Washington, D.C. (AHN) – A coalition of eight watchdog groups have found that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is more transparent in his disclosures about campaign contributions than Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), who has made his refusal to accept donations from Washington lobbyists a pillar of his campaign.
The Center for Responsive Politics said in a report on Wednesday that both the McCain and Obama campaigns did not provide the exact amounts raised by bundlers, or people who gather contributions from as many individuals in a group or community as they can in order to sidestep the $2,300 federal limit on personal contributions.
McCain uses tiers of $50,000-$100,000, $100,00-$200,00, $250,000-$500,000, and 500,000 and more to identify bundlers. The Republican’s campaign added the lowest and highest tiers after the watchdog made its request for fund-raising information.
Obama similarly uses tiers: $50,000-$100,000, $100,00-$200,000, and $200,000 and more.
The McCain campaign included in its bundler totals contributions made to joint fund raising committees. Obama only disclosed contributions to the campaign and does not include donations to committees, the report found.
Both campaigns have not required their political parties to disclose bundlers and the amounts these have raised. McCain, however, has disclosed all information requested about bundlers, such as name, city, state, employer and occupation, while Obama has “only recently began disclosing” names, city and state of bundlers.
When it comes to small donors, a group that Obama has said is the backbone of his fund raising prowess, McCain provides a list by ZIP code and foreign country together with amounts given. The report cites Obama officials saying that 90 percent of the campaigns 1.5 million donors “haven’t given enough to require disclosure of their names” to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Donations of less than $200 do not need to be reported to the FEC.
Obama’s claim to be a propenent of transparency on campaign donations: Just words?