The Iowa Democratic Party organized a news conference to put public pressure on Republican presidential candidates to disclose the names of people who are raising large amounts of cash for the campaigns.

Many presidential candidates of the past have voluntarily disclosed the names of people, nicknamed “bundlers”, who seek out large amounts — or “bundles” — of campaign donations. Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky admits the 2012 candidates are following the letter of the law, which does not require disclosure.

“But I think it really flies in the face of what Iowans expect and what our traditions are here,” she said during a telephone conference call with reporters this morning. 

President Obama has released a list of the “bundlers” for his 2012 campaign.  In 2008, both Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain disclosed his major donors and Dvorsky says the current crop of GOP candidates should follow that lead.

“This isn’t just the Iowa Democratic Party that wants to see these (names),” Dvorsky says. “These numbers and this conversation is one for Iowa voters and American voters.”

During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush even had special names for “bundlers” who each raised more than $100,000 for his campaign. They were called “Pioneers” and an even more elite group — called Bush’s “Rangers” — each raised more than $200,000 for Bush’s 2000 effort.  

Critics say these “super donors” who collect massive amounts of donations for presidential candidates are often given undue influence over federal policy once a candidate becomes president.