Some bundlers’ qualifications are obvious. Julius Genachowski, who heads the Federal Communications Commission, served as the FCC’s chief counsel in the Clinton administration.
In all, 560 bundlers collected a total of at least $76.5 million for the Obama campaign in 2008. Mr. Obama raised about $750 million, shattering fundraising records.
The report also said bundlers and their families have had more than 3,000 White House meetings and visits.
The president’s re-election campaign is relying on bundlers to an even greater degree.
The campaign’s goal for 2012 is to enlist 400 or more of these top fundraisers to raise at least $700,000 each for the campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
While running for president in 2007, Mr. Obama decried “the cynics and the lobbyists and the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.”
“They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills,” candidate Obama said. “They get the access while you get to write a letter. The time for that politics is over.”
Mr. Carney drew a distinction between lobbyists’ influence on legislation and bundlers’ plum jobs.
“That’s a lot different from the problem that exists in Washington, existed in Washington, with special interests having lobbying success here in terms of the effect that has on legislation,” he said.
“We believe that we’ve taken important measures that qualify the praise that this administration has gotten for its high ethical standards.”
He used as examples the White House release of visitors logs and restrictions on lobbyists.
Mr. Obama did limit lobbyists’ access to top government jobs, although he issued waivers for some appointees whom he said he couldn’t do without.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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