Friday, July 20, 2012

Bundling His Way Through the Election

So my morning perusing of blogs brought me to a website that brought to light something that I had never paid attention too, or known about before.  Bundling. It's been a while for a little while but only recently, the last decade or so, has it become real popular to bundle.  Know you might ask, what exactly is bundling, and why is it a big deal?  Well, up until this morning I was equally unawares because, while I am interested in geopolitics and economics, the interest doesn't extend to campaigning. I know the candidates make back room deals and skirt the law and looking into it would only serve to heighten my already high blood pressure. 

For the record I don't really care about the 2012 presidential election, or not that I don't care but that I know whoever wins won't change very much, after the departure of Mr. Paul from the scene.  I don't expect him to have an dark horse Warren G Harding style delegate win.  But that is neither here nor there.  The point is that I will not be doing a lot, or really any, coverage of the presidential election, but I am getting off task.  I stumbled into this little info graphic, seen below, and it piqued my interest.

The first thing I noticed was the massive amount of money Obama has raised since April of 2011. (It should raise eyes that Obama has been campaigning since early of 2011 because that would essentially meant that, after discounting the first six months of his presidency as learning the ropes, he has only really dedicated his time for governing for about a year and a half.)  A cool tenth of a billion dollar, and if there is anything that can be said about Obama, is that he is an effective campaigner, perhaps rivaled only by Mr. Paul, with a network that is very much behind him.  The numbers behind Romney are murkier, particularly because he hasn't released all his information yet, but it will certainly be an expensive election.

What caught my eye though was that 8 out of every 25 dollars was from a bundler.  Since I didn't know what a bundler was; I perused further.  Bundling apparently had started to be used after the enactment of FECA, but it was George W. Bush who took it to the next step during his 2004 election.  Not to worry, the democrats have just been as effective as using this strategy as the republican party. But in short bundling is simply when highly motivated and influential individuals convince individuals to give checks to their candidate in one big "bundle", hence the name bundling.

The breakdown of the bundlers isn't anything you wouldn't expect, about 20% of his downers worked in law  with another 13% working in securities and investments.  It also must be nice that non of these donors are lobbyists, so technically Obama isn't breaking any previous anti-lobbying promises he made, but only a fool would think that these 'individual' aren't lobbying.  And I also find it interesting when you look at the bundling chart that the 7th most prolific blunder is an employee of the Departmental of State. Everyone else in the top ten, save for a DreamWorks employee, works for some sort of financial and real estate firm (big surprise). When looking at Romney's you see some financial firms, such as Barclays' employee, but its the expected most up of large businesses.

Either way Obama has an obscene amount of individuals who have donated to his cause, and the election season still hasn't officially kicked off.  I don't really care that people are bundling, they can do whatever they want with their money.  But it certainly is disconcerting that this news hasn't gotten out more.  Let's not kid ourselves, this is essentially lobbying by any other name.  These aren't small time contributions, or peanut individuals, like with the Paul campaign, but well established mucky mucks in whatever industry they are in. And with Mr. Obama there are quite a few individuals who reside in D.C (but no one is surprised are they).

I am going to break down this chart and show a little graph of where each candidate gets the most of their bundlers later. But for know I'll let you peruse the site and reflect on the strangeness of businesses giving moving to perhaps the most unfriendly business president we've had in a while. But then we know why they are donating, to either one of the candidates:

P.S If Obama loses the election his recent gaffe, and it is a gaffe, on how business owners didn't build their businesses, will be it.  It floors me that someone as highly competent (I assume) as he is at campaigning would make that kind of statement.  Fact is that while the crowd that Obama spoke too would eat his words up. The rest of America is going to raise an eyebrow, we all work for/know a small businesses owner who busted his ass, so the fact that he made such a comment either shows he is comfortable expressing his truest self; or he isn't nearly as effective as a politician as some would have us believe.  Do you think Reagan or Clinton would make such a statement? I might take a passive interest in this election if only to see which candidate wants to lose the most.  I thought for sure Romney's goose was cooked, but Obama might snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Seattle resident whose real name is Kevin Daniels. This blog covers the following topics, libertarian philosophy, realpolitik, western culture, history and the pursuit of truth from the perspective of a libertarian traditionalist.