The non-partisan Government Accountability Institute has released a new report and website detailing the gaping loopholes in our campaign finance laws that are allowing our politicians to raise unlimited funds from anonymous sources, including tens of millions of dollars from foreign sources.
The website http://campaignfundingrisks.com/ offers a copy of the full report.
Townhall.com offers a lengthy article summarizing the extent of the scandal and corruption.
* The Obama campaign has refused to require CVV numbers for credit card donations on its website, despite the fact that doing so would actually save the campaign money (card companies charge lower usage rates for vendors that require CVV security checks).
* Using CVV security codes would help prevent robo-donations and could help prevent donations from overseas sources.
* The Obama campaign currently relies heavily on huge numbers of small donations, especially under $50, which do not have to be tracked or reported to the FEC. Of the $181 million that Obama's team reported raising in September, only 2% of those donations had to be reported to the FEC.
* During September, the average amount for unreported donations to the Obama campaign was $53. This means that the vast majority of the donations are under the $50 threshold, which means that the Obama campaign neither reports them to the FEC nor even tracks their names. For donations above $50 and below $200, the Obama campaign tracks their names, but does not report them to the FEC until their total donations cross the $200 threshold.
* No names have to be associated with these petty cash donations whatsoever, and it is entirely possible for a single person to donate $40 a hundred or more times, far exceeding federal campaign donation limits under normal circumstances, without that money ever being reported to the FEC as anything other than petty cash donations from anonymous sources.
* The obama.com website is owned not by the Obama campaign, but by Robert Roche, an Obama bundler and American citizen living in Shanghai, whose business has ties to the Chinese government. Roche redirects obama.com to the Obama campaign's official website's donation page.
* 68% of the traffic redirected through obama.com is from foreign IP addresses. 43% of the traffic at the Obama campaign's official website is from foreign IP addresses.
* Roche, although living in Shanghai, appears in the White House visitor logs at least 19 times and was given a coveted seat at the head table at the state dinner Obama held for Chinese leader Hu Jintao.
* Numerous foreign citizens have admitted that they have donated to the Obama campaign, often in small amounts that the Obama campaign chooses not to trace.
* The Obama campaign has sent appeals directly to foreign nationals at overseas addresses asking for campaign donations and directing people to the campaign's website.
* Mitt Romney's campaign website does require CVV verification. During the same period that Obama has raised $271 million in donations under $200 (and much of that under $50, and thus not tracked or reported at all, except in fundraising totals), Romney has raised $58 million in donations under $200.
* Nearly half of Congress also does not require basic CVV fraud prevention security on their campaign donation websites.
* During his run for the Senate, Marco Rubio did not require CVV codes, although his website has since put the CVV requirement in place.
* Elizabeth Warren has accepted $5.7 million in bundled donations from the fundraising organization ActBlue, which does not require CVV or U.S. citizenship verification.
* Under U.S. campaign finance laws, it is illegal for a campaign to solicit, accept, or receive campaign donations from foreign sources, and the responsibility rests on the campaign, even exceeding FEC reporting requirements, to prevent foreign donations.
* Requiring CVV codes could help do prevent this campaign donation fraud, but the Obama campaign and nearly half of Congress has refused to implement a security code system that is in use by 90% of e-commerce, including the online t-shirt company, Threadless, where Harper Reed, the Obama campaign's chief technology officer, previously served as chief technology officer.
The GAI has set up a 50-state map at http://campaignfundingrisks.com/ so that people can track what kind of anti-fraud security their members of Congress are using for campaign donations.
Tags: obama, president, campaign, finance, scandal, fundraising, foreign, money, china, government, accountability, FEC, credit, card, fraud, corruption
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States (load item map)
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