An investigation by the Government Accountability Institute found that more than half of the most politically active 50 campaign bundlers for President Obama were either appointed to a presidential council, committee, board, or other White House post. Many bundlers’ businesses or relatives’ businesses also received millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal contracts, grants, loans, or other crony perks.
Bundling campaign donations for Mr. Obama can produce a lucrative return on “investment” in the form of crony deals. For example, one of the president’s biggest bundlers, Penny Pritzker, is the national co-chair of Obama for America 2012 and was a member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Mrs. Pritzker has bundled at least $904,957 for Mr. Obama. A former board member of the Marmon Group, the Pritzker family owns as much as 40% of Marmon while Berkshire Hathaway owns the rest. Marmon and Berkshire own IMPulse, a transit-manufacturing firm, located in Mount Olive, North Carolina. IMPulse received or directed numerous construction projects that received millions in taxpayer-funded stimulus money. Among others, those projects include:
- A $485.8 million contract that was awarded for the extension of the Metro Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa
- A San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) infrastructure project worth $67 million in ARRA funds
- The Portland streetcar eastside loop which received $75 million in funds
The value of the projects that IMPulse Manufacturing received total nearly $1 billion in American Recovery Reinvestment Act funding.