Entries in Bundlers (3)


Senate, House Races Boosted by Outside Money Lose More Than Win

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If the super-rich tried to buy Senate and House seats in this election, they didn't have much luck, at least when it came to some of the most expensive U.S. congressional races.

Wealthy millionaires such as casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg took advantage of the ability to contribute tens of thousands, even millions of dollars to congressional super PACs in 2012, with mixed results.

Of the 10 most expensive Senate races in the country, only three were won by the candidate who had the most well-heeled outside groups backing them, according to data from the Campaign Finance Institute analyzed by ABC News.

Preliminary results in the House seem to indicate no real advantage for the candidate with the outside money advantage.

Of the 46 races in 2012 where more than $2 million was spent, the candidate with the outside spending advantage lost 21 times and won 16 times, with nine races still outstanding by mid-afternoon Wednesday, according to the CFI data.

Take the Florida Senate race, which pitted incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson against Republican Rep. Connie Mack.

Super PACs supporting Mack spent $15 million backing his Senate bid, more than three times the spending by outside groups that supported winner Nelson. Taking all spending on the race into consideration -- candidate fundraising, party spending and outside groups -- Nelson was outspent by more than $4 million.

Mack lost the race despite the backing of several deep-pocketed Republican donors, including Adelson, who donated $2 million, and former managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants Peter Magowan, who donated $1,000 to a super PAC supporting Mack.

In both chambers, but especially the House, Democrats did more in 2012 to compete but not match the number of Republican races in which their candidate outspent their opponent.

The result might have been an effective "draw" in terms of how money affected some races, Michael Malbin of the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute said.

"The last time the independent spending totals significantly favored the Republicans, this time there was more of a party balance," Malbin said.

Although the sheer amount of money that poured into each House race didn't come close to the amounts spent in the Senate, House candidates in some cases were effectively dwarfed by their opponents' outside money advantage.

Outside groups spent more than $5 million working to elect Illinois GOP Rep. Joe Walsh, compared with the $500,000 spent by opponent Tammy Duckworth's outside allies. Coupled with Walsh's campaign's fundraising, the added cash gave him a nearly $3 million advantage over Democrat Duckworth, who won comfortably.

In Colorado's sixth district, Republican Mike Coffman was outspent 7-to-1 by outside groups supporting Democrat Joe Miklosi, who lost the race despite $1.9 million spent on the effort by outside groups.

The amount of money spent did match the outcome of the race in at least three big races in the Senate, however.

Endangered Missouri Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill outspent her opponent, embattled Rep. Todd Akin, by close to $1 million and eventually pulled out a win, although arguably more because of Akin's abortion comments than her own campaigning.

In this election, the Campaign Finance Institute's Malbin said, the money still mattered, but only to a point.

"Once you have substantial amounts of money on both sides and both candidates are well known in their districts," he said, "then the incremental effect of more money goes down."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top CEOs Among Obama‚Äôs 351 Campaign Bundlers

SEBASTIAN DERUNGS/AFP/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- The Obama campaign Friday voluntarily released the names of its 351 top volunteer fundraisers, or “bundlers,” who collect checks from their networks of deep-pocket friends and deliver them to the Obama Victory Fund for the coming campaign.

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, UBS Americas CEO Robert Wolf, and former CNET executive and Obama national finance committee chairman Matthew Barzun are among the newest financiers to enlist in the last quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Each brought in more than $500,000 for the 2012 campaign, records show.

They joined Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, DreamWorks CEO Jeffry Katzenberg, former New Jersey Gov. and Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine, and 241 other high-profile financiers who enlisted in April.

Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and a Good Morning America finance contributor, also became a bundler, wrapping up between $200,000-$500,000 for Obama and Democrats.

Obama bundlers have raised $55.5 million combined for the Victory Fund, which funnels cash to both the Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee. Looked at another way, their contributions are 35 percent of the total $156 million raised by Obama and the DNC so far this year.

Forty-one bundlers have raised more than $500,000 each; 95 collected between $200,000 and $500,000; 105 gathered between $100,000 and $200,000; and 110 netted between $50,000 and $100,000. The campaign had set a goal of signing up 400 bundlers for the cycle, asking each to rake in $350,000.

None of the Republican presidential candidates has disclosed a full list of the names and contributions of top fundraisers, breaking from a precedent set by George W. Bush and continued by Sen. John McCain during the 2008 campaign.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wall Street Elites Open Wallets for Obama, DNC

Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- One year after President Obama signed into law the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. financial system since the Great Depression, support for his re-election among some Wall Street elites remains strong.

Eighty wealthy and well-connected volunteer fundraisers, or bundlers, from the financial sector have together raised at least $11.8 million for Obama’s re-election campaign, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan government watchdog.

Individuals working in finance, insurance or real estate markets contributed roughly one-third of all money raised by Obama’s 244 bundlers -- more than any other industry -- the Center found.

Nine of the 27 financiers, who each brought in more than $500,000 during April, May and June, have been tied to the financial industry.  They include former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine; Evercore Partners executive Charles Meyers; Greenstreet Real Estate Partners CEO Steven Green; and former UBS executive Blair Effron.

The findings contrast an erosion of support for Obama among employees of Goldman Sachs, who were once among his top financial backers. They donated overwhelmingly to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the second quarter, a computer-assisted analysis of the FEC data by Bloomberg found.

Some financial sector employees have been rankled by the 2010 financial overhaul because it imposed stiff new rules on banks, added regulation of hedge fund managers and limits on some executives’ bonuses, among other things.  Mr. Romney opposes the law.

The Obama campaign voluntarily released all the names of its bundlers last week, providing an estimated range of their contributions, which total at least $35 million.  No Republican candidate has done the same, breaking with a precedent of transparency set by President George W. Bush.  

During the entire 2008 presidential campaign, financial sector bundlers raised at least $16.1 million for Obama, according to CRP.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio