Neither the First Nor the Last

The Helena Independent Record calls for mandatory disclosure of bundlers to presidential campaigns, noting that two high-profile bundlers, Jack Abramoff and Norman Hsu, have helped Montana candidates. Hsu, the felon-on-the-lam, gathered $4,750 for Montana Senator Jon Tester. Tester's predecessor, Conrad Burns, took $150,000 from Abramoff and his associates.

Some campaigns do disclose bundlers voluntarily but until it's required keep in mind the tracking of bundlers offered by Public Citizen at WhiteHouseForSale.org.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle predicts Hsu won't be the last skeleton unearthed in a campaign war chest before the $1 billion Presidential race wraps up:

Missing from the Hsu imbroglio are counter-attacks from Clinton rivals. Why? Because everyone has a Hsu-like figure darkening their team.


 

This could be a teachable moment when leaders spot a problem and come up with a solution. Public financing, which would largely eliminate bundlers and their ilk, must be updated. As structured now, the sums are too low, tempting front runners to skip the money and go for more from outsider contributors.

Better disclosure, and a rehabbed presidential public financing system: two great tastes that go great together.