McCain to Reveal More Fundraising Details
Eager to appear more forthcoming than Democrat Barack Obama, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis notified leaders of several campaign finance watchdog groups Friday that McCain will begin identifying top fundraisers not only by name and location but by employer and occupation.
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the additional data and an updated list of McCain fundraisers will be available on the campaign Web site next week and will be updated monthly.
The campaign did not agree to every request sought by watchdog organizations. In a June 25 letter to the campaigns, eight groups that track money in politics asked the candidates to identify the specific amount of money raised by individual fundraisers. The campaigns only report dollar thresholds that the fundraisers have met or exceeded.
"Listing a 'single dollar figure' of the amount raised by each fundraiser as you request cannot be done in the midst of the campaign because it is changing on an individual basis almost daily that is why we use broader categories," Davis wrote. "However, we will continue to use our best efforts to update the fundraising categories on a monthly basis."
What's more, Davis did not address the group's request that McCain instruct the Republican National Committee to provide the same level of disclosure.
But Davis said the campaign would provide information on bundlers who raise money for the campaign and for the joint fundraising committee that the campaign has set up with the RNC.
Obama has not responded to the group's letter.
In his letter, Davis said the McCain campaign will:
- Disclose the identity of any fundraiser who raises at least $50,000 for the campaign and the joint fundraising committee with the RNC. Previously the campaign had disclosed fundraisers of $100,000 or more.
- Identify bundlers by name, city, state, occupation and employer. The Obama campaign only discloses fundraisers by name.
In a joint response, the coalition on Friday said:
"Sen. McCain seems to recognize that citizens deserve more information about two classes of contributors bringing in millions and millions of dollars for this election, bundlers and small donors. We hope that Sen. Obama will agree to the same steps that Sen. McCain has or will go even further so that the 2008 election is the most financially transparent in U.S history, not just the most expensive."
Davis said the campaign will make it easier to get information about all donors, including those that give under $200 and whose identity the campaign is not required to provide to the public.
Both McCain and Obama have been vocal advocates of greater regulation of the flow of money in politics. Both candidates already identify their major fundraisers, known as money "bundlers," on their Web sites - a step that is not required under campaign finance law.
But the campaigns have been erratic in updating the data. The New York Times reported Friday that Obama's campaign only updated its list of fundraisers Thursday, following inquiries from the newspaper.