Among the many dubious donations Barack Obama received in 2008 were two from readers who contributed under the names “Joseph Stalin” (Address: “114 Gulag St, Stalingrad, LA”) and “Imon Deathrow” (Address: “13 Alcatraz Island, Laststop, CA”). Reader Claudia Brown writes to discuss a third that she repeated last week:
So glad you are shining some light on this scheme. Like your various contributors, I too made a couple of bogus donations to the Obama campaign in 2008 and they went through with no problem. I am an American citizen but I live in Canada, and I used my Canadian credit card on the transaction, but the donor information I entered online was all fictitious, literally — all lifted from To Kill a Mockingbird, including a fake email using one of the book’s racial epithets that you can’t even print in public. I thought it might cause some bells to go off at the campaign headquarters, but that never happened.
I then signed on for Obama campaign communiques, and the organization has sent me HUNDREDS of emails in the past four years, most of them including a money request, and almost always setting out the suggested donations beginning with $5 or $10. During the past year they even scaled back to requests for less than 5 (toward, for example, the “lunch with Barack” raffle). Obviously the strategy was a winner — why give it up?
So to test out whether the campaign might be feeling any pressure to clean up its act as the next election approaches, in the past week I have made my little donation again, using the same card and the same phony donor info, and it was all accepted without hindrance. I then passed this information on to Pam Geller. I really think somebody should start collecting accounts of this caper for a dossier to be made public during the summer. I figure (and hope I’m right!) that if a large number of people do this, and keep their total donations at a very small figure (my personal total over four years is just $20), we can probably afford to confess our part in the scheme without having to worry (much) about being fined or carted off in the Black Mariah.
Let the dossier begin!
I wouldn’t contribute to Barack Obama’s campaign if you put a gun to my head, but someone who does this for a living really ought to do a serious story on it.