By Kevin Bogardus Read the full column here.
K Street has already made inroads with Congress’s incoming freshman class of lawmakers by helping out with fundraising.
Interest groups and lobbyists have bundled campaign contributions for at least nine lawmakers-elect, raising more than $800,000 overall, according to a review of Federal Election Commission (FEC) records by The Hill. Several incoming freshman members will be on Washingtonâ€™s fundraising circuit after Election Day as well.
Bundling helps lobbyists and interest groups maximize their political giving. Unlike donations from political action committees (PACs) or individuals, there are no limits on how much can be bundled for a candidate.
“The big advantage for us is it allows us to go beyond the $5,000 limit,” said John Isaacs, executive director for the Council for a Livable World. The group supports candidates who are in favor of nuclear arms control and bundles campaign contributions through its website and direct mail.
The Council bundled campaign contributions for Democratic Sens.-elect Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), according to reports filed by their campaigns.
“It’s not necessarily influence, but access. They will likely open the door to us,” Isaacs said of bundling. â€œIt certainly doesn’t guarantee that they will vote the way we want them to vote…”