Forward Thinking

Obama's Jewish Mega-Bundlers

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

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Disclosures released today by the Obama campaign cite more prominent Jews among Obama’s top fundraisers.

Prominent additions in the latest quarterly report include American Council for World Jewry chair Jack Rosen and former chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Alan Solow.

The Forward reported in December that Obama had lost no prominent Jewish fundraisers between 2008 and 2012.

Today’s disclosure covers fundraising on behalf of the Obama campaign by individuals through the fourth quarter of 2011. Bundlers are grouped into broad categories by the amount they raised, with the highest grouping including those who have raised over half a million dollars.

Rosen, who was not on the bundler list released following the third quarter of 2011, is now acknowledged to have raised over half a million dollars for the campaign. He hosted a fundraiser at his home for Obama in late November.

Solow, who was also not on the previous list, is now listed as having raised between $200,000 and $500,000. Solow was among the hosts of a January Jewish community fundraiser at which Obama spoke, though funds raised at that event would not be covered in this report.

Prominent Jewish fundraisers who also appeared in the previous bundler list include Ari Emanuel, brother of former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Penny Pritzker of Chicago, Philadelphia developer Israel Roizman, former U.S. congressman Ron Klein, DNC deputy national finance chair Mark Gilbert, and independent film mogul Harvey Weinstein, among many others.

Still missing from the list is DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen, who was a top bundler in 2008. Geffen has donated to the Obama campaign, and a spokesperson for the campaign said that he is fundraising. But he does not appear on the latest list of bundlers.

One name that’s not new to the list, but that could create newfound problems for the Obama campaign, is that of former New Jersey Senator and Governor Jon Corzine. Corzine, who is not Jewish, raised over half a million dollars for the Obama campaign. Corzine is under scrutiny following the collapse of his financial services firm MF Global. The firm, now bankrupt, misplaced $1.2 billion in customer funds. Much of that money is not expected to be recovered.


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