President Barack Obama’s campaign “bundlers” — big-ticket donors who combine their own contributions with those of wealthy friends and family members — include at least 138 individuals who sit on boards of charitable foundations or other grant-giving charities, a Daily Caller analysis shows. And those foundations include many whose grant making focuses on far left-wing causes that mirror Obama’s policymaking decisions.
Those foundations, whose leaders include Obama bundlers, are on the forefront of funding liberal social-issue groups including those concerned with gay marriage rights, union organizing, abortion, immigration and “racial justice” issues and opposition to energy from coal and other fossil fuels.
Capital Research Center executive vice president Scott Walter told TheDC that those funding streams ”speak volumes about the givers and the receiver. For the President to receive so much hard Left money puts the lie to any claims of moderation and centrism.”
The president has already weathered a few embarrassing episodes involving his bundlers. In February his campaign pledged to return at least $200,000 collected by brothers of a casino owner who was linked to violence and corruption in Mexico after he jumped bail while appealing a five-year prison term for telemarketing fraud.
In January the liberal Center for Public Integrity reported that 68 of Obama’s top 350 bundlers already had high-status jobs in his administration, and that 30 were tied to government-related companies in the green technology, defense or banking industries.
And in his controversial May 13 Newsweek cover story, writer Andrew Sullivan drew a clear line of connection between the president’s sudden gay-marriage conversion and his bundlers’ ideological preferences.
“There was, of course, cold politics behind it,” Sullivan wrote. “One in six of Obama’s fundraising bundlers is gay, and he needs their money.”
That one-in-six figure refers to a May 9 Washington Post investigation which focused only on the president’s top-tier bundlers — those who have brought in at least $500,000, the top amount disclosed on the Obama For America website.
TheDC’s analysis, based on IRS records and other data provided by FoundationSearch.com, shows that the president’s liberal bundlers with foundation ties have broader interests than just whether gay marriage will become the next national civil rights watershed.
“I don’t usually think of campaign money bundlers as charitable folks,” Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise executive vice president Ron Arnold told The Daily Caller.
“Obama’s bundlers include an astoundingly big crowd of foundation board members … that funnel cash to the far left.”
Arnold’s 1999 book “Undue Influence” was among the earliest and most comprehensive non-profit follow-the-money exercises, tracking millions from left-leaning foundations to environmental activist groups.
The moneyed political left, Walter added, ”sees giving as an extension of politics. You can spend days among donors supposedly interested in, say, environmentalism, and hear very little about the environment and very much about how ‘we’ can elect more liberals.”
The bundlers themselves were identified by the Obama re-election campaign on its website in three quarterly statements. Information about their occupations and employers, which was crucial in identifying their foundation ties, came from the Center for Responsive Politics.
TheDC provided the campaigns of both Obama and his presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney with an overview of this investigation. Obama’s staff did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Romney for President press secretary Andrea Saul replied, “I don’t have anything to add.”