Obama campaign accepting dubious contributions?

posted at 7:01 pm on October 21, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

The title of the article at the New York Post is fairly provacative to be sure. “Obama campaign accepted foreign web donation – and may be hiding more.” But this looks like one of those stories that may be less – and yet more – than it appears on the surface. First, to the details.

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.

Well, that certainly sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? Obama taking donations from England? But if you read on there’s a bit more to this specific donation.

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.”

So in this case, it turns out that Mr. Walker was intentionally entering distorted information with his donation, mixing an American looking address with an American (not matching) zip code, though the payment was coming from Europe. He was apparently doing it as a “test”of both campaigns – a test which Romney passed – but that’s hardly the same as accepting European donations with open arms. But what it does do is call to light an equally serious problem with the Obama campaign’s system of processing payments. It’s an important distinction which any professional campaign should have been able to sew up and avoid running afoul of the law. The Daily Caller explains.

The upcoming GAI report suggests the Obama campaign is allowing fraudulent donations to be accepted because the president isn’t employing proper safeguards against fraudulent donations. GAI leaves open the possibility that the Obama campaign “may have experienced data-collection problems,” but argued “given the Obama campaign’s technological sophistication, the fact that the campaign consistently reports higher amounts of erroneous data month-to-month casts doubt on that explanation.”

“A robust anti-fraud address verification system (AVS) would require an accurate zip code to process a credit card transaction,” the report reads. “The presence of large sums of donations without such basic address information suggests that some campaigns are using looser security settings than others.”

GAI said an AVS system “compares the numerical portion of the address a donor enters to the numerical information on file with the credit card company for the card.”

“For example, most pay-at-the-pump gas stations require customers to enter their zip code,” GAI added. “Enter the wrong zip code or none at all, the transaction is denied.”

GAI said that when a political campaign uses such an AVS system, it’s “invisible to outsiders.”

So it’s easy to lose sight of the story if you’re only looking to see if Team Obama is intentionally soliciting illegal donations from outside of the country. (And some of the President’s defenders are doing just that.) But given the fact that questions have already come up regarding the President’s team’s handling of such contributions, it’s completely valid to ask why this hasn’t been fixed by now. And perhaps more to the point, it’s not as if Obama has been hurting for small donors this year. Why wouldn’t you take the time to make sure you’re following the rules? An extra $200 bucks can not be worth the problems which will come from an illegal campaign contribution scandal.


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canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

If it happened yesterday, it would be 3 and a half years too late!!

Good on ya for all of your hard work keeping us informed. Now we’ve got to carry the ball to the goal line and then spike it in the end zone!!

hillbillyjim on October 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

hillbillyjim:AStink’nMen on dat:)

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

It’s a huge, embarrassing, disgrace, that we have such a corrupt criminal in the WH. His criminal minions continue to commit crimes against the Constitution. These are dark days for the Republic.

DOH! I read that again, and I guess it could be politically incorrect.

ultracon on October 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

HOLY COW did y’all see the top of drudge

SPOT ON in re: to dear leader’s foreign policy

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Yes. I want to ask him why he does that.

Bmore on October 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

HOLY COW did y’all see the top of drudge

SPOT ON in re: to dear leader’s foreign policy

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

The Obama foreign policy: Bow to our enemies, BACKSTAB our allies.

wildcat72 on October 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

The Obama foreign policy: Bow to our enemies, BACKSTAB our allies.

wildcat72 on October 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Then trips over caskets..er…Bumps in the road..

Electrongod on October 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Likely Obama has issued a Presidential decree allowing for such donations. To him. Only.

pat on October 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Why doesn’t Congress pass a law that requires all credit card donations to process with the highest anti fraud verification turned on for that receiving account?

Could it be because many of them also benefit from this nefarious practice?

karenhasfreedom on October 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

*************** Alert **********************

WALL STREET MUPPETTS!
=====================

Who are the muppets now? Goldman exposé falls short of hype
NEW YORK | Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:02pm EDT
**************************************

(Reuters) – The tell-all book that Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) former equity derivatives salesman Greg Smith has delivered may end up being remembered more for the marketing skills he picked up at the Wall Street bank than for any bombshell revelations.

Smith created a furor earlier this year when he resigned from the blue chip Wall Street firm, alleging in a New York Times Op-Ed column that the firm had engendered a “toxic” culture of treating clients as “muppets” – slang in Britain for idiots – and relieving them of their money.(More………………)
============================================

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/22/us-goldman-smith-idUSBRE89L00020121022

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

and politicos top story is that Mitt will have a problem with the debate on foreign policy

sheesh!

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Then trips over caskets..er…Bumps in the road..

Electrongod on October 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Because he’s so blind.

Or because that’s what he wants. Let’s face it, whether or not Obama is a legal natural born citizen or not is moot (I believe he isn’t)… His MENTALITY is foreign. He isn’t an American in his upbringing or experience. Which explains his failure to lead us.

wildcat72 on October 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

don’t think mitt will bring up the bowing, but he did bring up the apologizing and hope he does it again…big time

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

So what! !!!! I read about this weeks ago, still congress, or anyone else does nothing!!! When will this scum bag be held accountable? ??????? Never it seems, from solyndra to F@F to Benghazi, still nothing….. get this POS out of our house………….

angrymike on October 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Maybe since its an FP debate 0 will bow to Mitt.

Bmore on October 21, 2012 at 8:16 PM

don’t think mitt will bring up the bowing, but he did bring up the apologizing and hope he does it again…big time

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Mitt should walk on stage..
Walk up to Obama..
Then bow…

Electrongod on October 21, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Another rambling Jazz Straw attempt at an article.

Umm, dude – this has been well known since 2008 – and I have read roughly 20 stories in the past 3 months concerning the blatant lack of standard AVS – a direct Federal Election Law violation.

Yet, when one reads this – it’s approached as something “new” , sprinkled with 5th grade logic behind “what the problem really is” along with “what may not really be an issue”

HA has made some great firings… ah, I mean changes lately – all for the good. Can you retire Jazz or just send him back to 5 comment worthy Green Room?

Odie1941 on October 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM

I would be shocked, SHOCKED, if the Dems were cheating in an election

connertown on October 21, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Bmore on October 21, 2012 at 8:16 PM

heh

Electrongod on October 21, 2012 at 8:16 PM

ooooh, dear leader would make him kiss his ring

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I would be shocked, SHOCKED, if the Dems were cheating in an election

connertown on October 21, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Romney is going to win WELL PAST the margin of democrat election fraud.

Indeed, it’s breaking that way. Mitt will win in the biggest landslide for a Republican since 1980.

wildcat72 on October 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

This isn’t exactly news. From what I recall, this jackass basicaly funded his last campaign this way!

Sign of the Dollar on October 21, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Crooks.

No other word for it.

CROOKS.

profitsbeard on October 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Mitt should walk on stage..
Walk up to Obama..
Then bow…

Electrongod on October 21, 2012 at 8:16 PM

As funny as that might be. Romney is. Hundred times the self made man 0 would ever hope to be. He has no business bowing to anyone let lone 0.

Bmore on October 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM

HOLY COW did y’all see the top of drudge

SPOT ON in re: to dear leader’s foreign policy

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

cmsinaz:Oh man,yup,meanwhile from Bolten!:)
============================================

Bolton: Obama’s foreign policy a complete failure, has reversed America’s approach of ‘peace through strength’
***********************************************

Published September 21, 2012 | On the Record | On the Record

VAN SUSTEREN: If you were to write a book on the last three-and-a- half years of President Obama’s foreign policy, what would be the title?

BOLTON: The failure of Obama’s foreign policy. Look, the question for America and for citizens as voters is as it’s always been. What is America’s role in the world? What do we need to protect and advance our interests around the world, promote peace and be sure that our friends and allies are protected?

Under generations since Franklin Roosevelt, we have followed a “peace through strength” policy, that America’s strong place in the world, politically, economically and military, help protect our interests. Barack Obama has reversed that. He believes in withdrawing American influence. He thinks we are too much in the world and that the world would be in a better place with a receding, declining America. I think that’s a prescription for disaster, both at the level of grand strategy and in any number of imminent threats we face.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right –Mthe number of countries just to sort of look at our foreign policy last three-and-a-half years. Let’s start first with Russia and President Obama’s reset with Russia. How is he doing?

BOLTON: Well, it’s been a failure across the board! And you know, he — he laughs about Romney’s remark on Russia. Mr. President, you know, they still have more nuclear weapons than any other country in the world, and fortunately, al Qaeda doesn’t have them yet.

But the president has given in to Moscow on missile defense for the American homeland. The missile defense program he inherited has been gutted. He agreed to a very ill-advised strategic arms control treaty. He has watched Putin carry through on his intention to reestablish Russian hegemony in the space of the former Soviet Union without America standing up to it.
(More………..)
==================

http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/on-the-record/2012/09/22/bolton-obamas-foreign-policy-complete-failure-has-reversed-americas-approach-peace-throug

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Gloria All- red will be on it with a damning expose’ in 5…6…7…8…

Mimzey on October 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM

The . Should be a space followed by an a.

Bmore on October 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I don’t know why but reading this story made me think of the “scandal” of Sarah Palin and the clothes purchased by the RNC. The media wouldn’t let that go. I couldn’t believe anybody raised a question about it. This is a real scandal. More like a crime, and nobody of the MSM gives a flip.

tj4osu on October 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I’m in awe of this transparency sh**.

Wow. It’s unfathomable that we’ve allowed these shysters to stay in office this long. Shame on us all, and especially, shame on Congress.

hillbillyjim on October 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM

As funny as that might be. Romney is. Hundred times the self made man 0 would ever hope to be. He has no business bowing to anyone let lone 0.

Bmore on October 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Yeah…

But the MSM would fall all over themselves..
Chris Matthews would call it Constitutional Rape…

Electrongod on October 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM

dubious contributions (again) for a dubious candidate (again)

TIdbIT on October 21, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Obama campaign accepting dubious contributions?

Calling these outlaw contributions “dubious” is akin to calling Charles Manson “a wee bit unsettled”.

hillbillyjim on October 21, 2012 at 8:30 PM

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Yep, it’s a dilemma.

Of course.

hillbillyjim on October 21, 2012 at 8:07 PM

hillbillyjim:

Hellevu good point,especially,when the DOJ
is trying to get the courts to toss out,Fast
and Furious!:)

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

When the hell will this charlatan be held accountable?

Its like we trust a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman with our lives.

If he’s willing to let an ambassador and three other people die in honor of his political correctness what guarantee he’s looking out after our domestic safety? Oh wait! someone named Hasan and Ft. Hood come to mind.

Does he really care? A petulant narcissist? No.

Speakup on October 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Why should this even matter? Hamas ran a phone bank for contributions for Obama back in 2008. I don’t remember anything happening to him back then.

Capitalist Infidel on October 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Everyone knows Obama voters are too stupid to understand varification procedures. Therefore, they have to loosen the rules for them.
..
Besides, having to know your ZIP code is racist.

MichaelGabriel on October 21, 2012 at 8:33 PM

This story was covered more thoroughly by Breitbart on October 8. My understanding is that the AVS system is automatic unless disabled. This is the second time the thug has flaunted the law. Romney should direct his Justice Dept to investigate.

Basilsbest on October 21, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Canopfor
hey buddy!!!! This administration has done nothing but cover each others butts since day one, you know it, I know it and everyone here knows it. It will take years to figure out how much damage has really been done……….;)

angrymike on October 21, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Of course Obama takes illegal foreign donations.
Breaking ” the law” means nothing to
Communists. Communists have a vested
interest in a weakened America. Obama
and the socialists do not believe in America
and it’s founders or founding beliefs.

redguy on October 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

See, Mitt already proving he knows how to run an operation better and cleaner than Obama.

It would be great to launch an investigation into election fund-raising fraud as soon as Mitt takes office. And start with the evidence provided in the article.

New law needs to be written forcing AVS on all electronic campaign donations. With a $100,000 fine for each violation, and jail time for the candidate when there are more than 2 occurrences.

goflyers on October 21, 2012 at 8:50 PM

HA has made some great firings… ah, I mean changes lately – all for the good. Can you retire Jazz or just send him back to 5 comment worthy Green Room?

Odie1941 on October 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Who got fired? Tina Korbe? I thought she quit to take another job?

Dack Thrombosis on October 21, 2012 at 9:00 PM

canopfor on October 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM

good linky :)

cmsinaz on October 21, 2012 at 9:06 PM

It IS worth the problem because NOTHING will be done about it because he is a Democrat. Just IMAGINE the fang showing if the tables were turned.

watertown on October 21, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Another rambling Jazz Straw attempt at an article.

Umm, dude – this has been well known since 2008 – and I have read roughly 20 stories in the past 3 months concerning the blatant lack of standard AVS – a direct Federal Election Law violation.

Odie1941 on October 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Obama’s acceptance of illegal foreign campaign contributions are an egregious offense. It’s being reported in a major newspaper which IS news.

We are in the height of election season and you never know what fact might be the one that tips a voter against voting Obama. I’m sure HotAir is attracting new readers every day. Any avenue to increase awareness that might help this story break through to the general public is a good thing.

This site does not exist to cater only to your needs. Get over yourself. No one forces you to read an author or topic you don’t like. You are free to skip over them.

Mayday on October 21, 2012 at 9:46 PM

This is the same crap they pulled in 2008, and it’s still going on at the donation portion of the website, but not the merchandise section (odd, that!) It’s all 30% off, you know. Want to buy your doggie an Obama sweater (and watch him pee himself?)

disa on October 21, 2012 at 9:51 PM

that’s hardly the same as accepting European donations with open arms

Sometimes you seem like a complete nitwit, Jazz. Do you do that on purpose? Why?

Jaibones on October 21, 2012 at 9:55 PM

There is a helluva lot more to this. Team O have been Actively soliciting contributions from foreign nationals and this has been documented, in part, by the posting of successive email solicitations online. You may right it off as a fluke but this would appear to be the result of either a slip shod solicitation campaign or done with intent.

The fact that the Obama campaign has deliberately de-activated security features to make it easier for foreign donations should make it clear this is a long standing pattern of practice.

R Square on October 21, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Mayday on October 21, 2012 at 9:46 PM

And nothing forced you to read my comment and respond, yet you did. See how the silly game is played. Read the entire thread, I am not the only one – and for the 50th time – you do not arbitrate who can and will read a website, in fact I am quite sure my 5+ years without violating the TOS in any way is the business model HA strives for.

Feedback got that wet sock Tina Korbe booted.

Its called mass media for a reason.

Odie1941 on October 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Folks, I work in the industry. I would bet the amounts of ILLEGAL contributions is in the tens of millions from foreign sources. After they are rejected by any standard fraud system, it is possible for the transaction STILL to be processed through, if the credit card processor, or the bank involved simply ‘eats’ the fraud themselves. Either entity could then be making what amounts to a multi-miilion dollar contribution. If the credit card processor is privately held, it won’t even be reported.

The big question that is VERY IMPORTANT: WHO OWNS THE CREDIT CARD PROCESSING COMPANY for the Obama campaign?

Hopefully, Obama will still lose. Then it will be time to serve subpenas on the TECHNICAL people from that organization and go after this to prevent such in the next election.

michaelo on October 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I read that it was Paymentech’s front end utilized in 2008 to authorize the cards. However, the democrats would have to turn on and pay a few cents more per transaction (depending on their contract with their processor)to run AVS.

Amjean on October 21, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Read the entire thread, I am not the only one – and for the 50th time – you do not arbitrate who can and will read a website, in fact I am quite sure my 5+ years without violating the TOS in any way is the business model HA strives for.

Odie1941 on October 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Precisely my point, which is that we all have the freedom to choose what to read. If you want to spend your time reading an author you dislike on a subject that bores you and then make ugly comments about both, you are free to do that. It’s tiresome to read though, and one of the reasons I don’t visit HotAir very often any more. I rarely comment here, so your reference to 50th time must be intended for someone else.

Pat yourself on the back though, on your excellent 5 year record. Gold star for you!

Mayday on October 21, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Just another example of the Democrat’s SOP: Lie, cheat and steal elections…

ImperfectAmerica.com

imperfectamerica on October 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I am sure George Soros has flooded Europe with “Gift Cards”…..
He says – just send some to Obama and keep the rest…..

redguy on October 21, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Why does this post treat the Obama campaign’s deliberate decision not to implement CVV safeguards as a minor fix that they just haven’t gotten around to?

It’s clearly a deliberate decision and the consequences go beyond $10.

Patterico on October 21, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Well duh…

He got it away with it in ’08, what makes anyone think they won’t again? Sad, but true.

Paradox Drive on October 22, 2012 at 12:49 AM

I thought this was illegal?

The law is just a tool to be used against the rest of us. The ruling elites are too big to be held to the law. Too big to fail, I guess.

JellyToast on October 22, 2012 at 6:58 AM

This is entirely deliberate.

Configuring the website properly would take a matter of minutes.

Only the Lightworker would be able to get away with this level of fraud. And it is knowingly committing fraud.

CorporatePiggy on October 22, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Hey Jazz. This post was made in 2008 as well.

Might want to link to it. It was almost exactly four years previous from today.

BKennedy on October 22, 2012 at 7:06 AM

Hey Jazz. This post was made in 2008 as well.

Might want to link to it. It was almost exactly four years previous from today.

BKennedy on October 22, 2012 at 7:06 AM

And the fraudulent charges people were getting on their cards. The credit companies were paying.
The amount of fraud this campaign has engaged in is breathtaking. And yet, so little is being done. I think the GOP is as complicit as anyone else. I think some in the GOP establishment just don’t care. They don’t want to rock the boat too much because they really don’t mind either politicians getting away with corruption or government expanding to control every aspect of our lives. Just as long as the economy is good and they can control it and get rich themselves in the process.
It’s all a club.

JellyToast on October 22, 2012 at 7:18 AM

A friend of mine did something along these lines four years ago. While in Iraq, he made a $5 donation on his own debit card under the name Muqtada al-Sadr, providing the address to Wrigley Field as his own.

He says it went through and he never saw the money again.

Red Cloud on October 22, 2012 at 7:25 AM

I donated $5 to Barack Obama in 2008. I used a fake name and address. I attempted the same with Hillary and McCain, it did not work. A real investigation would reveal that Obama is indeed accepting foreign donations with full knowledge that they are.

Theworldisnotenough on October 22, 2012 at 9:34 AM

It’s amazing that this story is not carried by Yahoo, Google, CNN and peer.

vnohara on October 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM

And I too have wondered why the Republicans in DC have not done anything.

Either they too are doing something similar or they are too afraid of being called racists?

vnohara on October 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM

This same scandal erupted during the 2008 campaign, and the powers that be did nothing.

Obama’s turned off the AVS software assocated with the campaign contribution handler on his website, just as he did in 2008. It’s OK, because as long as he gives it back when challenged, it’s only a loan, right?

Sooner or later (and probably later) there will be a law mandating an AVS system. But an AVS system is sort of like “voter id” isn’t it — so you can’t vote twice with anonymous gift cards and such….

There is a maxim: All laws result from liberals restricting rights, or from libertarians taking advantage of their supposed rights.

This appears to be a big case of the latter.

unclesmrgol on October 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Note that this story merely picks up where the Clinton / Chinese scandal left off.

Apparently, Democrats cannot survive without the support of foreign Communists. And it’s been a continuing problem for them.

landlines on October 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

If you got away with it in 2008, why not do in it 2012?

nonstopca on October 22, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Comment pages: 1 2