Group Urges Cornyn To Halt ‘Bundling’ Scheme,
Disclose Campaign’s Secret “Patriots” & “Underwriters”
|For Immediate Release:|
For More Information Contact:
|October 31, 2001|
Craig McDonald, 512-472-9770
Austin, TX: : Texans for Public Justice is urging U.S. Senate candidate John Cornyn to stop soliciting secretly bundled campaign contributions that exceed $1,000 federal limits on individual donations by as much as $49,000.
In a letter sent today, the watchdog group urged Cornyn to dismantle his “Patriots” bundling operation. At a minimum, the group called on the “open-government” attorney general to disclose the secret identities and pledge amounts of his campaign’s mega-funders. According to media accounts, Cornyn has created special categories for individuals who pledge to bundle contributions over the $1,000 limit (e.g. individuals pledging to bundle $10,000 are called “Benefactors,” those bundling $25,000 are “Underwriters” and those bundling $50,000 are designated “Patriots”).
“Attorney General Cornyn is breaking the spirit of post-Watergate federal campaign laws,” said Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald. “When individual donors deliver bundled contributions that grossly exceed the legal limit, the law is undermined and a federal office is cheapened by the appearance of impropriety.”
Cornyn’s state political career has been dogged by fundraising conflicts. On the Texas Supreme Court, he took money from people he judged. In his attorney general race, he took money from parties that the attorney general was suing. As attorney general, Cornyn helped create a secret Republican Attorney General Association slush fund and then solicited corporate money for it from interests with litigation before his office. “In stepping into the more rigorous federal elections arena, Cornyn should make a clean break from his checkered past,” McDonald said.
“Cornyn ought to disclose the identities of his high-rolling mega-donors, as well as the amount of money that they pledge and gather,” McDonald said. “The public should be able to judge whether Cornyn’s mega-donors are patriots or scoundrels.”
For greater detail, see the press release and the letter to Cornyn.