(updated with correction)
Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson and John Rogers Jr., Ariel's founder, CEO and chief investment officer, are the second-highest fundraisers for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, according to campaign contribution figures collected by the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington.
In addition to the maximum $2,500 in personal contributions allowed by campaign financing law, Mr. Rogers and Ms. Hobson have collected $1.5 million through the practice of bundling, which allows individuals to solicit and combine contributions from friends and associates without dollar limits. “Bundlers are people with friends in high places who … deliver the checks to the candidate in one big ‘bundle,'“ according to the CPR website.
By industry, members of the legal profession are still the top bundlers for Mr. Obama, with $21.6 million as of April 20, but those in the securities and investment industry are second, with $14.8 million.
The campaign for Republican candidate Mitt Romney has declined to identify its bundlers; election financing rules only require disclosure from registered lobbyists.
So far, both Messrs. Obama and Romney have enjoyed notable fundraising success, but political observers predict it will jump into even higher gear, thanks to more creative campaign financing practices and the strong appeal of both candidates.
“The level of uncertainty is a lot higher than before, so you try to raise more,” said Bob Biersack, senior fellow with the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign spending. “The biggest difference (now) is the uncertainty that some person or group can dive in with significant amounts of money.”