President Barack Obama’s administration is rewarding elite campaign donors in the same ways that its predecessors did, helping them win influence and access to power in Washington, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation published Thursday.
The investigation of so-called “bundlers” – fundraisers who solicit contributions of up to $2,500 and combine them in campaign donations that range from $50,000 to $500,000 – found that many have been appointed to advisory panels and commissions that can help set government policy. They also have been invited to exclusive White House briefings, holiday parties and social events, the investigation found.
And some have landed government contracts that appear to have aided their business interests or investment portfolios.
Among the highlights of the CPI investigation:
- At least 68 of 350 Obama bundlers for the 2012 election or their spouses have served in the administration.
- At least 250 of the bundlers have been cleared to attend a White House event since January 2009.
- At least 30 of the 2012 bundlers have ties to companies that conduct business with federal agencies or hope to do so.