McCain, Obama bundlers raise wads of cash

July 16, 2008 at 8:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- High-power fundraisers account for more than half of John McCain's U.S. presidential campaign funds and about a fifth for Barack Obama, an analysis indicates.

More than 500 elite McCain fundraisers collected at least $75.6 million, about 53 percent of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's receipts through June, USA Today reported.

Obama, McCain's likely Democratic challenger, collected about $50.1 million from his top 500 fundraisers, about 17 percent of his receipts through May. June receipts weren't available.

The money from these fundraisers -- called "bundlers" because they collect money from friends, family and associates -- shows how McCain and Obama rely on wealthy donors to help raise cash, the newspaper said. However, the bulk of Obama's donations comes from contributors who give $200 or less, the analysis indicated.

"This really proves how enormously valuable it is to have a network of fundraisers out there shaking the bushes for you," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics.

Both campaigns said they aren't indebted to their bundlers.

"The people that are supporting John McCain do so because they think he will be the best president," the Arizona Republican's spokesman Brian Rogers told USA Today.

Obama's bundlers "are people who want to help the campaign," said Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for the Illinois U.S. senator.

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