More than a month after becoming his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Republican Mitt Romney has not publicly identified most of the fundraisers helping him collect the millions of dollars he needs to win the White House, even as he promises them special access perks. Romney is not required by law to disclose the identities of his fundraisers with the exception of those who work as federal lobbyists. Releasing the names of bundlers, however, has been standard in presidential campaigns for more than a decade. Republican George W. Bush established the pattern in the 2000 election, revealing the names of fundraisers who collected at least $100,000. He repeated the practice in 2004. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee four years ago, had disclosed his fundraisers by this point in the 2008 campaign, releasing a list of 106 bundlers on April 18 of that year.
President Obama has released his fundraiser list every three months during this campaign. His most recent disclosure, in mid-April, identified more than 530 individuals and couples who have raised at least $106 million. He reports their fundraising in broad ranges only. President Obama’s bundlers listed on his campaign website. Lawyers and law-firm employees account for about one out of every four Obama fundraisers, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. The list also is sprinkled with famous names, including director Spike Lee and actress Eva Longoria. These fundraisers, known as “bundlers” for their ability to bundle together contributions from family, friends and business associates, are crucial to campaigns racing to amass cash to pay their aides and fund commercials and get-out-the-vote efforts.