This story has been making the rounds of the blogosphere for the past week or so and is finally starting to gain traction in the mainstream media.
By Scott W. Johnson, New York Post, October 27, 2008
Barack Obama has proved the greatest fund-raiser of all time by a long shot. His campaign has raised more than $600 million – $150 million in September alone. But the campaign has also failed to adopt standard protections against fraudulent giving.
The average contribution to Obama in September was just under $86. And federal law only requires the disclosure of identifying information for contributions in excess of $200. Campaigns must keep running totals for each donor and report them once they exceed $200.
The Federal Election Commission says the Obama campaign has reported well over $200 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less. Only a small portion of that sum is attributable to donors the Obama campaign has disclosed.
No presidential campaign has ever before received such a gargantuan sum of money from unidentified contributors.
The campaign’s records reveal big contributors with names like “Doodad Pro” (employer: “Loving,” profession: “You”) and “Good Will” (same employer and profession). Both donated via credit card. Other reports have suggested that some donations come from overseas – raising the question of whether Obama is accepting donations from foreigners, another violation of federal law.
All of which prompted an enterprising citizen to test the controls put in place to enforce compliance with federal campaign law by the Obama and McCain campaigns. Last Thursday, he decided to conduct an experiment.
He went to the Obama campaign Web site and made a donation under the name “John Galt” (the hero of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged”). He provided the equally fictitious address “1957 Ayn Rand Lane, Galts Gulch, CO 99999.”
He checked the box next to $15 and entered his actual credit-card number and expiration date. He was then taken to the next page and notified that his donation had been processed.
He then tried the same experiment on the McCain site, which rejected the transaction. He returned to the Obama site and made three more donations using the names Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Bill Ayers, all with different addresses but the same credit card. The transactions all went through. By Saturday, he’d reported that the transactions had all posted to his credit-card account. Read the rest…