Sunday, October 21, 2012

Obama Campaign Accepted Foreign Web Donation

The real story may not be that the Obama campaign seems to intentionally have more lax standards excepting small donation which makes it much more likely that they will receive illegal foreign contributions (see this other potential fundraising scandal). It may be the request of additional funds which would leave the total under the FCC reporting limit of $200. Why would the Obama campaign specially ask for a donation that leaves them a few dollars below the limit for which they would have to report the identity of the donor?

"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.”
Obama’s re-election campaign took in $130,867 from donors who provided no ZIP codes and $2 million from those with incomplete ZIPs in September.

That same month, Romney’s campaign recorded $2,450 from donors without ZIP codes and $2,500 from those with incomplete ZIPs.

Walker said it should have been clear to the Obama campaign’s computers that his donations came from a computer with a foreign IP address.

The Obama campaign says it “screens all credit-card contributions that originate from a foreign IP address” and requests proof of citizenship if questions arise.

But not only did Walker’s Obama donations go through, but he said he began receiving two to three e-mail solicitations a day to give more. The e-mails asked for $188 or more.

If Walker gave $188, his total contribution to Obama would be $198 — less than the $200 threshold at which campaigns have to identify the donor to the FEC.

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