Diary

Show me the money

Picked up an interesting blog here on Obamas campaign money source

Obama’s internet campaign started out innocently enough with basic e-mail networking , lists saved from previous party campaigns and from supporters who visited any of the Obama campaign web sites.

Small contributions came in from these sources and the internet campaign staff were more than pleased by the results.

Then, about two months into the campaign the daily contribution intake multiplied. Where was it coming from? One of the web site security monitors began to notice the bulk of the contributions were clearly coming in from overseas internet service providers and at the rate and frequency of transmission it was clear these donations were “programmed” by a very sophisticated user.

While the security people were not able to track most of the sources due to firewalls and other blocking devices put on these contributions, they were able to collate the number of contributions that were coming in seemingly from individuals but the funds were from only a few credit card accounts and bank electronic funds transfers. The internet service providers (ISP) they were able to trace were from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries. One of the banks used for fund transfers was also located in Saudi Arabia. emphasis mine One would think campaign regulations would require oversight to ensure funding came from domestic sources, however it appears the Obama campaign decided otherwise.

It was also decided that it was not the responsibility of the campaign to audit these millions of contributions as to the actual source (specific credit card number or bank transfer account numbers) to insure that none of these internet contributors exceeded the legal maximum donation on a cumulative basis of many small donations. They also found the record keeping was not complete enough to do it anyway.

humm, I wonder why they would do that?

Then, we move onto another article here, which has some interesting insight into the operation of each campaign.

Unlike the McCain campaign, which has made its complete donor database available online, the Obama campaign has not identified donors for nearly half the amount he has raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

Federal law does not require the campaigns to identify donors who give less than $200 during the election cycle. However, it does require that campaigns calculate running totals for each donor and report them once they go beyond the $200 mark.

Surprisingly, the great majority of Obama donors never break the $200 threshold.

So, it seems the process has been corrupted by the use of the very Federal laws that were designed to prevent this from occurring in the first place. On the surface, it appears the $200 limit was subjected to strict interpretation in an attempt to disregard the purpose of record keeping. Well, it that is the case you might ask how much could a few donations amount to in increments of less than $200?

Here is one answer…

The FEC breakdown of the Obama campaign has identified a staggering $222.7 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less. Only $39.6 million of that amount comes from donors the Obama campaign has identified.

It is the largest pool of unidentified money that has ever flooded into the U.S. election system, before or after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms of 2002.

It just keeps getting better and better.