Campaign Finance Fraud: the Associated Press Covers Up

Barack Obama’s fundraising has been riddled with fraud from the beginning. In a case of “better late than never,” the McCain campaign announced in a press conference today that it will file a complaint with the FEC. The sort of blatant criminality from which Obama has benefited is suggested by this report by Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff:

The Obama campaign has shattered all fund-raising records, raking in $458 million so far, with about half the bounty coming from donors who contribute $200 or less. Aides say that’s an illustration of a truly democratic campaign. To critics, though, it can be an invitation for fraud and illegal foreign cash because donors giving individual sums of $200 or less don’t have to be publicly reported. Consider the cases of Obama donors “Doodad Pro” of Nunda, N.Y., who gave $17,130, and “Good Will” of Austin, Texas, who gave more than $11,000—both in excess of the $2,300-per-person federal limit.

In two recent letters to the Obama campaign, Federal Election Commission auditors flagged those (and other) donors and informed the campaign that the sums had to be returned. Neither name had ever been publicly reported because both individuals made online donations in $10 and $25 increments. “Good Will” listed his employer as “Loving” and his occupation as “You,” while supplying as his address 1015 Norwood Park Boulevard, which is shared by the Austin nonprofit Goodwill Industries. Suzanha Burmeister, marketing director for Goodwill, said the group had “no clue” who the donor was. She added, however, that the group had received five puzzling thank-you letters from the Obama campaign this year, prompting it to send the campaign an e-mail in September pointing out the apparent fraudulent use of its name.

“Doodad Pro” listed no occupation or employer; the contributor’s listed address is shared by Lloyd and Lynn’s Liquor Store in Nunda. “I have never heard of such an individual,” says Diane Beardsley, who works at the store and is the mother of one of the owners. “Nobody at this store has that much money to contribute.” (She added that a Doodad’s Boutique, located next door, had closed a year ago, before the donations were made.)

These crimes came to light because the people who made the illegal contributions made no effort at concealment. There is no easy way to know how much of Obama’s loot is in fact illegal.

The issue of illegal foreign contributions is one that the mainstream media have successfully kept out of the news, but it is a serious concern:

In a similar case earlier this year, the campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought T shirts in bulk from the campaign’s online store. They had listed their address as “Ga.,” which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza.

This pattern of criminality is not accidental. It is, rather, an indictment of the scofflaw character of Obama’s campaign:

This summer, watchdog groups asked both campaigns to share more information about its small donors. The McCain campaign agreed; the Obama campaign did not.

The rampant fraud that supports Barack Obama’s campaign is a serious matter–a criminal matter, in fact. But not in the eyes of the Associated Press. An AP reporter participated in today’s press conference and wrote this report, reproduced here in its entirety to show what an utter whitewash of the Obama campaign it is:

The Republican National Committee plans to file a fundraising complaint against Democrat Barack Obama’s presidential campaign Monday, alleging it has accepted donations that exceed federal limits as well as illegal contributions from foreigners.

RNC officials acknowledged Sunday that they do not have a list of foreign donors to Obama’s campaign. Instead, the complaint is based largely on media reports, including one from the conservative Web site Newsmax.

The complaint asks the Federal Elections Commission to audit Obama’s campaign fund, RNC chief counsel Sean Cairncross said in a conference call with reporters.

Cairncross said little is known about many of Obama’s donors because the campaign is not required to disclose detailed information about people who give less than $200.

The Obama campaign, which is not accepting public funds, has raised more than $468 million. About half has come from small donors, a point of pride for the Obama campaign.

The Obama campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Note, in particular, the absurdity of this observation:

RNC officials acknowledged Sunday that they do not have a list of foreign donors to Obama’s campaign.

It is illegal for foreigners to donate to an American political campaign, and Obama has refused to release information about his “small” donors. So how, exactly, could the Republican Party possibly have a “list of foreign donors to Obama’s campaign”?

Running interference for criminal fraud: that’s the role of the Associated Press since it became a liberal advocacy organization.

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