To Whom It May Concern:
As the third-quarter campaign finance filing deadline approaches, we, the undersigned organizations, urge you to publicly disclose information about your campaign’s bundlers on a regular basis during the 2024 presidential election.
As you know, individual donors are prohibited from contributing more than $6,600 to a single presidential candidate’s campaign (with half of that sum going toward the primary election and half toward the general election). But at the same time, many individuals solicit contributions for their preferred candidates from their friends, social contacts, and business associates.
Individuals who take on these fundraising functions are widely known as “bundlers” because they are credited for the “bundles” of money they raise — sometimes literal bundles of checks or, more recently, electronic contributions.
Presidential candidates have long utilized bundlers to help raise the funds necessary to wage competitive campaigns. At the same time, it has long been a bipartisan tradition for candidates to voluntarily release information about these elite campaign fundraisers. Over the years, the practice of voluntarily sharing information about campaign bundlers has been embraced by Democrats and Republicans alike, including former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, among others.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, now-President Joe Biden and now-Vice President Kamala Harris each disclosed some information about their campaign bundlers. Government accountability depends on transparency in our campaign finance system, and that includes transparency about presidential campaign bundlers. Bundlers frequently raise vast sums of money for candidates, often hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, which may help them ingratiate themselves — and curry favor — with those candidates. Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, campaign bundlers have received plum postings, such as ambassadorships and positions on commissions.
This is why we call on you today to implement a system to regularly and meaningfully release information about your campaign bundlers. Ideally, your campaign would release information about your bundlers in tandem with the upcoming campaign finance reporting deadline with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) — and continue to disclose this information in connection with any and all future FEC reporting deadlines throughout the entire 2024 election cycle.
Such disclosures should make it easy for the public and the press to identify the individuals who are raising large sums of money for your presidential campaign, including their city, state, and ZIP code of residence as well as their employer and occupation — details that all campaigns are already required to report to the FEC for their campaign donors.
These disclosures should also provide meaningful information about how much money each bundler has raised for your presidential campaign, such as the exact aggregate amount they have raised to date, which can — and should — be regularly updated over the course of your campaign.
Precise fundraising disclosures are particularly important should you raise money through a joint fundraising committee that benefits both your campaign and the party.
Today, an individual is legally allowed to contribute up to $826,000 per calendar year to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or Republican National Committee (RNC) — or more than $1.3 million per year to a joint fundraising committee designed to benefit your campaign as well as the DNC or RNC and the state parties in all 50 states.
Simply disclosing a list of individuals who bundled “$50,000 or more” does little to help inform the public about which elite fundraisers are actually raising the most money for your campaign.
Lastly, we request that all of this information be made available to the public on your campaign website in a format that can be easily searched, sorted, and downloaded.
Your campaign is already required by law to regularly report detailed information about any federal lobbyists who bundle campaign contributions on your behalf. Implementing a robust bundler disclosure system that publicly displays information about all individuals who raise $50,000 or more for your campaign would help demonstrate your commitment to transparency as you seek your party’s presidential nomination.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Should you wish to discuss this issue further, we would be happy to share our perspective and expertise with you as you develop and implement a system to disclose information about your campaign bundlers.
Business for America
Campaign Legal Center
League of Women Voters of the United States
Michigan Campaign Finance Network
National Legal and Policy Center
Project On Government Oversight
Take Back Our Republic Action