Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Show Me The Money Source

Barack Obama has smashed the record for campaign fundraising, crushing his opponent easily and compiling over 605 million dollars. The irony that seems to have been largely overlooked by the media is the fact that his opponent is responsible for one half of the McCain-Feingold bill, designed to reign in huge caches of cash in election campaigns. It was also designed to remove corruption from campaign donations. It failed miserably.

Early on in the campaign season, McCain pledged to accept public financing for his campaign, which would have limited his warchest, and Obama agreed to do the same. Later, Obama backed out on that pact and decided to go his own way. That has succeeded splendidly, for Obama. But why?

That is a difficult question to answer, since the Obama campaign will not release its donor list on people contributing less than $200, while McCain is an open book in this regard. It is certainly not illegal for Obama to not list them, but what about transparency?

The Washington Post has finally begun to examine Obama's donors, and they report a very interesting fact:

Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing 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, campaign officials confirmed.

Not only are they accepting untraceable donations, they have, according to Little Green Footballs, deliberately disabled the online payment industry’s standard safeguards against fraud. An excerpt:
Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen 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.

Predictably, this is all ignored by the mainstream media, with the exception of WaPo, thus far. If this kind of thing were happening in the McCain campaign, it would certainly be examined in the media by proctology, but the media has been reticent to offer anything about Obama that isn't favorable.

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1 comment:

DeAnne said...

It's not surprising. Have you ever heard of any politician giving full disclosure about their campaign contributions?