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Originally published July 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM | Page modified July 24, 2012 at 9:09 PM

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18 locals raise $4.2 million for Obama re-election

Eighteen "bundlers" from Washington state have helped raise $4.2 million for President Obama's re-election.

Seattle Times political reporter

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Even as he visited Seattle for two more fundraisers Tuesday, records show President Obama's re-election campaign already has received plenty of help from high-powered campaign cash "bundlers" in Washington state.

Of the president's 638 national bundlers, 18 are from Washington, according to an updated list disclosed by the Obama campaign.

That's already more than double the eight Washington bundlers relied on by the Obama campaign in 2008.

The bundlers are volunteers, frequently wealthy and politically connected, who collect donations from others on behalf of the campaign. The Obama bundlers are credited with raising at least $50,000 to help re-elect the president — and more than $500,000 in the case of the top-tier fundraisers.

They sometimes are rewarded with invitations to White House dinners or even patronage appointments.

Obama's 18 local bundlers this year have been credited with raising at least $4.2 million for the Obama campaign and a related Democratic National Committee fund.

They include Microsoft leaders and business executives, attorneys and nonprofit consultants, all from the Seattle area.

The top local bundlers, who have raised at least $500,000 each, are John Frank, vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft; Lou Frillman, an investment company executive, and his wife, Carol; Suzi LeVine, a former Microsoft marketer; and Michael Parham, associate general counsel for RealNetworks.

Other notables include philanthropist Susan Brotman, the wife of Costco co-founder Jeff Brotman, who has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama; former Microsoft President Jon Shirley, who has raised between $100,000 and $200,000; and Rion Ramirez, general counsel for the Suquamish Tribe's economic development agency, credited with raising between $200,000 and $500,000.

Republican Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has refused to disclose his full list of campaign bundlers, despite repeated requests from campaign watchdog groups, including the Center for Responsive Politics.

Romney instead has disclosed only a much smaller list of registered federal lobbyists — none from Washington state — who have bundled contributions for him, as required by Federal Election Commission rules.

Jim Brunner: 206-515-5628


On Twitter @Jim_Brunner

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