The U.S. Citizens Association, a non-profit member organization based in Akron, Ohio called for the immediate release of the Federal Election Commission’s findings into the questionable fundraising practices conducted by the Obama 2008 Presidential campaign.
The first red flag regarding Obama’s 2008 fundraising came when the Washington Post reported that the “Obama campaign was allowing donors to use largely untraceable pre-paid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity.”
The problem with these pre-paid cards is that is makes it impossible to determine if foreign nationals are contributing to a campaign, or if single donors are giving multiple small donations, thus exceeding the contribution limits, or even if an outside group is purchasing these cards for individual donors to evade the reporting requirements.
It is also known that the Obama campaign received 47% of its donations from donors giving less than the$200 limit that would require automatic reporting. In comparison, John McCain’s 2008 Presidential campaign received 26% of his donations from less than $200 donors.
According to multiple press outlets and the U.S. Citizens Association independent investigations, the Obama 2008 Presidential campaign failed to identify the sources of millions of dollars of campaign contributions that appear to have been illegally accepted by the campaign. Various media reports have pointed to the unknown sources as having illegally come from outside the United States and exceeded the contribution limits that would require reporting donor information to the Federal Election Commission.
The FEC launched an audit of the Obama 2008 campaign in April of 2011, but no results of the investigation have been released to the public. According to reports in Roll Call, during the 2010 cycle, the Obama campaign led all organizations when it came to sending refunds to individual donors. Following the election, it disclosed disbursement transactions totaling more than $5.7 million in refunds.
“The FEC claims these audits take three to four years, or even longer to complete. That’s unacceptable,” said Lance Davis, Executive Director of U.S. Citizens Association. “President Obama has been in full campaign mode for at least the last year. We’re in 2012 now. Is the Obama campaign still accepting questionable contributions and where are they coming from?” Mr. Davis continued.
“The last thing the American people need is to find out in 2013, that Barack Obama’s campaign did receive illegal campaign contributions from foreign nationals in 2008 and 2012, and hid it from the voting public. At that point the hay’s in the barn, there’s nothing that can be done. Maybe that’s what they’re hoping for,” said Mr. Davis.
Davis continued, “Roll Call reports that as of the end of March (2011), Obama for America had spent nearly $3 million on legal fees since the 2008 election. In all, the president’s campaign spent three times more on lawyers after Election Day than in the two years preceding it. That alone should give the American people pause.”
The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $3.38 Million. More than 520 listed their “state” as “IR”, which the FEC often uses as an abbreviation for “information requested.” Another 63 listed it as “UK”, the United Kingdom.
But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah,Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France. The Washington Post reported in 2008 that “the Obama Campaign allowed donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity¦”
“Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign also chose not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.”
Mr. Davis says this practice of disabling security measures could lead to single donors being able to give multiple donations of $199 without being reported. “In fact, almost half of the money Obama raised in 2008, almost $200 Million came from donors giving less than $200, twice the number of John McCain.
But the research indicates that one donor in particular, who listed his name as ‘Good Will’, his employer as ‘Loving’ and his occupation as ‘You’ donated more than 1,000 times for a total of $17,375. The Obama campaign did nothing until notified by the FEC. Who knows who this person and thousands of other Obama donors really are or where they are from?” Davis says.
Mr. Davis sites reports from the Obama 2012 campaign that they plan to raise One Billion Dollars for the President’s re-election. “If they reach that number, how much of it will come from legal American donors and how much will be from illegal foreign sources or those donating over the legal limits?
We are demanding the FEC release the results of its audit now so all Americans have the full story of Obama’s so-called ‘record setting’ fundraising. The American people can then decide if they want deep pocketed foreigners picking our President.”