Thursday, October 2, 2008

Reports of Obama Fundraising Fraud

The American Spectator in its article Obama's Fishy $200 Million reports that an unnamed auditor for the Federal Elections Commission is being prevented investigating questionable fundraising techniques by the Obama campaign.

The Obama campaign has already had to deal with several FEC complaints about fraudulent donors and illegal foreign contributions, and the FEC says it has no record that those complaints have been resolved or closed. As well, the Obama campaign has been cagey at times about the means by which it has made its historic fundraising hauls, which now total almost $500 million for the election cycle. The Hillary Clinton campaign raised questions about the huge amount of e-retail sales the Obama campaign was making for such things as t-shirts and other campaign paraphernalia, and how such sales were being tracked and used for fundraising purposes. While the profits of those items counted against the $2,300 personal donation limit, there have always been lingering questions about the e-retail system...

...The FEC analyst says that Obama's filings indicate he has received large, bundled sums of donations from overseas, sometimes exceeding a quarter millions dollars. "It's suspicious, but it's the small donations made by credit card that need to be examined. We've raised red flags on many of these and the Obama campaign just ignores us. After this election, after we've sifted through everything -- if we're allowed to sift through everything -- I am confident that we are looking at perhaps the largest fine every leveled against a national campaign entity."

Similarly Newsmax reports in their article Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign that online fund raising combine with no requirement to report donors who contribute less than $200 has lead to serious questions about Obama contributors.

Under campaign finance laws, an individual can donate $2,300 to a candidate for federal office in both the primary and general election, for a total of $4,600. If a donor has topped the limit in the primary, the campaign can 'redesignate' the contribution to the general election on its books.

In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as 'Will, Good' from Austin, Texas.

Mr. Good Will listed his employer as 'Loving' and his profession as 'You.'

A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25.

In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.

Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 still well over the $4,600 limit.

There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama's Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will's cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.

In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there's no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.

Similarly, a donor identified as 'Pro, Doodad,' from 'Nando, NY,' gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as 'Loving' and his profession as 'You,' just as Good Will had done.

Foreign contributions are particularly suspect.

Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Unlike McCain's or Sen. Hillary Clinton's online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton's presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.

With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners.

The National Review is also reporting on "Sen. Obama's eye-popping fundraising operation" in their article Obama's Funny Money, or Who's "Loving" "You," Barry?

At TD Blog the article Whistleblower Ignored by DOJ, FEC, FBI: $200 Million in Fishy Obama Donations! they are asking readers to contact the authorities and request that they investigate these allegations.

DOJ, Office of Inspector General
hotline: (contact information in English and Spanish): (800) 869-4499

FEC Office of Complaints Examination & Legal Administration Division

FBI Tip Hotline

Reports of Obama Fundraising Fraud

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