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Posted: 7/20/2008 6:00:55 AM EDT
The New York Times

By MAUREEN DOWD

Published: June 29, 2008

OBAMA'S TROUBLING INTERNET FUND RAISING

Certainly the most interesting and potentially devastating phone call I have received during this election cycle came this week from one of the Obama's campaign internet geeks. These are the staffers who devised Obama's internet fund raising campaign which raised in the neighborhood of $200 million so far. That is more then twice the total funds raised by any candidate in history - and this was all from the internet campaign.

What I learned from this insider was shocking but I guess we shouldn't be surprised that when it comes to fund raising there simply are no rules that can't be broken and no ethics that prevail.

Obama's internet campaign started out innocently enough with basic e-mail networking , lists saved from previous party campaigns and from supporters who visited any of the Obama campaign web sites.

Small contributions came in from these sources and the internet campaign staff were more than pleased by the results.

Then, about two months into the campaign the daily contribution intake multiplied. Where was it coming from? One of the web site security monitors began to notice the bulk of the contributions were clearly coming in from overseas internet service providers and at the rate and frequency of transmission it was clear these donations were "programmed" by a very sophisticated user.

While the security people were not able to track most of the sources due to firewalls and other blocking devices put on these contributions they were able to collate the number of contributions that were coming in seemingly from individuals but the funds were from only a few credit card accounts and bank electronic funds transfers. The internet service providers (ISP) they were able to trace were from Saudi Arabia , Iran , and other Middle Eastern countries. One of the banks used for fund transfers was also located in Saudi Arabia .

Another concentrated group of donations was traced to a Chinese ISP with a similar pattern of limited credit card charges.

It became clear that these donations were very likely coming from sources other than American voters. This was discussed at length within the campaign and the decision was made that none of these donations violated campaign financing laws.

It was also decided that it was not the responsibility of the campaign to audit these millions of contributions as to the actual source (specific credit card number or bank transfer account numbers) to insure that none of these internet contributors exceeded the legal maximum donation on a cumulative basis of many small donations. They also found the record keeping was not complete enough to do it anyway.

This is a shocking revelation.

We have been concerned about the legality of "bundling" contributions after the recent exposure of illegal bundlers but now it appears we may have an even greater problem.

I guess we should have been somewhat suspicious when the numbers started to come out. We were told (no proof offered) that the Obama internet contributions were from $10.00 to $25.00 or so.

If the $200,000,000 is right, and the average contribution was $15.00, that would mean over 13 million individuals made contributions? That would also be 13 million contributions would need to be processed. How did all that happen?

I believe the Obama campaign's internet fund raising needs a serious, in depth investigation and audit. It also appears the whole question of internet fund raising needs investigation by the legislature and perhaps new laws to insure it complies not only with the letter of these laws but the spirit as well.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:08:53 AM EDT
Didn't Ron Paul raise a lot of money too?
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:12:45 AM EDT
That font sucks.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:13:55 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:14:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 6:16:46 AM EDT by callgood]
Holding my breath for the Congressional investigation.

Published: June 29, 2008

This must be the most over reported news item in modern history. I can't turn on the TV without hearing about it.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:18:59 AM EDT
Barack Hussein Obama is an internationalist running for President, sadly in our country, the United States of America.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:21:17 AM EDT
The only thing missing from this election is Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell.


I am firmly convinced that most US citizens have poop for brains.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:22:34 AM EDT
When you receive a chain mail then check Snopes before you go running with it. This is BS which is why no link to the NY Times article appears in the email.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:25:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
When you receive a chain mail then check Snopes before you go running with it. This is BS which is why no link to the NY Times article appears in the email.


Good call

www.snopes.com/politics/obama/donations.asp
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:48:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 6:49:15 AM EDT by danc46]
New York Magazine

Money Chooses Sides
In a barn-burning, record-smashing fund-raising campaign season, Barack Obama tapped a new breed of Manhattan donors and won the expectations game. But because of the new primary schedule, excess is barely enough.

* By John Heilemann
* Published Apr 16, 2007


The investment banker Robert Wolf first met Barack Obama one afternoon in December in a midtown conference room. Obama was in town to deliver a speech at a charity dinner for children in poverty at the Mandarin Oriental—but also to pursue another, less high-minded, but more momentous, objective: to begin the process of attempting to pick Hillary Clinton’s pocket.

The conference room belonged to George Soros, the billionaire bête noire of the right. After talking to Soros for an hour about his prospective bid for the White House, Obama walked down the hall and found assembled a dozen of the city’s heaviest-hitting Democratic fund-raisers: investment banker Hassan Nemazee, Wall Street power Blair Effron, private-equity hotshot Mark Gallogly, hedge-fund manager Orin Kramer. Most had been big-time John Kerry backers in 2004. Most had a connection to the Clintons. All were officially uncommitted for 2008.

Comparatively speaking, Wolf, now the CEO of UBS Americas, was a buck-raking neophyte. But his prodigious recent efforts (first for Kerry, then for House and Senate Democrats in 2006) had established him as a rising star in the fund-raising firmament. Until a few weeks earlier, the presidential horse he’d planned to ride in 2008 was former Virginia governor Mark Warner. But with Warner’s decision to forgo the race, Wolf was up for grabs—and in the sights of every Democrat in the field.

What Wolf, 45, was looking for was a candidate who could change the tenor of our politics. “I’d like my children to soon see a president give a State of the Union address and have both parties applaud,” he tells me. But Wolf was looking, too, for a campaign where his presence would be “impactful,” for a candidate who would take his calls, listen to his ideas. He wanted to feel the love. And while Wolf refuses to speak ill of Clinton, it’s clear he doubted that, no matter how much dough he raised, he’d ever be feeling it from her.

Wolf was wowed by Obama that afternoon: his straightforwardness, his “bold and impressive” early stance against the Iraq war. He handed Obama his card and said, “I’d like to get to know you more.” Obama phoned the next day. “When we hung up, he said, ‘I’ll call you after the holidays,’ and I’m thinking, Yeah, right, he’s gonna call me,” Wolf says. But call Obama did. The next week, they had dinner in Washington, just the two of them, on the night that George W. Bush gave his speech announcing the surge of additional troops into Iraq. “I felt so honored to be sitting down with him for two hours on an occasion like that,” Wolf recalls, “knowing that he was going off to be interviewed on television later.”

Within ten days, Obama had announced his intention to run and Clinton was officially in. A story in the Times reported that Obama had nailed two A-list New York donors: Soros and Wolf. But though Soros’s backing was a symbolic coup, it’s Wolf who has emerged as Obama’s most copious cash collector in the city so far—hosting two high-dollar cocktail parties, making countless calls, harvesting more than $500,000. As Wolf tells me about the soirées he’s hosted, he reaches into a meticulously organized scrapbook, takes out a photograph of him and Obama grinning madly, and tells me that I can keep it. “The way Barack has taken this nation with his rock-star status,” he says, “it’s very exciting!”

The courtship of Robert Wolf is, of course, part of a larger story: How Obama, from a standing start three months ago, built a fund-raising apparatus as powerful as Clinton’s. How Obama’s people, tapping a national hunger for something new and fresh, along with the unease of many Democrats about Clinton, ginned up more money for use in the primaries than she did. How they kicked her ass on the Internet and tapped twice as many donors overall. How they even held their own against the Clinton machine in New York. How Obama, that is, won the money primary—or, at least, its first installment—and arguably turned himself into the race’s co-front-runner.

New Yorkers have long understood the money primary and its importance in signaling a candidate’s plausibility. In a deep-blue city where the Democratic primary has traditionally taken place too late to matter, the battle for cash is the one contest in which New Yorkers (a certain class of New Yorkers) have been able tangibly to influence the selection of the party’s nominee. As Julius Genachowski, a high-tech player and law-school friend of Obama’s, puts it, “Other states vote; New York invests.”

Yet the context in which the money primary is taking place this year is radically different from before. With some two dozen states, including ours, now planning to hold primaries on February 5, the ability to raise vast quantities of early cash is seen by many operatives as essential—not just to create a perception of strength but to build a viable organization. “I say this all the time: It’s over on February 5,” argues Terry McAuliffe, Clinton’s campaign chairman. “To raise money to compete in Texas, California, Florida, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Michigan, all on one day—extraordinary!”
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:51:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sturmgewehr-58:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
When you receive a chain mail then check Snopes before you go running with it. This is BS which is why no link to the NY Times article appears in the email.


Good call

www.snopes.com/politics/obama/donations.asp


This email was also posted 2 weeks ago, snopes
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:56:07 AM EDT
How many people do you know personally that donated even one dime to Obama's campaign?
I've asked dozens of people and not one has admitted to donating to Obama's campaign funds.
Also, do you actually believe that his campaign would turn down donors over the internet?
The internet provides a lot of anonymity by it's very nature.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 7:00:18 AM EDT
Well, I don't know anyone who's donated to Senator McCain either.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 7:01:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chaingun:

Originally Posted By Sturmgewehr-58:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
When you receive a chain mail then check Snopes before you go running with it. This is BS which is why no link to the NY Times article appears in the email.


Good call

www.snopes.com/politics/obama/donations.asp


This email was also posted 2 weeks ago, snopes



Snopes didn't do jack other than state that the author listed was bogus. Clearly, this states that the letter itself is bogus, but it does NOT mean that this $200 mil is accounted for. Snopes just reprinted the "rules" for fundraising without addressing the issue of the donors themselves - "the obama campaign says they're following the rules" isn't proof. It's just a convenient dismissal.

I still have hope.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 7:20:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RRA_223:

Originally Posted By Chaingun:

Originally Posted By Sturmgewehr-58:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
When you receive a chain mail then check Snopes before you go running with it. This is BS which is why no link to the NY Times article appears in the email.


Good call

www.snopes.com/politics/obama/donations.asp


This email was also posted 2 weeks ago, snopes



Snopes didn't do jack other than state that the author listed was bogus. Clearly, this states that the letter itself is bogus, but it does NOT mean that this $200 mil is accounted for. Snopes just reprinted the "rules" for fundraising without addressing the issue of the donors themselves - "the obama campaign says they're following the rules" isn't proof. It's just a convenient dismissal.

I still have hope.


So when the letter quoting the Wall Street Journal's proof that McCain was programmed by the NVA to take over the nation and deliver us into the hands of Kimmie Jhong is shown to be false we can all nod our heads with the folks that say that isn't proof that it didn't happen, right?

Yeah, we can all hope, but that letter is bullshit and there is no point trying to rally people around proven bullshit.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 8:34:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 8:35:33 AM EDT by danc46]

Originally Posted By Grunteled:

Originally Posted By RRA_223:

Originally Posted By Chaingun:

Originally Posted By Sturmgewehr-58:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
When you receive a chain mail then check Snopes before you go running with it. This is BS which is why no link to the NY Times article appears in the email.


Good call

www.snopes.com/politics/obama/donations.asp


This email was also posted 2 weeks ago, snopes



Snopes didn't do jack other than state that the author listed was bogus. Clearly, this states that the letter itself is bogus, but it does NOT mean that this $200 mil is accounted for. Snopes just reprinted the "rules" for fundraising without addressing the issue of the donors themselves - "the obama campaign says they're following the rules" isn't proof. It's just a convenient dismissal.

I still have hope.


So when the letter quoting the Wall Street Journal's proof that McCain was programmed by the NVA to take over the nation and deliver us into the hands of Kimmie Jhong is shown to be false we can all nod our heads with the folks that say that isn't proof that it didn't happen, right?

Yeah, we can all hope, but that letter is bullshit and there is no point trying to rally people around proven bullshit.


It's not proven that he hasn't taken funds from overseas contributors either.
When you consider the purchase and sale of his home and close association with Tony Rezko, it appears he is very much up for sale to the highest bidder. Much like Bill Clinton was.
Any in depth investigation into his campaign finances at this point would give the Dems an opportunity to voice harassment by a Republican President.
So in effect, campaign finances may be governed by federal law but not enforced.
You do know that excess campaign funds after a campaign is over, successful or not, can be used at the discretion of the candidate to do with as he sees fit. Like "educational trips" etc.
Whether this letter is BS or not really doesn't matter much. Some of the material may be true, some may not.
What is important is that people realize Obama is a hustler for sale.
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