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cowgal's picture
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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

The issue of where Obama's donations are coming from has come up over the course of this campaign.

"Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed. "

"Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited. "

Read the rest here:
Washington Post article
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/28/AR200810...

This is inexcusable and smacks of fraud.

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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

Your link is by subscription only.

If you read the piece in it's entirety you'd see it's all legal of course. The campaign finance law McCain helped write requires the campaigns to check and return moneys found to be against the law after recieving funds, not before.

Where you getting these links from cowgal?

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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
civetcat wrote:
Your link is by subscription only.

If you read the piece in it's entirety you'd see it's all legal of course. The campaign finance law McCain helped write requires the campaigns to check and return moneys found to be against the law after recieving funds, not before.

Where you getting these links from cowgal?

Link worked for me.
If you read the entire article then it worked for you also?

what does it matter where the links come from?

expatriate's picture
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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

Civet rightly points out that it's OK to validate money after the election. That hardly makes it honest. Obama has opened the flood gates and is taking in all he can get, with the idea that he can use the cash to win the election now and then refund whatever money's proven to be dirty later.

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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

I was stopped from continuing on with the link by having to register with the Wasington Post. I read the Post on my other computer and remember the article well.

The whole thing is a non issue. Same rules and same problems apply to the McCain campaign. The money is never credited to the account until it is vetted. Every campaign season there are foreign or other illeagle contributions discovered, then they are returned, big deal. That's the way it is supposed to work according to the rules.

Often web sites such as Drudge Report or other Murdoch coordinated disinformation sources, quote a snippet from a legitamate news source that everyone recognises such as the center right Washington Post, they quote a piece of a story to give a false impression. Of course if you read the whole thing you realize it's not so earth shattering after all but simply another problem with our current system.

It wasn't so long ago that conservatives were yelling and screaming about the first amendment and their constitutional right to buy politicians. As I look around at my own community and look up freinds on line the people contributing the limit are all seven figure types.

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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

OK. So let me get this straight. Suppose I was running for office and the President of Iran gave me half a billion dollars to fund my campaign. With all that cash, I run a massive campaign, get myself elected, and pick up a lot of legitimate contributions along the way. After I'm elected, we "discover" that my campaign was funded with Iranian money. But in your world, that's OK as long as I pay Iran back with the excess money I raised from other people.

What you're talking about isn't ethical campaigning -- it's a no-interest loan from people who are violating campaign finance laws. The point is that Obama's people aren't vetting the money before they use it. The're using it now and betting they'll be able to cover their losses after the election.

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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
civetcat wrote:
As I look around at my own community and look up freinds on line the people contributing the limit are all seven figure types.

Seven figure types?
I thought Obama "says" he was for the working middle class man?
I guess those seven figure contributors must be "Patriotic" huh.

There is a huge difference between an actual "discovery" and knowingly accepting and not saying anything until its all over and then it gets "discovered".

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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

It has not been determined if this method of collecting campaign funds is indeed legal. One major problem is that no one has addressed this method of collecting funds (meaning online and anonymously), so no guidelines have been set. Many donations cannot be validated or returned.

Regardless, the excuses that Obama's campaign is using in NOT verifying donors is ridiculous. Obama claims to be technically savvy, as well as his campaign workers, so they KNOW that a person can be 100% verified immediately online. How do you think business is conducted online? When you pay by credit card, you're immediately identified and ok'ed for the purchase. Its called the AVS system. This same verification process can be used for campaign funds. To say it cannot be done is a lie. The Obama campaign has deliberately chosen to turn off the AVS system for campaign donations.

And why are they accepting prepaid credit cards anonymously? Why are large numbers of people going to that type of trouble to donate? Only if they're trying to hide their identity, location or the total amount that they're donating. A large number of donations are coming in odd denominations, indicating that foreign currency is being converted to US dollars. IP addresses could easily be used to identify a person's location, but they have chosen to close their eyes. Obama and his campaign know its not above board.

Here's a google link, so knock yourself out civetcat. And don't forget to click on the "news" link too.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=obama+campaign+donors+untraceable

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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

I find it very hard to believe that someone with the resources to donate huge sums of money to a politician is concealing the source for altruistic reasons.

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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
Quote:
Suppose I was running for office and the President of Iran gave me half a billion dollars to fund my campaign. With all that cash, I run a massive campaign, get myself elected, and pick up a lot of legitimate contributions along the way. After I'm elected, we "discover" that my campaign was funded with Iranian money. But in your world, that's OK as long as I pay Iran back with the excess money I raised from other people.

Read the article it never goes into the coffers, also it's currently impossible to donater more than the maximum in one donation now.

Quote:
Seven figure types?
I thought Obama "says" he was for the working middle class man?
I guess those seven figure contributors must be "Patriotic" huh.

Go to this web site
http://www.opensecrets.org/
Check out the donations where you live. See how many large ones are for which candidate, bearing in mind that only those over $200 (I think) are listed. Look at what they do for who for a living, the $2300 types are all CEOs. Big donations are overwhelmingly Republican.

A freind who works for an insurance company at a high enough level to break six figures tells me they get a raise in their next years salary exactly equal to the amount they donate to designated Republican candidates, any who don't contribute the requisite amount are unemployed. What she does is match the contribution to a Dem, and takes the extra 2 years salary increase and donates to down ticket issues paticularly gay ones, she's a gay exec.

Obama's contibuters, (not contributions but contributers) average under 90$, they always ask for your email so they can track you and hit you up again, Someone who contributes $25 is apt to add another $5 to the kitty, someone who has reached the limit can't.

Daily Kos often raises a million in ten and twenty dollar donations for specific Congressional candidates. They wait until the Repub says something horrific, do a story about it, and ask people to contribute. The internet is now suplanting the newspapers as a news source, it is the talk radio of the left, and it's interactive.

Quote:
It has not been determined if this method of collecting campaign funds is indeed legal.

Nor illegal, the lawyers will no doubt be fighting about it in court until the cows come home. Does any other campaign use the AVS system? I make a lot of my business purchases under 10k with a Visa, I seldom get asked for an AVS if it's not being delivered, my understanding of the AVS system is to avoid delivery to a fraudulant adddress or for the customer claiming they never recieved the items.

Quote:
why are they accepting prepaid credit cards anonymously

Because some right wing bloggers decided to see if they could do it.

Quote:
indicating that foreign currency is being converted to US dollars

I know Sarah Palin recently got a passport, but large numbers of citizens live in foriegn countries. Millions? Now they can vote, contribute, and even phone bank. Expats lean heavily Democratic, they are educated and have a different view of US foreign policy seeing the affects first hand.

I'd already read this article, and it does little for me, bottom line both campaigns get online contributions that can be difficult to verify, all campaigns vet contributions at the back end of transactions as they are supposed to under FEC rules. A carefull reading of the McCain campaign response is hillarious, they don't deny they do the same.

Not in this piece but in another I"ve recently read is a more worrisom trend. People can make huge contributions to a campaign and then the campaign can dish them out to the national party, senate and congresional candidates or how they see fit as long as they don't exceed the limits. It's a new form of bundling and gives the original recipient leverage with all the recipients he passes them on to. Say the Obama campaign pays a few million to the DNC, the DNC might just see fit to run some pro Obama ads. I use Obama as the example because I know it will get all riled up, in acutallity it is being done by both campaigns.

Big donors are still looking for ways to gain influence. Part of the revised McCain Fiengold was to double the limit, I'd like to see donations limited to $200 or eliminated all together, no private money at all including the candidates money. The money raising influence of incumbancy is huge, now it will be to the Democrats advantage, doesn't make it any less permicious. But then again a permanent clean up of elections, including the right to vote could avoid things like the last 8 years.

At the end of the day having been a registered Republican I don't care what party wins, only what the party does once in power is important to me. Contributions can distort the influence of individuals to affect that outcome.

cowgal's picture
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Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
civetcat wrote:
I make a lot of my business purchases under 10k with a Visa, I seldom get asked for an AVS if it's not being delivered, my understanding of the AVS system is to avoid delivery to a fraudulant adddress or for the customer claiming they never recieved the items.

AVS is not something the purchaser has control over. You would not be required to do anything except provide the correct name/address for the credit card used. Its a standard that is used by anyone accepting money on the internet to prevent fraud. In the AVS system it allows (the receiver of the funds) to set certain controls that check the name, address, etc., This happens instantaneously. Another reason to turn OFF the controls is to receive funds from foreign banks, since those typically get flagged and would not be processed. With AVS turned on, you cannot make anonymous donations.

The issue here is that Obama is knowingly accepting millions in donations that are questionable. I could provide links to screen captures where fictitious names were used to donate, accepted and processed. Do a search, many blogs have posted their "test" results.

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