Half of Obama’s contributions traceable to bundlers

by
July 18, 2011

By Luke Rosiak-The Washington Times

The campaign fundraising efforts of President Obama raised $86 million in the last three months from 500,000 people — but at least $35 million of it can be traced to just 244 well-connected supporters who collected contributions from wealthy friends.

And just 634 donations from people giving $30,000 or more to theObama Victory Fund comprise $23 million, while the 1,335 donations thefund received from those giving $250 add up to about $336,000, a Washington Times analysis shows.

The campaign has branded itself as a new type of political operation and touted its reliance on a grassroots network of everyday people writing reasonably-sized checks.

“Ninety-eight percent of all donations that came in were $250 or less, and our average donation was about $69,” Obama campaign managerJim Messina said in a video to supporters.

And the dramatic reach is, in part, a testament to the power of personal relationships, among the moneyed elite as with the population at large: The mathematics of the ranges collected by the bundlers and the number of large donations given suggest that nearly every maximum donation came after personal contact with one of the 244 emissaries who received credit for shepherding it.

But the list, which was voluntarily disclosed by Mr. Obama and includes 27 people who brought in more than half a million dollars each — at least $13.5 million between them — is made up of many of the same people who have had outsize influence on American politics for years.

 

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