Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Senator Obama is "Loving You"

Andy McCarthy has a post on The Corner at that's really scary! The post summarizes another article by Ken Timmerman on Newsmax discussing Senator Obama's money raising campaign. It seems that Senator Obama has received a lot of money from foreign sources, in violation of Federal law, and there is also indication that he's received a lot of money from contributors who are structuring their contributions deliberately to avoid the requirement that the campaign disclose anyone with contributions totaling over $200, as well as the $4,600 limit for individual campaign contributions. Unlike Senator McCain, who discloses all of his campaign contributors, Senator Obama has refused to dislose the names of most of his donors even though election law requires that the campaign track them.

Senator Obama has raised almost a half of a billion dollars ($429.6 million), so far. According to Newsmax, the Federal Election Commission (the FEC) has asked for a redesignation or refund of 53,828 donations, totaling just under $30 million.

The FEC has also identified more than 11,500 contributors making $33.87 million in questionable overseas contributions. Until recently, Senator Obama's website allowed people to make contributions from any country listed in the UN without giving proof of citizenship. The records show that Senator Obama has raised $201,680 from diplomats or military members living overseas. They've listed their address with an "APO" identifier. Clearly, folks who reside overseas can legally contribute; as long as they are a citizen, and there's nothing wrong with those contributions. On the other hand, the FEC has identified more than 520 of Senator Obama's campaign donors who listed their state as IR, which is an abbreviation for Iran. There were 63 other donors who listed thier address as the UK, an abbreviation for the United Kingdom. In November 2007, two Palestinian brothers contributed more than $31,300 to Senator Obama's campaign, and the FEC has asked the campaign to reassign the money. The campaign has refunded most of it, but still owes $891.11, despite FEC warnings that the money must be refunded and the campaign's claim it did so in December.

Aside from the questionable overseas donations, the FEC has also questioned donations from small contributors; those the campaign does not have to disclose. It seems that there is some evidence that contributors or fundraisers are breaking a large contribution into small parts and using fake names to avoid campaign disclosure laws and the monetary limit for individual contributors. Senator Obama has raised $222.7 million from people contributing $200 or less. According to the Newsmax article thats the largest pool of unidentified money that's ever "flooded" the US election system since before or after the McCain-Fingold election reform laws went into effect in 2002.

For example, the FEC has questioned a series of $25 donations from a Mr. "Good Will" who apparently lives in Austin, Texas, and who listed his employer as "Loving" and his profession as "You." Mr. Will is just too cute for his own good. Newsmax reviewed the campaign records and discovered that Mr. Good Will has made over 1,000 contributions (most for $25 paid by credit card) for a total contribution of $17,375. The Obama campaign has refunded the credit card for 330 contributions, but Mr. Will's total contribution still reaches $8,950, well over the $4,600 limit an individual can contribute to a campaign under our election laws.

In another example, Mr. "Doodad Pro" from "Nando, NY" contributed a total of $19,500 in 786 donations, again most of them by credit card for $25. Like Mr. Good Will, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as "Loving" and his profession as "You" on some donations and just seemed to pick random letters on other donations. The Obama campaign has also refunded some of the donations, but not all. The campaign still possesses $11,165 of Mr. Pro's contributions, again well over the individual limit.

I know I'm skeptical about conspiracies, but does anyone else see a pattern here? If Mr. Will and Mr. Pro weren't so cavalier (or so stupid and juvenile) they wouldn't have used such obviously fake names or fake information so many times. Without their stupidity, the system these two used for avoiding disclosure or individual limits would have been much more difficult to identify. The information is scary, though and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I have to ask myself a couple of questions: Is this a concerted effort to avoid federal election laws? Is this one of those dreaded conspiracies, or just stupid contributors? Just how many of Senator Obama's contributions violate the laws of this country? Will the FEC act, or just let the Obama campaign draw out their responses and actions until after election day? Finally, the most important question of all. . .when will the mainstream media report on these "irregularities?"

1 comment:

David M said...

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