From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
Public Citizen Congress Watch, a government watchdog organization which lobbies for various issues including campaign finance reform, has unveiled a new website that tracks the money trail of bundlers. Rebuilt for the 2008 season, WhiteHouseForSale lists these bundlers for all of the candidates, tracking those people both released by the campaigns and disclosed by press accounts. In a release, the organization stated "candidates should be required to disclose all bundlers' identities, how much each raised and from whom each bundled contribution is obtained."
On a conference call with reporters, a spokesman said the organization believes all of this information should be available for everyone and views bundling with skepticism. "We are skeptical that bundling is healthy for democracy and with the lack of disclosure with bundling."
As of today, the site has nearly 1,900 bundlers listed -- with Edwards in the lead with 543 and McCain not far behind with 440. Clinton and Obama are listed with 220 and 262, respectively, and Giuliani and Romney have 132 and 230. One interesting tidbit the organization pointed out is that while McCain has such a large amount of bundlers, he has been suffering from money problems -- while Clinton and Obama have less but have raised more money.
Kucinich, Gravel, Brownback, Paul, Tancredo, Hunter, and Tommy Thompson are all listed with no bundlers, but some of the lower tier candidates who are listed do have a few: Biden (16) Richardson (14), Dodd (12), and Huckabee (8). Overall, of declared candidates, the democratic candidates have 1068 bundlers while the republican candidates have 810.
Another interesting note is that while both Clinton and Obama have disclosed many of their bundlers, the website lists people as bundlers for Clinton whom were not reported by the campaign. One example is Warren Buffet; Public Citizen states he has raised at least $1 million for her, but he is not on Clinton's list.
The organization plans to update the website at least every quarter but hopes to do so as often as new accounts become available.