Cory Booker Agrees To Release Campaign Bundlers, Open Fundraisers To Press

The move comes as campaigns are under pressure to increase the transparency around who is funding them.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has agreed to increase the transparency of his presidential campaign, releasing more information on his biggest backers and allowing reporters to cover his high-dollar fundraisers.

“Sure,” Booker campaign manager Addisu Demissie told reporters when asked whether the press would now be allowed into his fundraisers, noting that there are some this weekend in California that the media was welcome to attend. “There hasn’t been much interest in it, but if you want to come, we’re in.”

Booker so far hasn’t released the names of his bundlers, the wealthy individuals who contribute and raise money for the campaign. But Demissie said they expect to do so as soon as next week.

“As far as bundlers, we said we’re going to do it in the summer. It’s a moving target, obviously, because people are raising money, we’re raising money,” he said. “So we have to figure it all out. But sometime next week, we should be able to do it.”

Booker’s announcement comes as pressure increases on campaigns to be more transparent about how they raise money. As recently as Wednesday, the Booker campaign was not willing to commit to more access.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg recently agreed to allow press at his fundraisers and said he will soon be releasing the names of his bundlers as well. It came after pressure from the media and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Both Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) do not hold high-dollar fundraisers or have bundlers.

Buttigieg released his bundler names for the first fundraising quarter, but then stopped doing so. Former Vice President Joe Biden allows press into his fundraisers but does not release bundler names.

Booker has struggled to break into the top tier of candidates, and he won’t be on the stage for next week’s presidential debate in Los Angeles. But Demissie said he feels confident they can hang on for a couple more months, in large part because of the influx of donations they’ve received in the past few weeks.

“We still see a path to victory in the Democratic nomination that does not include the December debate stage as a requirement,” he said.

Booker has raised more than $3 million since the debate on Nov. 20. To put that in context, Booker raised just $4.5 million in the entire second fundraising quarter. Demissie expects this quarter to be their best showing to date.

The campaign also plans to spend half a million dollars as a “significant down payment” on television and digital ads in Iowa.

Correction: This piece originally misstated when Booker’s team will release its bundlers.

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