Photo: Tim Ireland/PA/guardian.co.uk
Despite its stated commitment to grassroots fundraising, the Obama 2012 re-election campaign relied on its friends in high places to reach its impressive $47 million second-quarter fundraising total.”Bundlers” — individuals or couples who raised at least $50,000 — collected at least $35 million from their rich-people networks. That represents at least 40% of the $86 million raised by the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee last quarter.
The President’s recent fundraising trips to New York and Los Angeles appear to have paid off — many of the 244 bundlers listed on the campaign website are from those cities. The list is filled with celebrities and well-connected moguls, including 27 donors who raised more than $500,000, collectively contributing at least $13.5 million.
The Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group that tracks campaign contributions, called Obama’s bundler list “a veritable Rolodex of the rich and powerful across the country — among them you’ll notice a C.E.O., editor, former politician and even a former lobbyist.”
Wintour, the inspiration for the 'Devil' in the 'The Devil Wears Prada,' is a good friend to have in your camp. The Vogue editor-in-chief moved up to the top bundler tier last quarter, after collecting between $100,000 and $200,000 for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
Reportedly a pal of the Obamas, Wintour has hosted fundraising events for the President and the First Lady, including a 2010 gathering at her Greenwich Village townhouse. Her generosity has paid off -- Obama appointed her to the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2009.
The former Governor of New Jersey got on the Obama bandwagon this year as a new top-tier bundler for the 2012 campaign.
As we previously reported, Corzine, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, is Obama's new 'Wall Street Guy.' He recently hosted an Obama fundraiser fat his Fifth Avenue home, he's reportedly attended secret meetings with the president, and he organised an exclusive meet-and-greet at the Four Seasons New York for finance execs and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.
Benioff, the chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, is part of a new crop of roughly 150 elite donors recruited to raise money for the Obama 2012 campaign.
The tech mogul is a key addition who can help the campaign tap into the growing ranks of wealthy Silicon Valley executives, including many who may not have been active in previous campaigns.
Nicholas Confessore of the NYT notes that's Benioff's fundraising contributions are politically expedient -- the Obama administration has adopted salesforce.com technology for wide use in federal agencies.
The Cohens -- major Democratic fundraisers in Philadelphia -- have signed on early to the Obama 2012 campaign, after raising money for Hilary Rodham Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, and finally Obama, during the 2008 election.
Like many of Obama's top-tier bundlers, David Cohen's support is also politically driven. A former political operative, Mr. Cohen is now the executive vice president of Comcast -- his good relations with the administration likely helped pave the way for FCC approval of the company's merger with NBC-Universal early this year. Comcast is now looking to wield influence over a federal review of proposed 'net-neutrality' regulations.
A top bundler for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, Katzenberg did not disappoint in the second quarter of 2011.
The Dreamworks co-founder and CEO of Dreamworks Animation has helped the Obama campaign tap into the vast wealth of the media and entertainment industry. Katzenberg has already organised elite campaign fundraising events in Los Angeles, including an April dinner where Hollywood A-listers paid as much as $30,400 apiece to break bread with the President.
After a stellar performance in the 2008 campaign, Kramer is reprising his role as a key Wall Street mega-bundler for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.
Kramer, an eccentric hedgefunder who helps manage Boston Provident, is known on the campaign fundraising circuit for his oddball antics. A 2008 New York Observer profile notes that at an exclusive DNC party in 2000, Kramer drew the attention of the Secret Service by laying down on the ground and using his backpack as a pillow.
Another major Hollywood fundraiser, Spahn has turned campaign bundling into a career.
When Hollywood's ultra-rich and famous have the urge to get political, Spahn's L.A. consulting firm, Andy Spahn & Associates, tells them where to spend their money.
Spahn's most famous -- and wealthy -- client is his longtime friend Steven Spielburg, who he supplies with reports, books, and policy briefings. He's also helped celebs like Don Cheadle and George Clooney navigate the world of Washington politics.
Smith, a renowned Los Angeles-based interior designer, is a new to the Obama bundler list, but his contribution is hardly surprising -- Michelle Obama appointed him to redecorate the White House when the family moved in in 2009.
Politico reports that Smith is one of several gay activists to join the Obama 2012 team as new bundlers last quarter. Other top gay donors include Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner, the CEO of Newsweb Corp.; New York PR consultant Jeff Soref; Charles Myers, senior managing director and head of institutional equities at Evercore Partners; Eugene Sepulveda, the CEO of Austin's Entrepreneurs Foundation; and DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias.
Source: Chicago Sun Times
The UBS president -- an early Obama supporter during the last presidential election -- rallied his network of investment bankers for the president's reelection campaign last quarter.
By many accounts, Wolf is Obama's oldest buddy on Wall Street -- the UBS chief has visited the White House numerous times for private lunches with the President, and the pair have even golfed together.
The Shaws, major supporters of Obama's inaugural campaign, tapped their network of wealthy New Yorkers again for the 2012 presidential campaign.
The founder of the hedge fund DE Shaw & Co., Mr. Shaw was among the top hedgefund earners last year. Mr. A computer scientist and computational biochemist, he has been appointed by Obama to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Other Wall Street donors include James Torrey of investment fund Torrey Funds, hedgefunder Marc Lasry, of Avenue Capital, and BC Partners senior partner Jamie Rubin in the $100,000-$200,000 tier; Provident Group partner Brian Mathis in the $200,000-$500,000 tier; and Blair Effron of Centerview Partners in the $500,000+ tier.
The Hollywood superagent -- and brother of former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel -- raised at least $50,000 for Obama's 2012 campaign, making it onto the list of bundlers for the first time.
With Ari Emanuel's contributions, it looks like the entire family is rallying for Obama's reelection campaign. Rahm Emanuel, now the Mayor of Chicago, will be in New York this week to host a fundraising event for his former boss.
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