There are three types of donors to any political campaign. There are the small donors that represent the largest segment of those supporting a candidate. They are the traditional route taken for campaign financing. Then there are the large individual donors. The Citizens’ United decision allows these donors to contribute unlimited lump sum amounts. And finally, there are the bundlers. Bundlers are the rainmakers of politics. Bundlers are people who gather checks from friends and business associates. Their job is to promote and sponsor events designed to consolidate contributions from a variety of sources.
Here is a list of the top 10 biggest bundlers in the Obama camp:
1) Andrew Tobias, $4.1M
Tobias is an openly gay author, journalist, and columnist. His main body of work is on investment, but he has also written on politics, insurance, and other topics. Tobias helped rake in more dough than any other bundler during the 2011 and 2012 seasons so far, thanks in part to his connections to gay donors. He has been the Democratic National Committee treasurer since 1999.
2) Anna Wintour, $2.7M
Wintour is the English-born editor-in-chief of American Vogue, a position she has held since 1988. Wintour has been a supporter of the Democratic Party going back to Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate run. The most powerful woman in fashion continues to use her sway in politics. This year, the Obama bundler teamed up with actress Sarah Jessica Parker to cohost a $40,000-a-plate dinner with the President, attended by a glittering array of designers and Hollywood icons. Wintour is listed as #51 on Forbes 100 most powerful women.
3) Azita Raji, $3.2M
Azita Raji is the highest roller among the Indian-American bundlers. She is a member of both the National Advisory Board of the Democratic National Committee, and the Obama National Finance Committee. She was on the guest list for the January state dinner honoring Chinese President Hu Jintao, a fete attended by the country’s most influential Asian-Americans. Raji is a retired vice-president of JP Morgan where she focused on fixed-income investments. Raji is one of the leading desi bundlers in America.
4) Michael Kempner, $3.1M
Michael W. Kempner is the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of independent public relations and marketing firm MWW Group. Kempner is the New Jersey Finance Chair for the Democratic National Committee and is a member of the Finance Council of the DNC. He is on the White House Council for Community Solutions.
5) Frank White Jr., $2.4M
White is the former chairman and CEO Advanced Concepts, Inc. He sold the company to L1 Identity Solutions in 2007. In 2005, Black Enterprise magazine named him one of the top black technology entrepreneurs in America. White was a member of the Obama 2008 National Finance Committee. He was a guest at Obama’s second state dinner. He has continued to work closely with the Administration to help improve the policies affecting small and minority owned businesses across the country.
6) Jane Watson Stetson, $2.4M
Jane Watson Stetson is the National Finance Chair for the Democratic National Committee, the organization which governs the Democratic Party of the United States. A dedicated philanthropist, health care advocate, and civic leader, Stetson has spent over two decades creating and supporting numerous institutions focused on improving the lives of children, their families and the communities in which they live.
7) Matthew Barzun, $2.3M
Matthew Winthrop Barzun was selected by President Barack Obama as National Finance Chair for the Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden from 2009 to 2011. Barzun, a former executive with CNET Networks, pioneered using the Internet for fundraising raising millions for Obama in 2008 by reaching small donors.
8) Michael Sean Smith, $2.4M
9) Colleen Bell, $2.1M
Bell is an American television producer, philanthropist, and advocate for the environment, arts, and social causes. She is a member of the National Finance Committee for Obama 2012. Bell is an Associate Producer of The Bold and the Beautiful produced by Bell-Phillip Television Productions, Inc. Bell is the chairman of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Earlier this year, she and her husband Brad hosted a $35,800-Per-Plate fundraiser at their home for Obama.
10) Terry McAuliffe, $2.2M
McAuliffe is a businessman and a longtime leader and political advisor for the United States Democratic Party. He served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005. He served as co-chairman of President Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign and also served as chairman of the 2008 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. He unsuccessfully ran for the 2009 Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nomination. McAuliffe is a founder and chairman of GreenTech Automotive, a leader in affordable and next generation energy efficient vehicles.