Sunday, April 22, 2007

Old political alliances break in 2008 race

JIM KUHNHENN - The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Not long ago, Washington lobbyist Wayne Berman and California investor Tom Tellefsen shared the same goal: Raise as much money as possible for George W. Bush. Now they are in opposite presidential camps; Berman with John McCain and Tellefsen with Mitt Romney.

Not long ago, Washington lawyer Gregory Craig and supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle were Bill Clinton loyalists. Craig is now raising money for Barack Obama while Burkle gathers cash for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

They are the bundlers, the fundraisers, the well-connected linchpins of a politician's financial operation. Collectively, they and scores of others helped raise $130 million in presidential primary money last quarter by spinning through their Rolodexes and scrolling through their computerized contact lists.

But with Republican and Democratic presidential fields of multiple candidates, some past alliances have split. Hillary Clinton has lost some old Clinton confederates to Obama. And McCain is building a fundraising team around the very same Bush fundraisers who worked against him in the 2000 presidential campaign.

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Captain Mark

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