The Obama campaign accepted two online donations from “Osama bin Laden” made from a Pakistani Internet Protocol (IP) address using a disposable credit card and a phony address.
Staff members at World Net Daily say they made the fake donations through President Obama’s official campaign website, BarackObama.com. There, they entered “deceased terror chief” as an occupation, “al-Qaida” as an employer, and “Osama bin Laden, 911 Jihad Way, Abbottabad, CA 91101” in the address and name fields. For the phone number they listed the White House information line and used firstname.lastname@example.org for an email address. Yet the $15 and $5 donations still went through, despite the fact that the IP address used was from Pakistan.
It’s just the latest development in the ongoing threat of foreign and fraudulent online contributions highlighted by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute’s (GAI) 108-page report, America The Vulnerable, and covered extensively by Breitbart News. ABC News, Newsweek, NY Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Slate, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and numerous others have reported on the GAI foreign donor exposé.
“I have been hearing the same stories from many sources during this campaign as well,” Republican campaign finance attorney Cleta Mitchell told WND. “Every other campaign has safeguards against these illegal transactions–every campaign except the Obama campaign….[it’s] abundantly clear that the Obama campaign is raising and accepting illegal contributions–and is being protected from investigation by his politicized Department of Justice. It is high time that this was investigated and all illegal funds disgorged– and those responsible be prosecuted.”
In a follow-up report to its initial investigation, the Government Accountability Institute found that in the month of September the Obama campaign collected $2,199,204.38 in donations with non-existent or invalid ZIP codes versus the Romney campaign’s September total of just $29,620.
“The use of a robust Address Verification System (AVS) would significantly minimize donations with invalid ZIP codes from slipping through the net,” said GAI President Peter Schweizer. “When you use your credit card at a pay-at-the-pump gas station, you have to enter your ZIP code. Enter the wrong number or none at all, your transaction is denied. If that’s the standard to buy gas, surely it’s reasonable to expect the same for donating to federal candidates.”
The Obama campaign blamed the $2 million in erroneous ZIP codes on a “minor technical error.”
But as the WND “Osama bin Laden” donation demonstrates, the Obama campaign clearly isn’t using a strong AVS to reject fraudulent or foreign online donations. Moreover, as Breitbart News has reported, the Obama.com website is owned by Obama bundler, Robert Roche, an expatriate American living in Shanghai with business ties to the Chinese government.
GAI says the influx of reports of illegal foreign donations and solicitations demonstrate the lack of online donation safeguards and point to the need for an overhaul of the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) antiquated donation election laws. Indeed, the watchdog group says that 47.3% of the U.S. Congress is presently vulnerable to foreign or fraudulent online donations. Currently, federal campaigns are not required to request donors enter their three or four-digit credit card security code (known as the Card Verification Value, or CVV), nor are they required to use an AVS system to verify that the ZIP code entered matches up with the credit card on file. Furthermore, for donations under $200, federal campaigns are not required to publicly disclose the source of donations.
“Foreign and fraudulent online donations threaten the integrity of the U.S. election system,” says GAI President Peter Schweizer. “Leadership is needed to protect our elections from outside influence so Americans can have confidence in the outcome of federal elections.”