Members of the gay and lesbian community in Chicago, and nationally, have become central figures in President Barack Obama's campaign fundraising efforts. The Chicago Tribune reports that nationally the number of openly gay and lesbian bundlers, those who gather money from several contributors toward a political campaign, has almost doubled since the start of the year. This includes four Chicagoans who together have raised $1.5 million.
Overall, the number of Obama administration bundlers has jumped to 638, compared to 560 at this time four years ago. The amount of money they have raised increased more dramatically, from
$76 million at the end of June 2008 to $143 million at the end of this
Both Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have opted out of public financing. It is the first time both major party nominees rejected public money in the general election campaign since the campaign finance system was created after Watergate.