. 

As iWatch News previously reported, Barack Obama is the only 2012 presidential candidate to reveal the names of his bundlers. To date, more than 500 individuals have collected at least $106 million for his re-election, according to a list released by his campaign last month.

New Post has been published on The Daily Drag

New Post has been published on

Obama: Ambassadorships for Sale

Over the last 30 years or so the trend in Washington DC has been to pick ones friends to become ambassadors around the world. As you know the president will either use career diplomats or appoints “allies” and the senate votes yeah or nay on them, part of their advise and consent job as dictated by checks and balances. However, in recent times it is just not friends being appointed, but large campaign donors. At least a friend of the president may have visited, studied or married someone from the country they are appointed ambassador to, but a donor, who knows.

The current comedians being appointed to Norway, George Tsunis, Argentina, Noah Bryson Mamet, and Iceland, Robert Barber, all of whom admitted they have never been to the host countries.

Unqualified Obama appointee to Norway.

George Tsunis, a hotel CEO who raised $500,000 for Obama, cumulatively, for all Obama campaigns.

Ambassador appointed to Argentine, he has never been there.

Noah Bryson Mamet who is a political prostitute who raised money for Gephardt, Clinton(s), and Obama, with no real accomplishments except raising money, $500,000 for Obama.

Lawyer who raised over $500,000 to be nominated to be ambassador to Iceland.

Robert Barber, a lawyer, what more needs to be said, who raised in excess of $500,000 for Obama.

In President Obama’s second term 53%, according to the Washington Post, of all appointed ambassadors were large donors or “bundlers” for his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. So much for being a man of the people. transparency and openness or, my favorite, changing the tone in Washington. In my opinion appointing donors to ambassadorships, regardless of which president is doing it, is despicable and a gross abuse of power. I am serious, this is quid pro quo if I have ever seen it and in other areas of government this type of behavior is illegal. There was a 1980 rule that basically stats; “campaign contributions should not play a part in whether an ambassador…” its more of a guideline which most presidents honor, 70% go to career diplomats and the other 30% are “allies”, read donors. Obama’s first term was about 60-40% diplomats to appointees.

Why are there no laws being put forth that would ban political appointments for donors who give more than $100 to a candidate? Hey, $100 donation is fine and enough for a real friend to make a difference, but not enough to influence political appointments. You can either hope to be appointed to an ambassadorship. if you are qualified, or help get your friend elected, but you shouldn’t have both options.

I know Bush did the same thing, not as blatant, but he did it anyhow. I guess the main difference is that Obama made a point to say he is looking out for the every man and lambasted Bush over such policies. I guess this is just more proof that people, especially Obama, will say or do anything to get elected, literally. Remember 2008? Obama promised everyone something, I was looking forward to an open and honest government even though I didn’t vote for him. He literally said no more bailouts, that he would investigate Wall Street, stop running up the debt, and general fairness in government, as well as openness and transparency, but he has done none of these things.

In fact, with Wall Street he invited them all to the white house and the CEOs thought they were going to get an ear full, but Obama’s first words to them were; “you guys have an image problem, how can I help?”, yeah, he said that. After that Wall Street has given him more money and no one got in trouble. Hope and change, right…

Obama has already had 2 ambassadors replaced, Nicole Avant, a music industry executive who raised at least $500,000, served as ambassador to the Bahamas until November, 2012 and Luxembourg Ambassador Cynthia Stroum, a Seattle venture capitalist who raised $500,000 for Obama. Both ambassadors were relieved, Avant for traveling excessively and Stroum for being aggressive, unusual and unallowed expenses and a greater interest in remodeling than being a diplomat. Clearly, they were both unqualified and these people are supposed to represent the US. Easy post or not, give me a break.

This brings us to our current round of ambassador appointees, 2 of who have never been to the countries they were appointed to and know little about the culture. Even Max Baucus, our new Beijing ambassador, admitted he was no expert on China, he’s from Montana, which is a state I adore, but it certainly is a far cry from Beijing.

I am not an expert on China.

This stuff has to stop. It is a sign that our government is out of control and continually spoiling the already spoiled. All of these appointees are independently rich, obviously, and don’t need the jobs they simply want to be called “ambassador” for the rest of their lives. I simply don’t know how anyone can defend Obama’s behavior anymore. Hell, the only thing he has changed in Washington is the golfing schedule at Andrews Air Force Base and Fort Beauvoir where he played golf 35 times during 2013 or once a week outings. Obama has played 150-160 rounds of golf since being elected which is once every 2 weeks, including winters, on average.

Obama feels your pain.

Don’t worry, Obama knows your pain, he feels it. Oh, if you raise $100,000 for his library I hear you can get in on a quick 9 with him. For the whole 18 you need to raise $250,000, no exceptions.

An investigation by the Government Accountability Institute found that more than half of the most politically active 50 campaign bundlers for President Obama were either appointed to a presidential council, committee, board, or other White House post. Many bundlers’ businesses or relatives’ businesses also received millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal contracts, grants, loans, or other crony perks. In all, the top 50 bundlers received three council appointments, one ambassadorship, two committee appointments, and a whopping 20 State Dinner invitations. Two bundlers were also placed on a presidential board, and another two were picked for other White House posts. — As reported by my friends at Breitbart News

Watch on

A great report from ABC News on the “bundlers” to presidential campaigns and what they may want in return. Jake Tapper notes that while the Obama campaign has released its bundlers, the Romney camp has refused to do so and has not provided one good reason for the secrecy.

Mitt Romney probably has a lot of bundlers. In fact, he probably has a whole army of them. But the exact number of these individuals, who the campaign has tapped to raise large sums of money for their candidate is entirely unknown to the public, because unlike every presidential nominee since 2000, Romney has ignored all calls to release his bundlers identities. (We know. We asked.) There’s no law requiring Romney must do so. But there is a law requiring he identify any registered lobbyists bundling for him. And this week, we found some more.

A new analysis by of the lobbyists who have bundled money for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign shows that they have raised at least $5.2 million. The biggest lobbyist bundler for Romney? That would be Patrick Durkin, who works for Barclay’s Capital — the giant British bank currently under attack by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic for allegedly rigging international interest rates. Durkin is apparently responsible for personally raising $1.1 million for the campaign. 


"When President Obama named Hillary Rodham Clinton secretary of state after the 2008 election, he turned a rival into a loyalist. But he also lost Mrs. Clinton as one of the most popular Democratic fund-raisers for his re-election effort, since the nation’s chief diplomat is not allowed to engage in campaigning.

"The same restriction applies to the State Department’s ambassadors around the world, nearly two dozen of whom were fervent supporters of Mr. Obama in 2008, raising tens of millions of dollars for his first presidential campaign. He rewarded these backers with coveted diplomatic appointments to London, Paris, Tokyo and other capitals. Now, as federal employees, they are legally barred from reopening their gilt-edged contact lists."

“I am going to bundle every penny I can bundle,” said Young, a donor at this weekend’s mixer for Romney donors, GOP stars, and Republican leaders.

But will the Romney campaign reveal just how much Mr. Young raises? 

ABC News snagged the quote at a retreat for major donors, would-be bundlers and super PAC all-stars, held last weekend in Utah.

Romney, who by now can hold the title ‘all-but-party-nominated White House hopeful’ remains the only such candidate in the last 12 years to keep the identities of his high-powered fundraisers (better known as “bundlers”) a secret from the public.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

"Bundlers are elite political Fundraisers who turn to relatives, friends and business associates to raise large sums and deliver the funds in a ‘bundle’ to the candidate."

• The Obama campaign reaped financial riches from 769 Bundlers, who collectively raised more than $186 million.

• New Bundlers, whose names were released this week, include Anthony Welters, executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, and Qualcomm co-founder and former chairman Irwin Jacobs and his wife Joan.
• Each raised at least $500,000 for the Obama Victory Fund.

• Welters’ wife, Beatrice, raised between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
• Beatrice Welters was appointed to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. .

• President Barack Obama campaign Fundraisers is peppered with leaders from companies and law firms that lobby the federal government.
• Twenty-eight Bundlers moved into higher dollar categories during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Story Credit:

Full Story Online:

Meet the bundlers behind the presidential candidates…where you can.

OpenSecrets Blog:

Tampa has temporarily become the hub of all things fun in the G.O.P., where GOP politicos, lobbyists and wealthy donors will convene — yes, for the speeches and nomination, but also for the parties and the fundraisers. 

And at the center of it all will likely be Mitt Romney’s secret network of bundlers — a cabal of elite fundraisers who use their own personal and political connections to raise money for their preferred presidential candidate.

Graphic updated to reflect July disclosures.

She’s ‘Just a Girl’ … and an Obama bundler

New records from President Obama came out late Friday night on his bundlers — or elite fundraisers — from the third quarter. The list included some big names:

  • Obviously, pop star Gwen Stefani made an appearance: She bundled at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts (She also hosted an Obama fundraiser at her Los Angeles home in August.)
  • Madeleine Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration: She brought in at least $200,000.
  • Fashion designer Tom Ford also raised at least $500,000.

All told, Obama’s campaign has reaped the financial benefits of 758 of these high-dollar fundraisers — at least $180 million in benefits.

Obama only releases the names of his bundlers in dollar-amount brackets, so we know the range of each individual’s contribution, but not exact amounts. Even this level of disclosure, however, is voluntary.

Mitt Romney only discloses the individual fundraisers he’s required to by law — those that are employed as lobbyists. So by some tallies, we’re only officially seeing less than 5 percent of his bundlers. He’s the first presidential candidate from a major party to keep these names a secret in the last 12 years. has diligently identified quite a few more — they also collected 23,000 signatures for a petition asking that the Romney campaign make the names of his bundler public. See how that went.

(Photo by Andrew Swartz, Clear Channel for AP.)