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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Obama's fundraising raising an eyebrow?

Andy McCarthy has a must-read post at NRO's Corner that points to a Ken Timmerman column at NewsMax. It appears that Mr. Timmerman has been doing yeoman's work in tracking down a lot of Obama's campaign donations from foreigners and fraudulent proxies. From Andy McCarthy's post:

My pal Diana West points me to Ken Timmerman's must-read Newsmax column — which naturally is getting no coverage in the MSM — about Sen. Obama's eye-popping fundraising operation. Bottom line: the would-be President of the World is raising goo-gobs of money from foreigners outside the United States (a violation of federal law), and matching goo-gobs of money inside the United States from phantoms who are blowing out the individual contribution limits by, among other devices, making up identifies and breaking up contributions in amounts less than $200, for which reporting requirements are less rigorous.

According to Ken, the Obama campaign has raised nearly half a billion dollars ($429.6M) but refuses to provide the names of most of the donors. Election law requires the campaign to track this information but not for it to disclose the names of those who donate less than $200, which is most Obama donors. (Sen. McCain discloses the names of all donors.) The Obama campaign has raised millions upon millions of dollars from outside the United States. Only Americans living overseas may lawfully contribute, but because the Obama vetting machinery is negligent (or worse), the probability is that enormous sums are coming from foreigners. The campaign knows the FEC is a lethargic agency and won't have a full accounting until perhaps years after the election.

This typifies the domestic fundraising issue:

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.

Memo to the FEC: Get off your collective backsides and launch an investigation. If there's even a hint of malfeasance, or a violation of federal election laws, then shut down his campaign right now.

On the foreign donations:

The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their “state” as “IR,” often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as “UK,” the United Kingdom.

More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680. But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.

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.... In July and August, the head of the Nigeria’s stock market held a series of pro-Obama fundraisers in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. The events attracted local Nigerian business owners. At one event, a table for eight at one fundraising dinner went for $16,800. Nigerian press reports claimed sponsors raked in an estimated $900,000. The sponsors said the fundraisers were held to help Nigerians attend the Democratic convention in Denver. But the Nigerian press expressed skepticism of that claim, and the Nigerian public anti-fraud commission is now investigating the matter.

In June, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave a public speech praising Obama, claiming foreign nationals were donating to his campaign. “All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man,” the Libyan leader said. “They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency..."

[O]n July 31 that donors from the Gaza strip had contributed $33,000 to the Obama campaign through bulk purchases of T-shirts they had shipped to Gaza.... A pair of Palestinian brothers named Hosam and Monir Edwan contributed more than $31,300 to the Obama campaign in October and November 2007, FEC records show. Their largesse attracted the attention of the FEC almost immediately. In an April 15, 2008, report that examined the Obama campaign’s year-end figures for 2007, the FEC asked that some of these contributions be reassigned. The Obama camp complied sluggishly, prompting a more detailed admonishment form the FEC on July 30. The Edwan brothers listed their address as “GA,” as in Georgia, although they entered “Gaza” or “Rafah Refugee camp” as their city of residence on most of the online contribution forms.... The latest Obama campaign filing shows that $891.11 still has not been refunded to the Edwan brothers, despite repeated FEC warnings and campaign claims that all the money was refunded in December.

A Newsmax review of the Obama campaign finance filings found that the FEC had asked for the redesignation or refund of 53,828 donations, totaling just under $30 million.

But none involves the donors who never appear in the Obama campaign reports, which the [Center for Responsive Politics] estimates at nearly half the $426.8 million the Obama campaign has raised to date.

It's clear that Obama isn't being entirely truthful about his contributions, and that he's not only using a set-up proxy here in the states, but he is also getting foreign contributions. This should disqualify him right now from continuing this campaign. He's breaking the law, and should be charged and prosecuted. I don't want to hear the crap from the Left that he "isn't responsible" for any of this. It's his staff.

That excuse won't wash with us. He has routinely cited that because he leads his campaign he's qualified to lead the nation. OK, if that's true, then he's responsible for what goes on behind the scenes. That includes the contributions he's been taking in. The FEC needs to step in, and demand that these donations be returned immediately. They should also launch a full investigation of the contribution system, and anyone involved that has accepted these donations should be charged with violating election law, and prosecuted the fullest extent of the law. The FEC also needs to demand that Obama cease all campaigning until their investigation is complete.

Hugh Hewitt wrote a book entitled "If it's Not Close They Can't Cheat." The media this year has pulled out all the stops to insure that Obama wins. In Ohio Democrats are signing up homeless people to vote for Obama. In Washington Democrats tried to disenfranchise soldiers by trying to get their early votes nixed. Efforts from ACORN have been documented regarding their rampant voter fraud program. (Michelle Malkin has a tremendous round up of ACORN fraud stories here.) It's clear to us that there is every intention of cheating in this election. The media won't cover it because they know that if they do, Obama is finished. That's why the FEC needs to step in, and make a big stink about this. FORCE this into the MSM's news reports. That's the only way the media will cover it, and it's the only way we're going to be able to stop their attempts to steal this election.

Go read Mr. Timmerman's piece. This is just another puzzle piece in the Democrat's numerous attempts to get Obama elected by any and all means.

Publius II


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