Barack’s ‘Bundlers’ Bring In Big Bucks

Feb 1, 2012, 12:48 pm EST

While the Super PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign hasn’t quite hit the heights of Romney’s Super PAC yet, that doesn’t mean Obama is hurting for money. Obama has his own ace up his sleeve, in the former of “bundlers.”

What’s a bundler? Simply put, a bundler is someone who seeks out individuals to donate to a campaign. Because individuals are limited to donating a maximum of $2,500 per election to a federal candidate or his campaign commitee, bundlers work by taking advantage of community or personal connections to “bundle” up many individuals’ contributions to a campaign.

In documents released yesterday, the Obama campaign revealed it had increased the number of bundlers who had collected $50,000 or more over the last three months of 2011 from 351 to 445. Overall, bundlers brought in $74.4 million last year, over 30% of the campaign’s overall haul. Read 

Who’s Funding Romney’s Super PAC?

Feb 1, 2012, 10:28 am EST
Who’s Funding Romney’s Super PAC?

How did Mitt Romney pay for the 5-1 advertising blitz in Florida that ended with a 14 point win in the Sunshine State? Well, technically, he didn’t pay for it. At least, not all of it.

A Super PAC aligned with Romney’s campaign raised $18 million in the last half of 2011 from just 200 donors, and just over $30 million throughout 2011. This Super PAC has spent $17 million so far on advertising in early primary states, helping Romney to decisive wins in New Hampshire and Florida and a near-win in Iowa.

But where did Romney’s Super PAC money come from? A New York Times interactive graphic with data from the Federal Election Commission reports that every Super PAC must file shines some light on the matter. Here are five of the most intriguing names giving big bucks to the campaign, along with the amount of their donation. Read 

What Romney’s Big Win Means For GOP Primary Race

Jan 31, 2012, 11:11 pm EST

Mitt Romney finally secured a huge win in a major state, winning the Florida Republican primary by an impressive 14 percentage points. His victory speech signaled that he is beginning the all-important pivot to general election politics. As ugly and vicious as this GOP nomination has become, the commentariat has speculated that the negativity will poison the eventual Republican nominee. Romney tried to assure voters that this process “would not divide us, but would prepare us” for the general election. Despite Romney’s large margin of victory, all three of his rivals vowed to soldier on.

Here are three takeaways from the Florida Primary: Romney’s Win Was Costly

First, although Romney won the Sunshine State handily, it came at a big cost. Romney outspent Newt Gingrich in Florida on television ads by a 5 to 1 margin. The vast majority of his monies were spent on negative advertising. In fact, according to some analyses, this was the most negative campaign ever, with 92% of all ads being negative. Romney was right to try and assure the electorate that the GOP was not self-destructing. Read 

White House Supports Bill Banning Congressional Insider Trading

Jan 31, 2012, 12:52 pm EST

One of the policies President Barack Obama pushed for in his State of the Union address was further tightening the restrictions on insider trading among members of Congress. It appears that Congress has taken notice, and Obama seems to approve of their efforts thus far.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., introduced a bill last Thursday, the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act. The bill would prohibit federal lawmakers from trading stocks based on nonpublic information on companies they learn in the course of their Congressional duties. The bill, which recently advanced past debate in the Senate, would also require all stock transactions by members of Congress to be reported within 30 days.

Not surprisingly, Obama indicated in a press release from his Office of Budget and Management, that he “strongly supports” the bill. More interestingly, he noted that the bill would also lead to a report on the role of political intelligence in financial markets, including the sale of political information, the ethical and legal concerns of such sales, and the merits of imposing disclosure agreements on people involved with political intelligence activities. Read 

Colbert’s Super PAC Rakes In Serious Cash

Jan 31, 2012, 10:41 am EST
Colbert’s Super PAC Rakes In Serious Cash

The news may be fake, and he may not actually be running for president, but there’s no denying that Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC has raised a lot of money.

As part of necessary filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Super PAC, which has gone by the names “Colbert Super PAC” and “The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC”, announced that it had received just over $1 million in donations.

Officially known as “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow,” Colbert created the Super PAC for his TV show The Colbert Report to highlight the absurdity of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision. This decision paved the way for the creation of political action committees (commonly called Super PACs) who could spend unlimited funds supporting a candidate for office, as long as they didn’t coordinate with said candidate. Read 

Florida Bill to Ban Food Stamp Users From Buying Junk Food

Jan 31, 2012, 9:46 am EST

Stopping food stamp recipients from spending their aid on soda, potato chips, and cookies may seem like a no-brainer, but states have had a hard time making such rules work. That hasn’t stopped Florida, though, from becoming the next state to try it.

A Florida state senator recently introduced a bill in the state’s legislature that would prevent recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (a.k.a. SNAP, a.k.a. food stamps) from using the assistance to purchase “nonstaple, unhealthy foods.”

It’s an attempt to kill two birds with one stone. It’s common knowledge that junk food leads to obesity, which is a serious issue in the United States, but attempts to cut overly sugary, salty, and fatty foods from SNAP are also designed to cut program costs. Currently, 46 million Americans receive SNAP assistance. Read 

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