Yesterday afternoon the Washington Examiner leaked out a prequel of sorts of a report which is due to hit the internet today or Monday…
President Obama reelection campaign, rattled by his Wednesday night debate performance, could be in for even worse news. According to knowlegable sources, a national magazine and a national web site are preparing a blockbuster donor scandal story.
Sources told Secrets that the Obama campaign has been trying to block the story. But a key source said it plans to publish the story Friday or, more likely, Monday.
According to the sources, a taxpayer watchdog group conducted a nine-month investigation into presidential and congressional fundraising and has uncovered thousands of cases of credit card solicitations and donations to Obama and Capitol Hill, allegedly from unsecure accounts, and many from overseas. That might be a violation of federal election laws.
The Obama campaign has received hundreds of millions in small dollar donations, many via credit card donations through their website. On Thursday, the campaign announced a record September donor haul of $150 million.
National outlets are preparing stories on the matter, and the Obama campaign has been trying to block those stories from being published.
The Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the totals,” reported the Obama campaign’s September fundraising haul on Thursday, which shattered the campaign’s August record of $114 million for the most money raised in a month during the 2012 election cycle.
The Obama campaign in August also broke the Romney campaign’s three-month streak in which it beat the Obama campaign in fundraising.
And in August, the Obama campaign raised $25 million from people donating $200 or less. In addition, while the September figures are not yet known, “more than 2 million people” had donated $25 or less as of August to the Obama campaign.
Under Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations, campaigns have to make their “best efforts” to collect information about contributors who donate $50-$200, but those who donate less than $200 do not have to be publicly disclosed.
Further, all donations less than $50 fall under the “Pass-the-Hat” rule, which means campaigns do not have to make their “best efforts” to collect identifying information on these donors and can actually report all such donations under a lump sum.
The Obama campaign’s September fundraising numbers may give people a feeling of déjà vu.
In September of 2008, the Obama campaign also raised $150 million, which was a record at that time, and added 632,000 new donors then.
And as the Examiner noted, the Obama campaign in 2008 was hit with a similar scandal in which the campaign let donors 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.”
David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager in 2008, wrote in his 2009 book, The Audacity to Win, about how even he was surprised by the amount of money the campaign was able to raise during the 2008 campaign.
“Whenever I checked our fund-raising performance online, it was like watching a volcano erupt,” Plouffe wrote. “There were times when we were raising $250,000, $300,000, even $500,000 an hour. It was remarkable, and critical.”
This stuff isn’t really new. Back in October of 2008, Ken Timmerman broke a story of the exact same behavior in that cycle. The link to Timmerman’s piece at Newsmax is no longer active, but Michelle Malkin preserved some of it in an excerpt…
What do Bart Simpson, Family Guy, Daffy Duck, King Kong, O.J. Simpson, and Raela Odinga have in common?
All are celebrities; and with the exception of Odinga and O.J. Simpson, they also are fictional characters. And yet, all of them gave money earlier this month to the campaign of Barack Obama, without any apparent effort by the campaign to screen them out as suspect donors.
…The Obama campaign has turned a blind eye to the possibility of donor fraud. Reportedly, during the heated primary battle with Hillary Clinton, the Obama campaign “turned off” many of the security features on its online donor page, allowing any person with a valid credit card number to donate using any name or address.
Typically, card merchants require a cardholder’s name to match critical personal details, such as an address or, at the least, a ZIP code.
Though in recent months the Obama campaign has tightened up security and restored some of the security features used by merchants to weed out fraud, it still has left open easy ways for potential credit card fraud, including techniques similar to those employed by terrorists and drug traffickers to launder illicit funds.
For example, on Oct. 14, an individual using the name “O.J. Simpson” participated in Obama’s latest small-donor fundraising drive, making a $5 donation through the campaign’s Web site.
Giving a Los Angeles address, he listed his employer as the “State of Nevada” and his occupation as “convict.” The donor used a disposable “gift” credit card to make the donation.
The Obama campaign sent O.J. a thank-you note confirming his contribution, and gave him the name of another donor who had agreed to “match” his contribution.
Four minutes earlier, an individual using the name “Raela Odinga” also made a $5 contribution, using the same credit card.
The real Raela Odinga became prime minister of Kenya in April and has claimed to be a cousin of Obama’s through a maternal uncle…
Timmerman’s piece at the time also went into something which was much more sinister – lots of donations coming into the Obama campaign from overseas. Pamela Geller had found the same in August of that year…
I have been researching, documenting and studying thousands upon thousands of Obama’s campaign donations for the past month. Egregious abuse was immediately evident and I published the results of my ongoing investigation. Each subsequent post built a more damning case against Obama’s illegal contribution activity.
The media took little notice of what I was substantiating. I went so far as to upload the documents so that anyone could do their own research. I asked readers to download the documents and a number of folks pitched in.
Despite dropping the groundbreaking bombshell story of “Palestinian” brothers from the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza who donated $33,000 to Obama’s campaign, no big media picked up the story. Jihadis donating to Obama from Gaza? Could there be a bigger story? Foreign donations are illegal, but this story was all that and so much more. The “Palestinian” brothers were proud and vocal of their “love” for Obama. Their vocal support on behalf of “Palestinians” spoke volumes to Obama’s campaign.
And yet still no media.
But Obama pricked up his ears. He smelled trouble and while no media asked, he answered anyway. Sen. Obama’s campaign immediately scrambled and contended they had returned the $33,500 in illegal contributions from Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza, despite the fact that records do not show that it was returned and the brothers said they have not received any money. Having gone through all of Obama’s refunds redesignations etc, no refund was made to Osama, Hossam, or Edwan Monir in the Rafah refugee camp. And still no media.
One of the Gazan brothers, Monir Edwan (identified here), claimed he bought “Obama for President” T-shirts off Obama’s website and then sold the T-shirts in Gaza for a profit. All purchases on the Barack Obama website are considered contributions.
The Palestinians allegedly claimed “they were American citizens”, so said Obama’s people. They listed their address — zip code 972 (ironically the area code for Israel) and they input “GA”the state abbreviation for Georgia ( screen shot here) They actually lived in a Hamas controlled refugee camp. So if Obama’s people thought it was “Georgia” why did they ship the tee shirts to the correct address in Gaza? Shipping overseas to a Gaza refugee camp is vastly different than the state next door.
Still no media.
“Some young men even bought the T-shirts for 60 shekel ($17.29), which is a lot to spend in Gaza on a T-shirt, but that is how much Gazans like Obama,” Edwan claimed in a follow up article in the conservative website WorldNetDaily. And Hamas has publicly endorsed Obama.
And still no media.
Obama’s campaign said the Palestinian brothers in the Middle East made $33,000 in illegal donations to the campaign via the internet.
The donations came in between Sept. 20 and Dec. 6 and virtually all of the money, about $33,500, was returned by December 6. But the refunds weren’t reported to the Federal Election Commission due to a technical error, campaign officials said.
If McCain had been involved with something so dark and nefarious, taking money from Islamic jihad, his candidacy would never withstand the media blowback.
But it was the son of hope, the agent of change, the one we have been waiting for , so the media yawned.
The jihad donations were hardly the only bloody red flags. The first in my series of posts ran July 19th. The documents were so unwieldy, readers like John, Doc, and Cathy (who discovered Rafah) were working furiously to cross check our findings at the FEC site and then mine the data.
Obama’s overseas (foreign) contributors are making multiple small donations, ostensibly in their own names, over a period of a few days, some under maximum donation allowances, but others are aggregating in excess of the maximums when all added up. The countries and major cities from which contributions have been received France, Virgin Islands, Planegg, Vienna, Hague, Madrid, London, AE, IR, Geneva,Tokyo, Bangkok, Turin, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Roma, Zurich, Netherlands, Moscow, Ireland, Milan, Singapore, Bejing, Switzerland, Toronto, Vancouver, La Creche, Pak Chong, Dublin, Panama, Krabi, Berlin, Geneva, Buenos Aires, Prague, Nagoya, Budapest, Barcelona, Sweden, Taipei, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Zurich, Ragusa, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Uganda, Mumbia, Nagoya, Tunis, Zacatecas, St, Croix, Mississauga, Laval, Nadi, Behchoko, Ragusa, DUBAI, Lima, Copenhagen, Quaama, Jeddah, Kabul, Cairo, Nassau (not the county on Long Island,lol), Luxembourg (Auchi’s stomping grounds), etc,etc,etc.
Half a million dollars had been donated from overseas by unidentified people “not employed.”
A telltale sign – many of those donations were from untraceable credit cards in strange amounts. When a contribution comes into the campaign for, say, $15.43, that’s likely because it was made in a less-exotic denomination in a foreign currency, and $15.43 is what you get when it’s exchanged into dollars.
Patrick Ruffini explained how this worked and how the Obama campaign could throw up their hands and claim they didn’t have anything to do with taking donations from Iran or Pakistan or Venezuela…
I just contributed $5 to Barack Obama.
I didn’t want to. Ideally, I could have contributed $0.01 and cost them money. But it was the only way to confirm the root cause of the fraudulent micro-donations to the Obama campaign (“Doodad Pro” for $17,300 and “Good Will” for $11,000).
The Obama campaign has turned its security settings for accepting online contributions down to the bare minimum — possibly to juice the numbers, and turning a blind eye towards the potential for fraud not just against the FEC, but against unsuspecting victims of credit card fraud.
The issue centers around the Address Verification Service (or AVS) that credit card processors use to sniff out phony transactions. I was able to contribute money using an address other than the one on file with my bank account (I used an address I control, just not the one on my account), showing that the Obama campaign deliberately disabled AVS for its online donors.
AVS is generally the first line of defense against credit card fraud online. AVS ensures that not only is your credit card number accurate, but the street address you’ve submitted with a transaction matches the one on file with your bank.
Authorize.net, the largest credit card gateway provider in the country, lists AVS as a “Standard Transaction Security Setting,” recommends merchants use it, and turns it on by default. So, in order for AVS to be turned off, it has to be intentional, at least with Authorize.net.
So that was 2008. Fast forward to this spring, and you’ll see that the Obama campaign set the stage for exactly the same thing to happen this time around. A YouTube circulated in April showing that the Obama campaign had disabled AVS again, and it was picked up in the conservative media.
And then, when Romney began building a financial advantage over the Obama campaign thanks to an eye-popping ability to impress major donors, magically Obama began trailing in untold sums from miniscule donations. The Obama campaign has been trolling, for months, for $3 and $5 contributions, which would seem crazy considering that if someone is willing to donate $3 they could certainly donate $25 or $50.
But if you’ve deliberately set your campaign’s online credit card program for the most lax possible security, you might also be less concerned about milking donors for the most you can get out of them. For lots of reasons, most of them suspicious if not diabolical.
The McCain campaign was hideously asleep at the switch prosecuting this campaign finance war crime as an election issue in 2008. The Romney camp can’t afford to follow McCain down this rabbit hole. When the full story breaks this time, they need to jump on it with both feet.