'Bundlers' tap those who cannot say no

Aug. 7, 2007 at 12:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. presidential hopefuls increasingly rely on “bundlers” -- well connected supporters who convince clients and employees to donate to campaigns.

Campaigns begin their fundraising network with “people who can’t say no,” said Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University professor who studies the psychology of political giving.

The bundler "may not tell the person they have to give, or even imply it, but both of them know that's not true," Wilcox told The Washington Post in a story published Tuesday.

A survey on congressional giving found that among donors who contributed to advance their business interests, 12 percent noted that they had been "asked by someone they didn't want to say no to," Wilcox said.

One sign of the bundlers’ influence is the rising number of donations from secretaries and assistants. At this point in the presidential campaign four years ago, 27 donors listed one of those two occupations. In the first half of this year the number had increased to 526 with an average donation of nearly $800, The Post reported.

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