Cross-partisan coalition urges all presidential candidates to disclose their big-money campaign fundraisers

Issue One and 15 other organizations from across the ideological spectrum have again joined to urge all Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to publicly disclose information about their top campaign fundraisers on a regular basis during the 2020 presidential election.

Presidential candidates have long utilized individuals known as “bundlers” to help them raise the funds necessary to wage competitive campaigns, and it has long been a bipartisan tradition for candidates to voluntarily disclose information about their campaign bundlers. This transparency practice has been embraced by Democrats and Republicans alike, including President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (President Donald Trump broke with tradition and did not release a list of his campaign bundlers in 2016.)

This new letter comes on the heels of a similar letter sent in April. Since then, five additional major candidates — Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Steve Bullock, Bill de Blasio, and Seth Moulton — have joined the presidential race.

In this letter, the groups wrote:

“Government accountability depends on transparency in our campaign finance system, and that includes transparency about presidential campaign bundlers …

“Today, we call on you to implement a system to regularly and meaningfully disclose information about your campaign bundlers …

“Implementing a robust bundler disclosure system that publicly displays information about all individuals who raise $50,000 or more for your campaign would help demonstrate your commitment to transparency as you seek your party’s presidential nomination.”

Bundlers frequently raise vast sums of money for candidates, often hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, to curry favor with those candidates. Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, campaign bundlers have received plum postings, such as ambassadorships and positions on commissions.

The 16 organizations that signed this new letter are as follows:

Business for America National Institute on Money in Politics
Campaign Legal Center National Legal and Policy Center
Center for Responsive Politics Open the Government
Common Cause Project On Government Oversight
Issue One Public Citizen
League of Women Voters Represent.Us
Liberty Coalition Sunlight Foundation
MapLight Take Back Our Republic

The 26 Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to whom this letter was sent are as follows:

Michael Bennet Jay Inslee
Joe Biden Amy Klobuchar
Cory Booker Wayne Messam
Steve Bullock Seth Moulton
Pete Buttigieg Beto O’Rourke
Julian Castro Tim Ryan
Bill de Blasio Bernie Sanders
John Delaney Eric Swalwell
Tulsi Gabbard Donald Trump
Kirsten Gillibrand Elizabeth Warren
Mike Gravel Bill Weld
Kamala Harris Marianne Williamson
John Hickenlooper Andrew Yang

Read the full letter here.