Outside and Inside Chances

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The Politico delves into Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign finance disclosures and comes up with a list of bundlers from the business sector and the lobbying sector. Though positioned as an outsider to Washington politics, Romney appears to have made fast friends with some of K Street's big names.


Several of the biggest names on the list are veterans of President Bush's fundraising squad of "Ranger" and "Pioneer" mega-bundlers -- can you take advantage of this kind of fundraising access and still get points for being a "Beltway outsider?" The Politico invited analysis from our David Donnelly:

Candidates need the help of people like these to raise enough money to win the first primary -- the money primary, said David Donnelly of Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonprofit that advocates for publicly financed elections. "A lot of these candidates want to position themselves as outsiders that will come from outside and shake up Washington. But it's hard to believe the rhetoric when they have these bundlers rounding up the money," he explained. "It's hard to believe that the candidates that depend so heavily on these lobbyists will be able to bite the hand that feeds it."

And for the lobbyists, Donnelly said, "the money gets them access for their clients, gets them positioned on the transition team that picks the top officials in the administration."