South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Dick Harpootlian appears to be President Barack Obama’s only major campaign fundraiser from the Palmetto State, according to the New York Times’ newest list of Obama bundlers.
Harpootlian has raised $391,636 for the president since the beginning of 2011, according to the list. Federal election records also show the high-profile Columbia attorney personally gave $25,000 to the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA.
The list of bundlers shows Harpootlian did not fundraise for President Obama’s 2008 campaign. According to election records, he donated $2,300 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the primary — though he ended up publicly endorsing Obama.
In fact, just days before South Carolina voters went to the polls in 2008, Harpootlian famously criticized racial remarks Bill Clinton by comparing the former president to reviled GOP strategist Lee Atwater. While Harpootlian’s public rebuke of the Clintons didn’t win South Carolina’s Democratic primary for Obama by itself, it certainly didn’t help the Clinton campaign’s chances in the state.
Harpootlian is by no means one of Obama’s top fundraisers, however. According to the New York Times, over 100 other bundlers have raised much more, including a $2.6M fundraising haul from Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Other notable Obama bundlers include former Democratic National Committee chief Terry McAuliffe, Dreamworks CEO Jeff Katzenberg, and actress Eva Longoria.
By the way, we’d love to tell you whether any of Mitt Romney’s top fundraisers are from South Carolina, but the Romney campaign has refused to release its list of bundlers. Since there’s no way of knowing who his biggest fundraisers are, there’s also no way of knowing which special interests might have the president’s ear should Romney be elected. It’s a level of non-transparency that would make even Nikki Haley proud!