The Washington Post calls attention to a worthy issue in its recent editorial “Mr. Romney’s Secret Bundlers.” Unlike the current president or his two Republican predecessors, John McCain and President George W. Bush, Mitt Romney has provided almost no information about his camp’s so-called “bundlers,” the well-connected people who do behind-the-scenes work to gather campaign donations. Romney’s secret team helped his camp outraise President Obama last month.
While this accomplishment is impressive, the editorial argues that there is no reason for Romney not to live up to the standard set by Bush (during both campaigns) and McCain for the GOP. Both men released pertinent information about important fundraisers, including details about the money collected. With bundlers playing a vital role in presidential campaigns, the Post asks probing and important questions: “Who are the men and women to whom the [Romney] campaign is so deeply indebted? Why would he hide his roster of key supporters?”
This author agrees that Romney has taken a rather strange approach in not disclosing his star fundraisers. His defense for hiding them is even more bizarre: he contends he’s done what is necessarily required of him to “[comply] with campaign finance laws,” which only mandate the information in the case of registered federal lobbyists. Technically true, but using the argument that one has “done the bare minimum” as a shield— whether at work, home or when running for president— seems like a cop-out. Why stand behind something so flimsy unless you absolutely have to?
While this writer certainly is not privileged to any information about Romney’s bundlers, I would say that there’s no sense in acting as if you have something to hide unless you do. The Post is asking smart questions, and it would behoove Romney to honor the example set by his predecessors on both sides of the aisle.