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Romney's mystery bundlers hiding in plain sight

July 20, 2012|By Joseph Tanfani and Matea Gold
(J.D. Pooley/Getty Images )

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney’s campaign purports to have had no luck tracking down information about two lobbyists raising money for his presidential bid.

In campaign finance reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission, the Romney campaign left blank the space where it was supposed to list the employers of two of its newest lobbyist bundlers, writing instead “information requested per best efforts.”

But the details were easily found through a quick online search.

One was Michael Zarrelli, who raised $22,500 for the campaign last month, is manager of federal affairs at Alticor, the parent company of Amway, which was co-founded by Richard M. DeVos Sr., a billionaire and major backer of conservative political causes.

The other was Jim Carter, director of government relations at Emerson Electric, who raised $27,500. Emerson has lobbied for corporate tax reform.

Unlike President Obama, Romney has declined to reveal the names of the big fundraisers bundling checks for his campaign. But by law, he has to disclose the identities of lobbyists who are acting as bundlers.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the biggest lobbyist bundler for Romney so far has been Patrick J. Durkin, the Washington lobbyist for the British bank Barclays, which is currently under investigation as part of a global rate-fixing scandal. So far, Durkin has bundled $1.45 million for the GOP challenger, and is set to co-host a fundraiser for him in London next week.

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