President Obama’s re-election team today voluntarily released the names of its top 445 financiers for the 2012 presidential campaign.
Combined, these individuals are responsible for at least one third — or $74.4 million — of the total $220 million raised by Obama and Democrats so far.
These wealthy donors each give the legal maximum to the campaign ($5,000) and the DNC ($30,800) and then get their well-placed friends and colleagues to do the same – a practice known as “bundling.”
Supporters who bring in $50,000 or more for Obama earn the “bundler” classification.
Obama added an impressive 94 new bundlers to his list in the fourth quarter – October through December 2011 – surpassing the campaign’s stated goal of 400 total for the election cycle.
Among the new names are TV actress Eva Longoria – who has assumed a major role in the campaign’s outreach to Hispanics – and American Jewish Congress chairman Jack Rosen, who hosted Obama for a fundraiser at his home late last year.
Longoria has bundled between $200,000-$500,000, while Rosen has netted more than $500,000.
Other familiar names who continue to play an integral role in Obama’s high-dollar fundraising include movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, UBS Americas CEO Robert Wolf, Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. All have raised more than half a million dollars apiece.
Former New Jersey Gov. and Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine is also listed as a top-level bundler, although the campaign and DNC said late last year that they would return $70,000 of contributions from Corzine and his wife following a federal investigation into his role at the failed brokerage firm MF Global.
Here’s the breakdown of Obama bundlers:
140 bundlers at $50,000-$100,000 each
119 bundlers at $100,000-$200,000 each
125 bundlers at $200,000-$500,000 each
61 bundlers at $500,000+ each
Obama and Democrats collected $68 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, much of it coming in the form of small-dollar contributions. More than half a million supporters donated to Obama’s re-election effort, with the average contribution of $55, a campaign official said.
An important footnote: The release of bundler information is voluntary, and Obama is the only presidential candidate to release it in this campaign. None of the Republicans have released comparable information, breaking with a precedent set by George W. Bush and continued by John McCain.