Tag Archives: campaign cash

Obama Relying on Small Donors Worldwide

Yes, there is a law against political campaigns in the U.S. soliciting or accepting donations from citizens of other nations. Even Citizens United did not open that as option. But, it’s a distinct possibility that the Obama campaign has been doing just that, under the radar with small donations.

epSos.de (CC)

This morning on Fox News, it was pointed out that there have been some “irregularities” on the Obama campaign website, when it comes to donations. The law states that donations of $200 or greater must be reported. But, the Obama camp is relying heavily on small dollar donations, and according to web-tracking, some of them could be coming from other countries, including Persian Gulf States and China. Additionally, the website does not ask for the security code on the back of individuals’ credit cards, increasing the probability that there are fraudulent donations made with stolen card numbers.

Of course, this is not new for the Obama campaign – it could be argued at this point that it is an actual strategy on their part. The Daily Beast reported almost exactly four years ago on this same issue with the Obama camp. Then, it was a matter of anonymous donors using apparently fake names and addresses to make multiple small donations. It was caught on the radar that time, because the sum total donations from certain individuals far exceeded the $200 ceiling, and for that matter, the $5000 personal limit. That time, it included two Palestinians in Gaza – the excuse then was that the Obama camp had assumed “Ga” meant Georgia. Since that involved purchasing campaign shirts, the excuse falls a little flat, assuming that the shirts actually made it to Gaza.

This campaign cycle, Obama supporters are regularly hit with emails requesting small dollar donations – $5 is a typical request, while they do occasionally ask for amounts like $14 or $20. It will undoubtedly be argued ad nauseum that this tactic tips the fundraising scales unfairly in Obama’s favor, and is hated by big dollar donors to the SuperPAC’s. But, the legality of the situation needs to be addressed as well. And there is no excuse, period.

The technology is available to prevent foreign small dollar donations to any campaign soliciting money online. Doubt that? Try visiting the British site for BBC, and try viewing their programming. You will be met with a notice stating that the media in question is unavailable to you. Their system recognizes if someone is attempting to access their content from a foreign nation. Could it be hacked? Probably. However, failing to use such a security feature implies that the Obama campaign honestly doesn’t care about even attempting to abide by campaign funding law. Of course, it could also be argued that they don’t care about their donors either, since they have failed to use the online purchasing security options suggested by card-issuers. “It’s all about the money.”

Behind the Big-Money Romney Win in Florida

  Mitt Romney’s decisive victory over Newt Gingrich in the Florida GOP primary race carries with it some harsh truths concerning the American political process today. First and foremost is the money-factor, as in the following facts:

  1. According to NBC, the Romney super PAC , Restore Our Future had raised $17.9 million dollars as of the end of December, with millions more being pumped in during the month of January.
  1. The big money donors who gave the Romney PAC over 1 million include billionaire Elliot Management hedge fund chief Pat Singer, along with other hedge fund heavyweights, Julian Robertson of Tiger Management and Robert Mercer of Rennaissance Technologies. Also handing out million-dollar donations to the Romney PAC were Florida Energy mogul Bill Koch of Oxbow Carbon, Miguel Fernandez of MBF Healthcare Partners, and Rooney Holdings of Tulsa Oklahoma. Three executives from Bain Capital also chipped in a total of $625 grand.
  1. As of last week, CSM had the Romney PAC outspending all others by a 20-1 margin in Florida. The majority of that cash went towards attack ads against Newt Gingrich after he surprisingly stomped Mitt Romney in the S.C. Primary.

Next up, there is the fact that in a time where many people seeing a strong demand for a more conservative President in 2013, Mitt Romney doesn’t quite fit the bill:

     According to ABC News, “Yet, while the result pulled Romney back to his strong New Hampshire showing, there was enough in the results to give Newt Gingrich a continued source of ammunition. A substantial 41 percent of Florida voters described Romney’s positions on the issues as “not conservative enough”; among all non-Romney voters, 67 percent said so. Gingrich, indeed, won “very” conservative voters by 42-30 percent, won the strongest anti-abortion voters by 15 points and won strong supporters of the Tea Party political movement – more than a third of all Florida primary voters – by 12 points

    Finally there remains the fact that the overall “non-Romney vote,” which would factor into the overall results should certain failing candidates decide to drop out of the race, forcing people to choose between the moderate Romney or the conservative Gingrich is very high. Richard Miniter points this about the battle between Romney and the non-Romney vote: (emphasis added)

“Meanwhile, Romney’s heavily negative advertising only drives Tea Party activists and other conservatives from one non-Romney candidate to another. Divide and conquer is a storied strategy; it may well work in Florida. But it doesn’t build votes for Romney. The non-Romney vote–despite millions of dollars, months of media coverage and dozens of debates—remains stubbornly north of 60% among Republican voters. If Romney is going to defeat Obama, he will have to unite the Grand Old Party behind him. So far, there is no evidence is any state that he can do just that.

Now that Florida is settled, and Mitt Romney will garner 50 delegates from the winner-take-all primary, yet with Newt Gingrich pledging to battle right up to the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida, the 2012 GOP nomination for president is far from over.