Obama’s bundlers tight with the White House

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama’s top 350 bundlers in the upcoming 2012 election have already snagged 68 high-status jobs in the administration, and 250 have landed resume-boosting invites to White House events, according to a study released Thursday by a left-of-center media foundation.

The report, by the Center for Public Integrity, also said that 30 of the bundlers are tied to government-related companies on Wall Street, in the green-tech sector or in the defense sector.

The report defines bundlers as people who contact their friends to collect and forward political contributions starting at $50,000 and climbing to more than $500,000.

The report was produced a day after Obama’s 2012 campaign released a TV ad congratulating the president for ethical propriety. Titled “Unprecedented,” the ad claimed that Obama “kept a campaign promise to toughen ethics rules.” (RELATED: Left-wing activists cited as ‘independent watchdogs’ in new Obama ad [VIDEO])

The ad is likely intended to shield Obama from the GOP’s increasing focus on crony capitalism — a term for the increased government-corporate cooperation cause by expanding government control over economic sectors. (RELATED: Energy Department hired Wall Street to salvage Solyndra)

The ad’s statements were derided by GOP activists and even by Washington Post columnist Glenn Kessler, who awarded the ad “Four Pinocchios” for false claims.

The new report builds on a 2011 investigation by the center, whose main funders are left-of-center people and foundations. The 2011 investigation showed that almost 200 of his bundlers in the 2008 campaign won administration jobs, often as ambassadors.

The report cited Frank Islam, an immigrant from India who has established an high-tech investment firm in McClean, Va. He’s raised up to $100,000 for Obama’s 2012 campaign. In 2010, he was appointed to serve as an unpaid adviser on the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and on the Commerce Department’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business. He has been invited to the White House at least eight times.

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