Minutes after Newsweek published a story on the threat of illegal foreign and fraudulent online campaign donations late Monday afternoon, the Obama campaign struck back hard with a response smearing one of the article’s authors and offered an anemic defense of its online fundraising operations.
Earlier today, Breitbart News and myriad news agencies reported on a new 108-page investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) which examines the online donation systems of the entire U.S. Congress and the two presidential candidates. The report found that 47.3% of all House and Senate donation websites do not require online donors to enter their credit card security code (officially known as a CVV, or Card Verification Value), which leaves them vulnerable to foreign and fraudulent contributions.
Governor Mitt Romney’s website requires donors to enter a credit card security code, while President Barack Obama’s does not. The GAI report also revealed that Obama.com is not owned by the president’s campaign but rather by Robert Roche, an American businessman and top Obama fundraiser living in Shanghai, China, whose company has ties to the Chinese government.
Within hours of a Newsweek article on the report’s release, the Obama campaign issued a dismissive response. The Obama campaign’s rapid-fire attack against the report did not mention Robert Roche, Obama.com, the Obama campaign’s failure to require donors to enter their CVV code, or the report’s finding that 68% of the traffic going to Obama.com originates from foreign locations.
Instead, the Obama campaign sought to dismiss report’s findings by calling the group’s president, Peter Schweizer, a “right-wing activist” who previously worked for Governor Sarah Palin.
The Obama campaign’s attempt to deflect attention away from GAI’s findings, however, is undercut by the fact that Mr. Schweizer has been a consistent critic of Gov. Romney’s refusal to release the names of his fundraising bundlers. What’s more, President Obama championed and signed into law the STOCK Act banning insider trading–an effort sparked by Peter Schweizer’s insider trading expose featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes that placed GOP Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) under intense scrutiny for possible insider trading.
“Protecting U.S. elections from illegal foreign donations is an effort behind which all Americans can unite,” said Mr. Schweizer in an interview with Breitbart News. “As the GAI report demonstrates, lax and antiquated Federal Election Commission (FEC) laws are woefully out of step with the technological realities of today’s digital campaigns.”