Washington, D.C. – An analysis conducted by Campaign Money Watch, a national campaign finance watchdog group, identified 124 fundraisers who have raised money for both President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain. These “bundlers” have raised a minimum of $25.95 million for Sen. McCain’s presidential campaign.
“Sen. McCain has been working hard to distance himself from an unpopular president, but he is relying on the same network of big money donors and fundraisers in his run for the White House,” said David Donnelly, Director of Campaign Money Watch. “Given that McCain and Bush have both pulled water from the same well, it’s hard to see how he would pursue policies other than those that have handsomely rewarded Bush’s donors over the past eight years.”
The analysis was made using information released by the McCain campaign as well as comprehensive data from Public Citizen’s WhiteHouseForSale.org. The full list of bundlers is available online.
Some of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists are among the Bush bundlers who have also raised big sums for the McCain campaign. They include Wayne Berman, who counts Big Oil’s front organization, the American Petroleum Institute, among his clients, and Tom Loeffler, who recently resigned as McCain’s national finance co-chair after questions arose concerning illegal contributions his firm may have made to McCain’s campaign. Both Berman and Loeffler have raised more than $500,000 a piece for McCain.
“Berman and Loeffler are only two of the 124 lobbyists on this list whose clients include major oil companies, telecom giants, health insurance companies, and some shady foreign interests,” Donnelly said. “Many of these clients have clearly held sway over the Bush White House. With these special interests pouring money into McCain’s campaign, is there any reason to believe much would change if he were elected?”
Campaign Money Watch is a project of nonprofit, nonpartisan Public Campaign Action Fund. The organization works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign reform accountable for where they get their political donations.