Speed Reads


Biden backer: Candidate's late large donor reveal 'defeats the entire purpose of transparency'

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, disclosed his campaign's top donors Saturday evening, but the announcement didn't satisfy everyone, even among his supporters.

This is the first time Biden made the list public since he won the Democratic nomination. Biden, who has reeled in $383 million throughout his run, named 817 "bundlers" who raised at least $100,000 for the candidate through their personal networks, often giving their own maximum donation, as well. Per Politico, the list contains several top Democratic politicians and officials, Wall Street executives, Silicon Valley tycoons, and Hollywood celebrities.

Vox notes campaign-finance reform advocates had grown concerned that Biden had kept the information under wraps up to this point, especially since 90 million people have already voted. Previously, Democratic candidates have regularly disclosed their bundlers in the name of transparency. "Congratulations on clearing an artificially low bar they set for themselves that defeats the entire purpose of transparency — allowing voters to know who is funding the campaigns asking for their support before casting their ballots," said Tyson Brody, a Democratic operative who worked for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Brody is backing Biden in the election, per Vox, but is critical of the influence large campaign donors can have on elections.

While the campaign's decision to release names late in the game means many voters submitted their ballots with incomplete information, Vox notes that it isn't surprising. One of Biden's central messages is his ability to relate to the working and middle classes, which led to a focus on small, grassroots donations. Big name contributors, on the other hand, could have undercut the campaign's strategy. Read more at Vox and Politico.