In the last three months, 351 well-connected “bundlers” have raised at least $20 million — and likely far more — of $70 million raised towards President Obama’s reelection in the third quarter.
That’s 100 new persons to whom the president will be more heavily indebted than nearly anyone else. Forty-one persons have now raised a half million dollars or more, up from from 27 in the last quarter.
The group of people in the tier just below that threshold added 50 new members, expanding to 95. That group raised between $10.8 million and $47 million between them in addition to what was raised in the prior quarter — underscoring the fact that the minimum $20 million figure for the total group is far lower than the actual amount.
The actual total isn’t known because there is no top range given for the top tier of donors.
Among the bundlers are five with foreign addresses, including three in London, one in Geneva and one in Shanghai. Eighty-five bundlers live in California; 41 are from New York City; 27 are from Chicago; and 16 are in Washington, D.C.
Bundlers are often corporate executives, lobbyists, hedge fund managers or independently wealthy people who are able to funnel far more money to campaigns than they could personally give under campaign finance laws. Mr. Obama has pledged not to accept money or bundled contributions from lobbyists.
Though extraordinary wealth is not required to gather contributions from others, Wall Street and finance types are the most commonly represented among Mr. Obama’s bundlers, followed by lawyers.
Amy Singh, a Chicago entertainment lawyer who raised between $100,000 and $200,000, was appointed by Mr. Obama in 2010 to be a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Mellody Hobson and John W. Rogers, Jr., who raised between $200,000 and $500,000, run Ariel Investments, the nation’s largest minority-owned mutual fund. Mr. Rogers has known Mr. Obama since the 1990s and played basketball at Princeton University with Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson. In October, Mr. Obama announced he was appointing Mr. Rogers to chair the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.
The vast majority of bundlers new to Mr. Obama’s 2012 campaign are not new faces. Of the 100 new bundlers, more than 30 have bundled for previous Democratic campaigns in recent years, and half were Obama 2008 bundlers getting back into the game again. Thirteen bundled for John Kerry, the party’s nominee in 2004.
Four bundled for Mr. Obama’s fiercest Democratic competitor in 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Raj K. Fernando of Chopper Trading LLC; Lee I. Miller of DLA Piper; Thomas F. Steyer of Farallon Capital Management; and Mark Weiner of Financial Innovations Inc. each raised more than $100,000 for Mrs. Clinton last election cycle. Now they have allied themselves with the victor of that election, according to a Washington Times analysis of records on bundlers in prior years compiled by Public Citizen.
Three new bundlers previously bundled for John Edwards, who is facing federal charges over his conduct in the 2008 election. The three were Chapel Hill’s Amy Tiemann; lawyer Peter A. Kraus of Dallas; and consultant Michelle P. Kraus of California.
Several bundlers, rather than coming from business backgrounds, come from prominent political families.
Tom Carnahan, is a member of a prominent Missouri Democratic political family and chairman of a wind energy company which received a $107 million tax credit from the Treasury Department under Recovery Act. His late father, Mel, was governor of Missouri and his mother, Jean, was a senator. His brother Russ is in the House of Representatives.
Patrick Kennedy, who recently resigned from his Rhode Island House seat after a series of personal problems, raised less than $100,000.
Mr. Obama is not required to report who bundles contributions for him, but has elected to do so voluntarily.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mr. Romney, a Republican presidential frontrunner, has refused to disclose his bundlers, except for those who are lobbyists, which is required under law. Five federal lobbyists bundled half a million dollars for Mr. Romney in the third quarter.
• Staff writer Chuck Neubauer contributed reporting.
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