Sunday, October 21, 2012
Obama Campaign Busted For Accepting Foreign Donation$
The New York Post has the story:
The Obama re-election campaign has accepted at least one foreign donation in violation of the law — and does nothing to check on the provenance of millions of dollars in other contributions, a watchdog group alleges.
Chris Walker, a British citizen who lives outside London, told The Post he was able to make two $5 donations to President Obama’s campaign this month through its Web site while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney cash was rejected. It is illegal to knowingly solicit or accept money from foreign citizens.
Walker said he used his actual street address in England but entered Arkansas as his state with the Schenectady, NY, ZIP code of 12345.
“When I did Romney’s, the payment got rejected on the grounds that the address on the card did not match the address that I entered,” he said. “Romney’s Web site wanted the code from the back of card. Barack Obama’s didn’t.”
By the way, taking contributions from non-U.S. citizens is against federal law.
The actual numbers are quite instructive. In September, the Obama campaign took in more than $2 million from donors who provided no ZIP code or incomplete ZIP codes, according to data posted on the Federal Election Commission Web site.
Romney's numbers? $2,450 from donors without ZIP codes and $2,500 from those with incomplete ZIP codes.
Walker also says he began receiving multiple e-mails asking him to donate an additional $188. That would have put him just under the $200 threshold above which FEC requires campaigns have to identify the donor.
Just for the record, I had exactly the same experience.
My $5 donation sent from 'Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza City, Gaza' went right through, was processed and was billed to my account.
I also receive e-mails asking me to donate another $190...again, just under the $200 reporting limit.These people know exactly what they're doing.
By the way Haniyeh is the leader of Hamas in Gaza, officially listed as a terrorist group by our State Department. No problem for President Obama!
The reason for the laxity regarding ZIP codes and 3 and 4 digit security codes (CVV) is a no brainer. A lot of foreign cards don't have them, so requiring them would limit foreign donations, if, let's say, you weren't too choosy about the law and wanted to accept them.
Not only that, but the address verification system used on VISA, MasterCard and American Express cards is the default position in the software involved. Someone would have to deliberately disable it in order for this type of fraud to go through.
The piece also reiterates the information about Obama.com, owned by a prominent Obama bundler named Robert Roche who lives in China, has extremely close connections with the Chinese government, and received a prominent seat at a state dinner in honor of the Chinese President.
Is the FEC going to do anything about this 1 days before a national election? Probably not. But one would hope they'd investigate this thoroughly and prosecute. The Obama Campaign did exactly the same thing in 2008 and got away with it, so apparently they figured it was just fine to pull it again.