I know it’s all-debt-ceiling-all-the-time right now, but there’s also a presidential race going on — really, there is — and here’s an interesting development: The DNC is going to call directly on the 2012 GOP hopefuls to disclose their campaign bundlers, in order to contrast their minimal disclosure with the Obama reelection campaign’s approach.
Dem officials say they are scheduling conference calls later this week in early primary states and Florida with local and national media. “We will call on GOP candidates to disclose bundlers as Obama has done and as McCain and Bush did,” a Dem official says, adding that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz “is going to continue to raise this issue as often as necessary until the GOP responds.”
WassermanSchultz sent a letter last week to RNC chair Reince Priebus demanding that the GOP institutionally commit to fuller disclosure of campaign bundlers. But according to the DNC, Priebus has not responded, and Wasserman Schultz is sending another letter reiterating her demands:
Dear Chairman Priebus:
I sent you a letter last week regarding the Republican Party’s apparent newfound interest in transparency and accountability as it relates to campaign finance. In that letter, I, assuming your interest is sincere, called on you to do the following:
* As the DNC has done since 2008, have the RNC forgo accepting contributions from Political Action Committees or federal lobbyists.
* Call on the Republican Party’s candidates for President to forgo accepting contributions from Political Action Committees or federal lobbyists as President Obama has done since becoming a candidate for President in 2007.
* Call on the Republican Party’s candidates for President to disclose their major fundraisers, also known as bundlers, which President Obama has done and which President Bush did before him.
To date, I have not received a reply. I know it may take some time for you to convince members of your party to be more transparent in their dealings with the special interests and that the RNC forgoing PAC and lobbyist money is a tough pill to swallow.
These steps are the minimum in transparency that the American people have the right to expect from their political leaders. I hope you will soon decide to take these basic, common sense steps because they represent the right thing to do for the American people.
Again, I look forward to your reply.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair
Democratic National Committee
This sort of spat is very inside-baseball, and similar process-oriented lines of attack have had mixed success in the past, such as the Dem assault on secret money funding GOP campaigns in 2010. But Dems are hoping that in the context of a presidential race, a simple and straightforward demand that Republicans willingly disclose their biggest contributors — a request that Republicans are conspicuously not responding to — can gain some traction. And Dems are going to continue to hammer away at the RNC in hopes of forcing a response.