Reporter’s donation using pre-paid gift card accepted by Obama, rejected by McCain

posted at 4:30 pm on October 25, 2008 by Allahpundit

Demanding proof of address would just get in the way of Change, man.

To test the campaigns’ practices, this author bought two pre-paid American Express gift cards worth $25 each to donate to the Obama and McCain campaigns online. As required by law, the campaigns’ Web sites asked for, and National Journal provided, the donor’s correct name, location and employment. The cards were purchased with cash at a Washington, D.C., drugstore, and the campaigns’ Web sites were accessed through a public computer at a library in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The Obama campaign’s Web site accepted the $25 donation, but the McCain campaign’s Web site rejected it.

Rebecca Donatelli, president of Campaigns Solutions of Alexandria, Va., which processes donations for John McCain, said her system rejected the donation because American Express could not verify that the donor lived at the address given with the online contribution…

“We could lower our standards and accept more money… but this is John McCain’s campaign, and he wants to root out fraud in fundraising and have everything open and as honest as possible,” said Donatelli.

Yeah, “wants” being the key word. The whole point of the blogosphere’s inquiry the past few days has been to try to show that this isn’t business as usual, that someone on Team Barry’s end made a decision at some point to dial down the security safeguards and his online vendor evidently agreed to go along. Why National Journal didn’t seize on that angle when they’re obviously willing to expose donation shenanigans is beyond me. Instead, we get a long, interesting, but not terribly exciting meditation on the flaws in verifying online donations generally.

Which isn’t to say it doesn’t have its moments:

Timmerman and other critics said the Obama campaign has been slow in returning donations that exceed the legal limit. “It’s fairly clear that the Obama campaign has allowed certain donations to stand for certain periods of time that are dubious,” said Stephen Weissman, policy director at the nonpartisan D.C.-based Campaign Finance Institute. The institute is funded by foundations, including the left-of-center Joyce Foundation of Chicago…

[T]he Obama campaign’s failure to verify donors’ identities or addresses is suspicious, [Richard Viguerie] said. All campaigns collect that data to verify donors and to persuade donors to work as volunteers. If the verification checks are disabled, “there’s no limit on how much a relatively small number of people could donate to the campaign on credit cards,” he said.

If they’re not checking the donors, he said, “they’re thumbing their nose at the law.” There’s no downside because the establishment media will go easy on them before the election, and they can easily raise funds to pay fines once they’re in power, he said.

McCain’s gotten donations from people with fake names too, but in the one case cited by NJ the donor used his correct address. That makes sense, as anyone who’s ordered a pizza will know: They don’t need your name but they do need the street because that’s what credit card companies use for verification — except for Barack Obama’s credit card company, of course, which will greenlight you even if you claim to reside on Brownlee Avenue in Imaginationland. The wider disconnect here, if I’m reading the piece correctly, is that the FEC uses donors’ names to police campaign contribution limits when in fact it’s the names that are the most easily faked aspect of donating online. Doubtless President Obama will get right on solving that problem once he’s in office and thinking ahead to 2012.

If you’re going to skim the piece, at least read the final few paragraphs quoting the former head of the FBI’s financial crimes unit on how easily this sort of fraud can be detected when campaign staffers feel like lifting a finger to detect it. I leave you with this screecap from a reader who donated to Barry O serially as John Galt, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and Bill Ayers using fake addresses. It took a few days for the charges to be processed, but here they are on his credit card statement:

Someone from Team Obama told Fox News the other day that they catch this stuff on the back end, so presumably the defense here will be that they’ll refund the money eventually. Revisit Weissman’s quote above for a sense of what “eventually” means. Exit question: How many staffers would they have to hire to verify donations that are coming in at a clip of several per second?


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DEMORALIZED. That’s all I am now.

D0WNT0WN on October 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

All this brings up an obvious question:

Could someone make a donation to Obama’s campaign merely by guessing a credit card number?

If the Obama campaign has turned off enough or all of the safety features, ……

Arbalest on October 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

And the MSM will cover this in 5… 4… 3… countdown on hold… indefinatly.

Romeo13 on October 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

He’s a crook and no one in the media cares. Clinton’s got in hot nwater over Chinese donations. Obama has millions in bogus/foreign money and the decisions makers in the media do not have the slightest care…

So, so sad.

Theworldisnotenough on October 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Until Republicans decide to play the game on Democratic terms no one will care.

mylegsareswollen on October 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

Arbalest on October 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

At last check it only needs credit card number and Exp date… name and address does not need to match… and that is what they keep in the database…

So, ANYONE can effectivly give as much money as they want, from anywhere in the world…

Romeo13 on October 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

This election is going to be one very ugly one.

William Amos on October 25, 2008 at 4:40 PM

And the fun part…

Berg’s lawsuit was dimissed for “lack of standing”… sooo….

Obama can lie cheat and steal his way to the Whitehouse, and the only people who can get him out once he takes the Oath?

The Democraticly controlled Congress… We the people have no “standing” in this….

Romeo13 on October 25, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Explains a lot. How many gift cards did Soros buy?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on October 25, 2008 at 4:42 PM

If it were Republicans doing this, there would be front-page headlines blaring the news about how corrupt the party was.

With the Democrats? Crickets….

nickj116 on October 25, 2008 at 4:42 PM

This getting-money-by-any-means will carry into his administration.

jgapinoy on October 25, 2008 at 4:44 PM

And, on the off chance that guessing card numbers / using card numbers of other people without their knowledge can and is happening, who pays for the charge?

My credit card company says I won’t be liable. I choose to believe them (for now).

But Obama’s spending a heap o’ money. Does he really have it, or is it simply racked up figures due to charges (that might later be invalidated)?

My guess is that Obama pays his vendors (printers, ad agencies, broadcasters, etc.) via credit, who, in turn, pay employees, consultants, contractors and suppliers, who in turn pay …

But if the original charges are contested, there never was any real money to spend.

Who pays?

I’m just speculating here, but this does seem like a possibility.

Perhaps there’s some safety mechanism I’ve missed, that prevents this from happening.

Arbalest on October 25, 2008 at 4:46 PM

Clinton’s got in hot nwater over Chinese donations.

Plus selling Lincoln bedroom, selling mining restrictions, selling LORAL waivers to send missile tech to China, Gore illegally fund-raising from his office.
BHO will be Clinton on ‘roids.

jgapinoy on October 25, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Let’s say the do “catch it on the back end” and give every dime back, if it is in a checking account that pays even the tiniest little bit of interest we are still talking a decent amount of free cash that no one is ever going to question.

Cindy Munford on October 25, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Someone from Team Obama told Fox News the other day that they catch this stuff on the back end, so presumably the defense here will be that they’ll refund the money eventually.

Explains the high burn rate. Spend it before the fraud investigation.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on October 25, 2008 at 4:50 PM

DOWNTOWN. Considering your boy Barry’s going down, then yeah, you should be demoralized.

Editor on October 25, 2008 at 4:51 PM

At last check it only needs credit card number and Exp date… name and address does not need to match… and that is what they keep in the database…

So, ANYONE can effectivly give as much money as they want, from anywhere in the world…

Romeo13 on October 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

But the word is that the security checks are turned off.

Is the expiration date still needed?

If only the card number is needed, then guessing is likely to render a valid number, since there are many card holders, and if security is off, who’s to say that the charge is invalid?

Tell me I’m missing something.

Arbalest on October 25, 2008 at 4:51 PM

All we can wonder is if the Republicans will fight the way that Gore did!

Looks like we have plenty of cold hard facts….oh wait, what am I thinking, Republians fight..lol…sorry, how silly of me.

OSUBuciz1 on October 25, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Nothing in this campaign angers me more than this issue. And I was hot about Obama’s potential socialism. But illegally and blatantly buying the election? If Obama is elected, I will fight him vigorously.

I called my senator about this issue (Grassley). I want to know what he intends to do about this.

beatcanvas on October 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM

Until Republicans decide to play the game on Democratic terms no one will care.

mylegsareswollen on October 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

Until we nominate people who understand that partisanship is required to win, we wont win.

OSUBuciz1 on October 25, 2008 at 4:54 PM

What I find troubling is all the money these journalists have “donated” to test Obama’s security. You’re just feeding the beast! For the love of God stop donating to his campaign. We get it, he’s a lying scumbag who’s stealing the election. Let’s do something about that, but let’s not donate any more money.

jonezee on October 25, 2008 at 4:55 PM

So, it is clear, Obama will win by hook, crook, fraud and false promises.

Am I wrong?

mindhacker on October 25, 2008 at 4:57 PM

I see this as good news. Rather then a groundswell of support from small donors, he is getting lots of donations for a few donors. So he has fewer supporters then he would have needed to have to actually raise all the money he is reporting.

It goes along the overstated poll numbers and the lack of anecdotal evidence like there don’t seem to be as many yard sings or bumper stickers for Obama as there were for Kerry in 04. This is an effort by the MSM and DNC meant to demoralize republicans to supress turnout.

Get out and vote.

BuckNutty on October 25, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Obama only wins if we refuse to fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Having Democrats lie, cheat and steal elections is NOT NEW! Some have long suggested the sainted John F. Kennedy had his Daddy help him out.

BUCK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are not going to let this creep win this! We are AMERICANS and WE FIGHT and WE NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now get ready for a McCain/Palin WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! And vote in mass while you are at it!

freeus on October 25, 2008 at 5:02 PM

In hindsight, it may have been a good idea to require reporting on all donations, no matter their dollar value.

BadgerHawk on October 25, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Gooooooooo CFR!

BadgerHawk on October 25, 2008 at 5:06 PM

Also, don’t discount the possibility the the credit card vendor is eating millions in fraudulent charges as an under-the-table corporate donation. Making them good to the credit card customer, but not charging back the campaign (‘planning to bill it after the election’; yeah, right.)

michaelo on October 25, 2008 at 5:06 PM

Nope,not good enough,Team Hopey,needs to be investigated,special prosecutor,special-hearings,
and I want his hand slapped,for starters!

canopfor on October 25, 2008 at 5:07 PM

Heh, there are two Americas.

Entelechy on October 25, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Theworldisnotenough on October 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Describes my thoughts exactly. The media has abdicated it’s role in this election in a way that I find almost impossible to believe.

And, with Obama, congress, and the media all on the same team, the possibility of exposing the fraud after the election seems pretty unlikely, too.

It’s all so depressingly third world-ish.

Infidoll on October 25, 2008 at 5:08 PM

I wonder if Obama will give China and Iran receipts for their purchase of an American election.

aero on October 25, 2008 at 5:11 PM

While Team Obama is in Co-Hoots,

Question,does Obama have a Secruity clearance,

and,gawd forbid,would Ayers have a Secruity clearance!

canopfor on October 25, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Obama is a crook but so is the corrupt press so there’s no one to catch him. I’m afraid this swill pit of corruption is going to produce an incompetent occupant of the White House. God save us because he’s the only one that can.

rplat on October 25, 2008 at 5:17 PM

Isn’t this how drug dealers launder money?

Terrye on October 25, 2008 at 5:17 PM

I put this in another thread, but I saw this at Hillbuzz. Colorado is not going the way the Democrats said it would,not yet anyway.

Terrye on October 25, 2008 at 5:19 PM

My GOD were is the justice dept. this along with the looking into Joe the Plumpmers priv. records and storys about Obama brith records, ACORN ,funny money donation from abroad.People we are looking at the total sreading of the U.S. Const.Pres. Bush you are still Pres. grow a set and start calling on the Justice Dept. to inforce the law.You took a outh to up hold the Const.even if it means going after Dems.

thmcbb on October 25, 2008 at 5:20 PM

DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED BY THIS STUFF!

Yes, the fraudulent behavior of O!’s campaign sucks, but money does not equate to votes. I agree with BuckNutty: “I see this as good news. Rather then a groundswell of support from small donors, he is getting lots of donations for a few donors.”

Here’s an interesting anecdote from my neighborhood. Suddenly yesterday the three houses on my cul-de-sac that have political signs (all Obama signs) now have more Obama signs (Obama-Biden). Now I know that three others of us on the cul-de-sac are McCain supporters (who value our personal property too much to put up signs)… but I did not know what was up with the other folks. What the appearance of additional Obama (actually, the newer Obama-Biden) lawn signs in the same three yards on the same day tells me is that (1) the signs were placed by campaign workers and (2) they have more signs than people willing to display them.

Chicago is spending – what? – $2 million for Obama’s “victory” party? The media are talking about Palin ’12 as if ’08 is already over. The campaign is so concerned about Obama’s true stripes being revealed to the public that they go after an innocent plumber, sequester their VP candidate from the press, and fly Obama to Hawaii.

These are not the actions of a campaign that has things locked up.

Feel free to be angry at Obama for cheating — he’s an evil rat ba5tard as far as I’m concerned — but do not waste energy on it right now. Stay positive. Talk with your friends and family over football and at church. And vote!

Chins up everyone!

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 5:20 PM

Infidoll on October 25, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Surreal isn’t it.

The left knew what it was doing when they infected the educationl system. We were asleep thinking as was well because Reagan was in the White House. Now we are saddled with a pitifully educated nation, ignorant of the things that made it greeat in the first place. Sigh…

Theworldisnotenough on October 25, 2008 at 5:22 PM

This getting-money-by-any-means will carry into his administration.

jgapinoy on October 25, 2008 at 4:44 PM

getting-money-by-any-means = raising taxes

Forget about that, take alook at HOW MUCH THEY ARE SPENDING! That is what we have to fear if he really wins…

singlemalt_18 on October 25, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Obama: - I promise to return all of the illegal campaign contributions… after they help me win.

profitsbeard on October 25, 2008 at 5:25 PM

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right
Ah

ah, ah, ah, ah, ah…

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right

Seems like Lennon saw this coming….

Patrick S on October 25, 2008 at 5:26 PM

This is beyond ridiculous. At its height, I don’t think Pravda was even as bad as the MSM.

progressoverpeace on October 25, 2008 at 5:26 PM

Y-not My chin is up thanks for the good words but right is right and we can not let these bastards get away with this

thmcbb on October 25, 2008 at 5:26 PM

The sleasiest campaign in Presidential history (yes, including the CREEP campaign of Nixon 1972).

Change.

Jaibones on October 25, 2008 at 5:29 PM

The fact that this isn’t bigger news is completely beyond me. This is a national election where one candidate is knowingly circumventing security measures to deliberately break the law.

I know that when people talk about revolution they often joke that the first thing to do is kill all the lawyers. I’d suggest they change that to the first thing to do is kill all the mouthpieces of the lying government then they can get the lawyers.

theguardianii on October 25, 2008 at 5:30 PM

So what is to stop someone from donating over $200 to Obama in the name of Bill Ayers and then point it out to McCain’s people?

cameo on October 25, 2008 at 5:31 PM

I put this in another thread, but I saw this at Hillbuzz. Colorado is not going the way the Democrats said it would,not yet anyway. – Terrye on October 25, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Thank you, Terrye and worth repeating verbatim:

The state of Colorado has released its first set of early voting figures: and it’s bad news for Obama.

Despite a massive push by Obama for early voting, including repetitious pleas during the Democrats’ Convention for Coloradoans to early vote, Democrats and Republicans are tied in terms of early voting so far.

105,277 – Democrats = 49.92%
105,615 – Republicans = 50.08% √
338 = Difference between the two = 0.16%

This means that even with a nonstop push by the Obama campaign for his followers to vote early, Republicans are still ahead in Colorado, if only slightly.

Democrats vote early in higher numbers than Republicans in almost every state. And that’s not including the big persuasive push by Obama. Logic dictates with all the attention Obama’s put on early voting, that Democrats should be clobbering Republicans right now…if they vote early in higher numbers to begin with, and then Obama’s made a big push for early voting on top of that.

That’s not happening.

Republicans have a slight lead in early voting right now.

Where is all the enthusiasm for Obama the media keeps braying about?

And remember: not all of those Democrats are voting Obama. We know 30 Democrats right here in Chicago who voted early — and voted Republican for the first time in our lives. We bet there’s a higher percentage of Democrats voting Republican in Colorado this year than any year in the past.

And that’s something we won’t know the full extent of until Election Day.

ManlyRash on October 25, 2008 at 5:33 PM

This is one more reason to vote.

KBird on October 25, 2008 at 5:41 PM

ManlyRash on October 25, 2008 at 5:33 PM

Not all of the Republicans are voting for McCain either – that is the flaw in your post. Belief and hope not facts.

Your continued insistence that “you know” the outcome will be for mccain is fishy. One of two things will happen; McCain will win and you will be back to say “see” or Obama will win and you won’t post for six months if ever.

Bradky on October 25, 2008 at 5:44 PM

The state of Colorado has released its first set of early voting figures: and it’s bad news for Obama.

John Elway is campaigning for McCain!

And to think yesterday one of our trolls was stating that McCain had given up on Colorado. Gee — astroturf much?

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Y-not My chin is up thanks for the good words but right is right and we can not let these bastards get away with this

thmcbb on October 25, 2008 at 5:26 PM

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

There will be plenty of time to prosecute these rats next year.

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 5:46 PM

I’ve been trying to follow this story, but obviously don’t have the time to read every comment/post about it.

Has anyone tried donating with a false name to the DNC? I’d be interested to know if the lax security measures are a party tactic or just being done by Obama.

dead-duck on October 25, 2008 at 5:49 PM

I wish that were the worst I could say about the man, who has survived nearly two years of campaigning for President without serious cross-examination from either the media or his media-chastened opponents. A man who, should he win the election and serve one term, will have been President of the United States longer than he has held any steady job.

In my world, you don’t humour a politician who presents “Change,” “Unity,” and especially, “Hope,” as hypnotic mantras, with the power of enchantment over very large crowds. And you especially don’t humour such a politician at a time when both country and world are unstable, and hard decisions will have to be made.

Deeper than this: Obama has presented himself from the start as a messianic, “transformational” leader — and thus played deceitfully with ideas that belong to religion and not politics. That he has done this so successfully is a mark of the degree to which the U.S. itself, like the rest of the western world, has lost its purchase on the Christian religion. Powerful religious impulses have been spilt, secularized.

In this climate, people tend to be maniacally opposed to the sin to which they are not tempted: to giving Christ control over the things that are Caesar’s. But they are blind to the sin to which they are hugely tempted: giving Caesar control over the things that are Christ’s.

“Faith, hope, and charity” are Christ’s things. They apply, properly, outside time — to a “futurity” that is not of this world. They must not be applied to any earthly utopia. A Caesar who appropriates otherworldly virtues, is riding upon very dangerous illusions. Follow him into dreamland, and you’ll be lucky to wake up.
- David Warren

MB4 on October 25, 2008 at 5:49 PM

Has anyone tried donating with a false name to the DNC? I’d be interested to know if the lax security measures are a party tactic or just being done by Obama.

dead-duck on October 25, 2008 at 5:49 PM

Along those lines, Ace has a report of trying to donate to NPR using the same parameters that ‘worked’ for O! donation.

Today I called the local NPR affilliate during their pledge week and told them I was Doodad Pro and I wanted to make a donation. The guy actually took my name as Doodad Pro. He asked for an address, I gave him “Loving You”, which he entered into his computer. Then there was a pause.
I told him that if Doodad Pro was man enough to donate over $10K to Obama, then surely they could take my measly $5 donation and suggested that NPR actually look into this.

I would encourage everyone to do this. It will seriously waste their time during their pledge drives.

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 5:52 PM

Repeat of an earlier post on this topic

If Obama wins any money problems the campaign has will simply disappear: access to power is, after all, highly saleable and a win will place him clearly above the law.

If he loses, however, I predict that we’ll see his wing of the democratic party undergo the biggest financial disaster anyone’s ever seen in a political party.

Here’s why: if he loses, donor fraud will become a big issue – and when some of his donors discover that lots of people who really didn’t donate are protesting charges made against their credit cards, they’ll follow suit. So if around 5% of the donations he’s collected in the last two months of the campaign turn out to have been charged illegally, another 5% turn out to have exceeded legal limits or come from ineligible donors, and 5% of legitimate donors get on the bandwagon to repudiate charges – he could be facing a 40+ million dollar shortfall.

Worse, since his campaign accepted illegal donations and contracted for television time and other campaign goods and services on the basis of those revenues, there are both bankruptcy and “proceeds of crime” issues to be considered.

On two of these issues: excess or illegal donations and donations obtained through fraudulent card use, the critical legal issue will be whether or not the campaign applied normal business practices to verify the origin and legitimacy of the payments.

I believe that the Obama campaign relies mainly on Paymentech’s “Orbital” merchant payment technology – and that technology has four main features of interest in this context:

1 – the web payments system (software plus services) is treated as a virtual device with every customer implementation assigned a unique identifier just as if it were a physical device like the visa terminals you see in stores. That identifier enables access to the normal banking records system. As a result, the customer has immediate, on-line, access to all transactions data from the current, and six preceeding, months.

As a result the Obama campaign could trivially produce lists of donors sorted by card, date, amount – with subtotals by card holder.

2 — It actually is possible (although deprecated and risky) to process transactions with nothing more than a card identifier (including date) and without authentication from either the AVS (Address Verification System) or CVS (Cardholder Verification System) – basically you just turn off all reasons for declining a transaction other than account verification.

This is considered poor practice, in large part because it makes it easy for people with access to other people’s card information to commit theft, and the Paymentech people would have repeatedly warned the Obama campaign against doing this.

3 — the system automatically warns of same day duplicated transactions with user selectable parameters governing what has to be duplicated to count – so it’s easy to set it to warn if the same card number is used with more than one address or name even if you choose not to use any of the available security checks (AVS/CVS/CID/CVV2/CVC -a whole bowl of alphabet soup) before accepting a transaction.

In other words, the Obama campaign would have to willingly ignore or bypass automated alarms if someone made multiple donations on the same card on the same day.

4 — Merchants have the option of either creating or updating a user profile when a card is used on their site (or in their store). These profiles include (from AVS and other sources) the customer’s name; address; card type and number; along with the transactions amounts and unique IDs.

In other words, just about everything the FEC requires could be produced through some limited post processing of prepackaged reports already available from Paymentech.

Bottom line? Willfull blindness to abuse – and if he loses, that, coupled with the actual cash shortfall in the campaign, could sink everyone involved.

Paul Murphy on October 25, 2008 at 5:58 PM

You don’t have to hire stffers to scrutinize every donation. They make software for that.

angelat0763 on October 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM

But remember, in 2004 Republicans outnumbered Democrats in CO. So if they’re even now, the GOP has lost ground. Indies seem to be favoring Obama in CO as well.

lodge on October 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Could someone make a donation to Obama’s campaign merely by guessing a credit card number?
Arbalest on October 25, 2008 at 4:38 PM

Well, you have to do a little better than guess, you have to have at least the first four digits in the right range.

I actually started to test that a couple of days ago when this first hit the news, but I chickened out when i was ready to click the -submit- button. If I had done that, even if I did it for a noble purpose it would have still been a crime. And Whoever’s Credit card number it turned out to be would be inconvenienced at best even if it were an 0bama supporter.

But given the number of people who have reported maximum donations charged to their CCs from the 0bama campaign, (that they never made), I think it is safe to assume that not only is it possible, but that it is an intentional FEATURE not a bug; That essentially gets 0bama an interest free loan for at least 30 days before he has to pay it back. A few hundred of them here and there, and you are talking about some serious money.

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Someone from Team Obama told Fox News the other day that they catch this stuff on the back end…

That’s nonsense. With names like Scooby Doo, yes, they could catch it. But if I sat here with the phone book and my credit card, I could donate $10K in an afternoon. By donating $100, 100 times using 100 “real sounding” names it would look completely legit from the campaign side of things. The campaign would never know that all of that money was sourced from the same credit card.

brirodg on October 25, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Obama will become the next Nixon. Give it time to percolate.

Cardiganfox on October 25, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Off topic, but Berg vs Obama lawsuit over birth certificate was dismissed.

Berg is appealing immediately to Supreme Court.

http://www.obamacrimes.com/

txdoc on October 25, 2008 at 6:03 PM

Your continued insistence that “you know” the outcome will be for mccain is fishy. One of two things will happen; McCain will win and you will be back to say “see” or Obama will win and you won’t post for six months if ever. – Bradky on October 25, 2008 at 5:44 PM

McCain will win and I’ll be back to say: I told you so. And I will enjoy rubbing your face in it at every opportunity.

ManlyRash on October 25, 2008 at 6:03 PM

I figured this the other day. I’m glad someone tested it.

lorien1973 on October 25, 2008 at 6:03 PM

Barack Hussein Obama’s hand fits very nicely in the glove of Nancy Pelosi’s most honest, most ethical, and most open Congress in history.

It stands to reason.

FlatFoot on October 25, 2008 at 6:07 PM

But remember, in 2004 Republicans outnumbered Democrats in CO. So if they’re even now, the GOP has lost ground. Indies seem to be favoring Obama in CO as well.

lodge on October 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Colorado dem primary popular vote tally:
OBAMA HILL
Colorado 80,113 38,839

A lot hinges on how many Hillary voters tip to McCain-Palin. If it’s running 20-25% PUMA, which I would think is a pretty good bet in a western state (the “progressives” from Boulder and Denver would have already been voting Obama), plus the military vote (thank you Barney Frank for telling us you’re planning on cutting defense budget 25% – moron) and hunters who will be energized for Palin… Sorry, I just don’t see Colorado Republicans going for Obama.

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 6:09 PM

ManlyRash on October 25, 2008 at 6:03 PM

What kind of person whines about optimism and faith? Thank you, win or lose.

Cindy Munford on October 25, 2008 at 6:10 PM

Obama will become the next Nixon. Give it time to percolate.

Cardiganfox on October 25, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Please don’t insult Nixon.

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 6:11 PM

Obama will become the next Nixon. Give it time to percolate.
Cardiganfox on October 25, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Since when did Nixon ever engage in credit card fraud, attend a radical ant-American, anti-white church for decades, associate with terrorists, advocate socialism etc.?

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2008 at 6:13 PM

Doubtless President Obama will get right on solving that problem once he’s in office and thinking ahead to 2012.

Did we have the election already because according to my calendar it’s only October 25th?

Obooza isn’t going to win, so can we please stop with all the speculating on what he will do as POTUS?

Bishop on October 25, 2008 at 6:20 PM

The One will lie, cheat, and steal his way to winning this election and, if successful, the votes cast for him will not be undone. The only consolation will be the proverbial crying in your milk. Cold comfort that.

Blackacre on October 25, 2008 at 6:21 PM

I’m not surprised by all the campaign donation fraud. This is the same campaign that paid nearly a million dollars to an ACORN subsidiary for GOTV work — and lied about it in their initial filings. Obama said early on that he doesn’t intend to lose this election. He’s willing to do whatever it takes, legal or otherwise; it’s the Chicago way. But it’s not the American way, and I believe that the majority of Americans will ultimately reject this lying Marxist fraud.

AZCoyote on October 25, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream of Obamessiah, dream
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream of Obamessiah, dream
When I want hope in my arms
When I want change and all it’s charms
Whatever I want, all I have to do is
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream of Obamessiah, dream

When I feel poor in the night
And I need more of someone else money to make me feel alright
Whatever I want, all I have to do is
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream of Obamessiah, dream

I need more of your dough so much that I could cry
And I want all of the right-wing blogs brought under the government’s control and that is why
Whatever I want, all I have to do is
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream of Obamessiah, dream
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream of Obamessiah, dream

FADE
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream of Obamessiah, dream

MB4 on October 25, 2008 at 6:27 PM

What I just love is the intimidation factor:

“Don’t you dare test to see we’ve made it possible to commit fraud! Doing so is a crime!”

Here’s an easy legal way to test:

Take a Credit Card that is connected to your home address. When it asks for your address, enter your work address. There you go, if it takes the work address then it must not be verifying addresses like it ought to.

Same for names, just enter a Nickname.

Also, why didn’t they mention that Obama does not require the security code? Turning one of the security code verification system off I might be able to vaguely comprehend, but not if they are turning off the address verification as well.

Comments in the last thread said they found a similar lack of verification for Jack Murtha’s campaign- is this standard Democrat practice?

Sackett on October 25, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Jorge Bush will order an investigation at 5:30 pm on Jan. 19, 2009. He’ll assign it to Patrick Fitzgerald, whom Osama Obama will fire at 1:00 pm on Jan. 20.

BTW: Obama won’t be “as bad as Nixon.” He’ll be as bad as the worst Democrat Nixon-haters claimed he was. Probably worse.

And Nixon’s campaign-contribution “troubles” were, as I recall, over a $50,000 donation. Not a substantial part of $600 million.

MrScribbler on October 25, 2008 at 6:42 PM

It is funny reading this post and the comments. Clearly you people have no idea how online payments work. Here is an example, try and use a VISA gift card at Toys R Us, you can’t. The system they use only excepts Toys R US gift cards. See the mind numbing logic with this entire post and thread. Basically McCain bought the wrong online payment system. Nothing to see here people keep moving.

jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 6:11 PM
LegendHasIt on October 25, 2008 at 6:13 PM

I mean it more in a Watergate getting into a chopper with peace signs flashed way than anything else.

Cardiganfox on October 25, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Oops I forgot with every online transaction an IP Address is tracked. From just the IP Address you will know where the payment was made (home, business, and by Zip code) stop it and put the tin foil away

jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 7:10 PM

At The Corner, Mark Steyn has the latest on the Obama campaign’s fundraising fraud and the media’s studied determination not to notice it:

As readers may recall, a couple of days ago it became clear that the Obama website had intentionally disabled all the basic credit-card-processing security checks and thereby enabled multiple contributions from donors with fake names. The excuse offered in the New York Times story was that, ah, yes, the Obama gang may appear to accept contributions from “Mr Fake Donor” of “23 Fraudulent Lane”, but all those phony baloney contributions are picked up by their rigorous offline checking procedures. As many Obama supporters wrote to point out, simply because you get a message saying “Thank you for contributing to the Obama landslide, Mr S Hussein of 47 Spider-Hole Gardens (basement flat), Tikrit!” is no reason to believe any real money is actually leaving real accounts.

The gentleman who started the ball rolling made four donations under the names “John Galt”, “Saddam Hussein”, “Osama bin Laden”, and “William Ayers”, all using the same credit card number. He wrote this morning to say that all four donations have been charged to his card and the money has now left his account. Again, it’s worth pointing out: in order to enable the most basic card fraud of all – multiple names using a single credit card number – the Obama campaign had to manually disable all the default security checks provided by their merchant processor.

The reader adds:

Last night on Sheppard Smith’s 3pm-ET show this issue was brought up briefly and they cited the Obama campaign falsely claiming that this sort of thing happens at the McCain site and that they catch these errors later in the processing. Well, it took three days to process my donations and they all skated through their rigorous screening.

And it doesn’t happen at the McCain site. This reader tried donating under “John Galt” and “Saddam Hussein” to the McCain campaign and they rejected it.

This should be Journalism 101. I’m not the guy who made Obama’s fundraising a story. The media did that when they ran hundreds of puff pieces marveling at his record-breaking cash haul, and in particular the gazillions of small donors. Isn’t the fact that his website has chosen to disable basic fraud protection procedures at the very least a legitimate addendum to those stories?

Oh, sorry, I was waiting for the chirping crickets. But evidently Mr C Cricket is over at Obama Central charging 20 bucks to his MasterChirp.

Maybe after the campaign is safely over someone will be interested enough to find out how much of Obama’s record campaign fundraising was criminal. Ten percent? Twenty? Fifty? On some other planet, with different reporters and editors, one might expect this to be a significant news story. Of course, in the world we live in, our reporters are too busy covering Sarah Palin’s shoes and hair stylist to have time to notice that Barack Obama’s entire campaign may be based on a foundation of criminal fraud.(Powerline)

Keemo on October 25, 2008 at 7:11 PM

How do they ‘REFUND’ money to a pre-paid gift card? It’s not like someone’s getting a statement for it, they use the card and throw it away. So who really keeps that money??????

snickelfritz on October 25, 2008 at 7:18 PM

geez, you get a refund the same way you recharge a gift card. Keep trying to finds holes in the system and making fools of yourselves. How about call the number on the back they will tell you where your purchases have been made and the balance.

jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Oops I forgot with every online transaction an IP Address is tracked. From just the IP Address you will know where the payment was made (home, business, and by Zip code) stop it and put the tin foil away

jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 7:10 PM

I could make a donation from a hotel room in Jamaica using a traditional credit card that is registered to my home address in the U.S. The IP address has nothing to do with it, nor does the point of origin of the transaction (if the latter mattered, Obama couldn’t hold a fundraiser in Europe, could he?).

The point is that the pre-paid credit card they used in this experiment “could not verify that the donor lived at the address given with the online contribution” (because it was pre-paid, hence no billing address needed by AmEx). McCain’s campaign is using a higher standard of scrutiny than is the Obama campaign.

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Clearly you people have no idea how online payments work…
jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Clearly you are a loon.

I have run 7 internet web stores of my own, and set up several more for clients. You have to intentionally override the basic safegards built into all of the online CC processing systems to do what 0bama is doing. MOST reputable CC issuers will pull your account if they catch you doing it. and many of the online processing programs don’t allow you to override those security measures, becaus they are there to protect everyone from fraud and themselves from the expense of doing chargebacks.

That McCain doesn’t do it speaks to his and his staff’s basic honesty, not that they were stupid and bought the wrong processing software.

And the IP tracking is meaningless unless the people that run the website WANT to correlate IP addresses with the CC info. And using a proxy server, internet cafe, open wifi router, library computer etc will facilitate using any false information you want to use.

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2008 at 7:26 PM

Obama and crew are treating McCain like he was a chump. First he breaks the public financing promise and now he takes money over and under the table.

Worst still he is doing exactly what his supporters want him do. The divide is growing wider. Not good.

patrick neid on October 25, 2008 at 7:26 PM

You know, there are some real good people posting on this site. Thank you for being here.

mindhacker on October 25, 2008 at 7:26 PM

Clearly you are a loon.

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2008 at 7:26 PM

Bwahaha!

I actually was thinking we are dealing with a pimply college student. I could be wrong, of course, but the logic reminds me of my old students (sophomores).

Y-not on October 25, 2008 at 7:29 PM

Did you read the real world Toys R US example. Now try and use any gift card at Buy.com and see what happens. McCain uses a weaker less flexible system. Read the Patriot Act all online tractions are tracked by various means. Ask yourself this simple question why is it when a online credit card ring is cracked one of the key bits of information that leads to crack the case is always IP addresses? Just google “geotracking and IP Address” together see what you get.

jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 7:30 PM

So who really keeps that money??????
snickelfritz on October 25, 2008 at 7:18 PM

Guess!

In the past, when other people have been caught, they have said that the money will go to charity.

But unless the CC company or an individual CC holder wants to prosecute for fraud, the money is legal to keep by the recipient.

Now, obviously if someone has engaged in an illegality to donate to 0bama with a prepaid card, they are harldly going to sue him to get their money back. And it won’t be in the best financial interests of the CC company, because they got their fees paid up front, and would have to go through the expense and hassle of a court case, which they would most likely lose anyway.

0bama has come up with the greatest scam in history (beating out Algore’s global warming scam by at least 100 million in the pocket.)

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2008 at 7:34 PM

For only a small fee I bet you could get any semi pro credit card scam troll from Russia to pack however many false donations you wanted to push through.

Piece work or flat rate.

CommentGuy on October 25, 2008 at 7:38 PM

jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 7:30 PM

OK, so McCain’s system is weaker, because it filters out illegal transactions up front.

And because Toys r US (no doubt the recipient of the bulk of your allowance) does not accept gift cards, 0bama’s system is better and more secure.

Gotcha.

LOON.

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2008 at 7:39 PM

Heck if you want to make it even easier just look up somebody in the phone book or any cross reference source that is a public record and get a name and address and employer and job title and proxy donate for them to the Obama / DNC joint victory fund.

The limit for that fund is 28,500 per donor since it is a federal national party joint fund.

Now unless the donor checks to see if they donated to get their tax deduction how would they know somebody did a donation in their name unless a neighbor or their employer asked about it from their cruising the FEC records.

Wash ,rinse, repeat as necessary.

CommentGuy on October 25, 2008 at 7:43 PM

snickelfritz on October 25, 2008 at 7:18 PM

Oh, and I forgot to add: If 0bama WAS shamed into not keeping the illegal gift card donations for himself, and donate it to charity, you wanna make me a wager that the charity would not be one run by Bill Ayers or someone of that ilk?

LegendHasIt on October 25, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Your continued insistence that “you know” the outcome will be for mccain is fishy. One of two things will happen; McCain will win and you will be back to say “see” or Obama will win and you won’t post for six months if ever.

Bradky on October 25, 2008 at 5:44 PM

I’ll miss him in that contingency.

Count to 10 on October 25, 2008 at 7:49 PM

OT:

In the ruling from the Berg v Obama decision: “The alleged harm to voters stemming from a presidential candidate’s failure to satisfy the eligibility requirements of the Natural Born Citizen Clause is not concrete or particularized enough to constitute an injury.”

It seems that this judge didn’t see any reason why the Founders put the natural-born citizen requirement in. So he just decided to ignore it … after all, there wouldn’t be any harm to voters from someone violating the Constitutional requirement.

On a side note, I like the judge’s use of the phrase “constitute an injury”. I think he just threw that in to further demonstrate the pedestrian nature of the word “constitute”.

progressoverpeace on October 25, 2008 at 7:56 PM

Oops I forgot with every online transaction an IP Address is tracked. From just the IP Address you will know where the payment was made (home, business, and by Zip code) stop it and put the tin foil away

jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 7:10 PM

OK, here is my IP address – 172.190.53.163 – now tell me my home, business, and by Zip code.

MB4 on October 25, 2008 at 8:01 PM

geez, you get a refund the same way you recharge a gift card. Keep trying to finds holes in the system and making fools of yourselves. How about call the number on the back they will tell you where your purchases have been made and the balance.

jero_jones on October 25, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Dear Astroturfer,

Perhaps you miss the issue.

A random individual (let’s call him George Soros) makes a donation with a gift VISA card his gran-gran gave him for bar mitzvah. He sends it all to Barry Obama, but he’s 13 and it’s illegal.

Little Georgie, having spent the money, has thrown the believed-to-be-worthless card away, and the Obama campaign’s refund will never get to the end user. It sits.

Does VISA eventually reclaim that money? Do they get it if the balance on the card is gradually forfeited over time?

Does it go back to Barry, if not claimed?

This scenario, of course, assumes absolute innocence of intent on the part of the donator. It becomes magnified immensely if there is intent to break the law.

There is NO LEGITIMATE REASON not to verify these cards at the time they are submitted. The only reason not to do so is to allow fraud and to benefit from it.

snickelfritz on October 25, 2008 at 8:03 PM

If they’re not checking the donors, he said, “they’re thumbing their nose at the law.”

Only the beginning, folks. Only the beginning.

Kafir on October 25, 2008 at 8:20 PM

I called my senator about this issue (Grassley). I want to know what he intends to do about this.

beatcanvas on October 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM

I’d call my senators but they’re Durbin and……Obama! Hahahahah. Man, I’m f***ed

Big John on October 25, 2008 at 8:25 PM

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