“Dark money” is funds used for a political campaign that are not properly disclosed before an election.
The term was apparently coined by Mother Jones.
Political fundraisers who can collect contributions from their networks of friends, family members and business associates and then deliver the checks to the candidate in one big “bundle.” Campaigns often recognize these bundlers with honorary titles.
Bundling has always existed in various forms, but has become more important with the enactment of limits on campaign contributions at the federal level and in most states during the 1970s.
A “money bomb” is an intense grassroots online fundraising effort over a brief fixed time period to support a candidate for election.
The term was first applied to a fundraising effort on behalf of the 2008 presidential campaign of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) which the San Jose Mercury News described at the time as “a one-day fundraising frenzy”.
Political consultant Ed Rollins described the effectiveness of Paul’s money bomb to the Washington Post: “I’ll tell you, I’ve been in politics for 40 years, and these days everything I’ve learned about politics is totally irrelevant because there’s this uncontrollable thing like the Internet. Washington insiders don’t know what to make of it.”
“Frugging” is an unethical fundraising tactic where a telemarketer falsely claims to be a researcher conducting a poll, when in reality the “researcher” is attempting to solicit a donation.
The Washington Post cites Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions advocacy group as example: “According to complaints on consumer-focused Web sites, some American Solutions calls begin with slanted polling questions before proceeding to a request for money. The tactic, known as ‘fundraising under the guise of research,’ or frugging, is discouraged as unethical by trade groups such as the Marketing Research Association.”
“Bundling” is the practice of rounding up contributions from friends and associates to bypass campaign finance limits.
San Antonio News-Express: “Welcome to the world of bundlers: a semi-secretive though perfectly legal practice in which super-duper fundraisers deliver bundles of campaign contributions to their favorite candidates that they induce, entice or, some would say, strong-arm others to make. Bundling allows candidates of both parties to finesse the federal caps on individual political contributions and allows the bundlers to gain more-than-ordinary access to presidents and presidential hopefuls.”