Submitted by John Stauber on
The New York Times notes that, "in an effort to cast himself as independent of the influence of money on politics, Senator Barack Obama often highlights the campaign contributions of $200 or less that have amounted to fully half of the $340 million he has collected so far. But records show that one-third of his record-breaking haul has come from donations of $1,000 or more: a total of $112 million, more than Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama's Republican rival, or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his opponent in the Democratic primaries, raised in contributions of that size. Behind those larger donations is a phalanx of more than 500 Obama 'bundlers,' fund-raisers who have each collected contributions totaling $50,000 or more. Many of the bundlers come from industries with critical interests in Washington. ... Given his decision not to accept public financing, Mr. Obama is counting on his bundlers to help him raise $300 million for his general-election campaign and another $180 million for the Democratic National Committee. An analysis of campaign finance records shows that about two-thirds of his bundlers are concentrated in four major industries: law, securities and investments, real estate and entertainment."