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Few presidential candidates take the bundler disclosure pledge

Just four of the Democratic presidential candidates so far have either voluntarily disclosed or said they plan to disclose their top individual fundraisers, or "bundlers."

Sixteen political advocacy groups sent a letter two weeks ago to all the major-party candidates for 2020 asking them to disclose their bundlers — the affluent, well-connected people who gather donations from others and deliver those funds in a "bundle" to a campaign. (Campaigns are only required to disclose bundlers who are registered lobbyists and collect at least $18,700.)

The Center for Public Integrity contacted the candidates to ask whether (and how) they planned to disclose the identities of their top fundraisers. These four Democrats said they plan to disclose the information:

  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California will publish the names and residential information of bundlers who raise more than $25,000 for her.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will disclose her bundlers, and the campaign will detail the when and how in the weeks ahead.
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell of California will disclose his bundlers once a quarter.
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., released a list of 23 campaign bundlers, but not how much they raised. His campaign said details of further disclosures would come later.

The candidates who did not respond to CPI included President Donald Trump and his only announced GOP challenger, former Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts, plus these 10 Democrats:

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  • Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  • Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington
  • Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
  • Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro
  • Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
  • Former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado
  • Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Fla.
  • Businessman Andrew Yang (But his campaign told one of the cosigners that he would reveal his bundlers once he had some.)
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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.

Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez still discussing revolving door bill

Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?

To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."

The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.

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But in general, young adults have a lot more trust issues than their elders

Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.

While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."

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