obama money

Barack Obama campaign contributions and donations

One of the many Obama scandals that never took off was the fact that he received millions in highly questionable campaign contributions through such means as disabling address verification. As I first reported, he also accepted gift cards; those can be bought with cash and thus could have been used to funnel nearly-untraceable money to his campaign.

In addition to that, he also accepted large amounts of money from employees of various corporations, including Exelon. And, his former bagman Tony Rezko had given him money in the past.

He even accepted - but later returned - small donations from his illegal alien aunt, the one who he later threw under the bus.

Last modified Dec 31, 2008
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

FEC auditing Obama's 2008 campaign finances - 04/16/11

From this:

The Federal Election Commission has launched an audit into President Barack Obama's record-breaking 2008 campaign.

Individuals familiar with the campaign told Roll Call Friday that the FEC has been investigating the financial records of Obama's previous campaign. The scope of the probe, which began approximately two
years ago, is unknown. Presidential audits typically take years to complete and can cost millions of dollars.

The newly formed 2012 Obama campaign did not deny there was an audit, but a spokeswoman called it a "review."

See the related entries below and the Obama money posts for past coverage, including how the 2008 campaign disabled safeguards designed to prevent fraud. That might have allowed donations from foreign sources.

Ninety four wealthy families gave Obama campaign $14.4 million - 01/18/09

From our "Now They Tell Us!" file, the Washington Post offers "The Donors Who Gave Big, and Often" by Kimberly Kindy and Sarah Cohen, link. 94 wealthy individuals, couples, and families were able to donate $14.4 million to the Obama campaign by taking advantage of various loopholes regarding being able to donate to different entities. And, some of those loopholes were brought to us due to McCain Feingold. Some of those donors were also bundlers, with six of the 94 bundling $500,000 or more.

While the full dollar amount they contributed is even less than the amount of questionable foreign donations Obama received, it's the thought that counts:

Many big donors will also watch Obama be sworn in next week, but from premium seats, and will attend an inaugural ball and other private celebrations using tickets they received in exchange for their donations.

Former "reporter" and now Obama hack Linda Douglass wants to give us something to have a hearty laugh over, as she's quoted as saying:

"Nothing has ever led any donor to believe they will have special access to President-elect Obama."

Those named in the article are:
* The Rockefeller family: twelve gave a total of $316,000
* Bill Perkins, runs Small Ventures USA (energy development and investment)
* Frank Brosens of New York City, worked for Goldman Sachs and founded Taconic Capital Advisors
* Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw
* Ernie Banks (former baseball player)
* Stewart Bainum Jr. and family ("Hotel magnate and former Maryland lawmaker")
* Jack Antaramian and family (hotel)

If anyone would like to research the others and see if there's anything interesting, please leave a comment.

Heartless Obama throws poor, illegal alien aunt under bus; will return illegal donations; lies about not knowing? - 11/01/08

Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt Zeituni Onyango - called "Auntie Zeituni" in his memoirs - turns out to be an illegal alien living in a Boston slum who illegally donated part of her meager income to his campaign.

And, now she joins a host of other former Obama associates under his bus. After it was discovered yesterday that she's an illegal alien, the Obama campaign has today released the following statement:

"Senator Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws be followed."

Now, let's parse that out, Clinton-like.

1. He's not offering to get her an immigration lawyer to see whether her case is salvageable. Instead, he's just throwing her under the bus, in effect daring the Bush administration to go deport her. He truly is Mr. Wonderful, isn't he?

2. The statement puts his supposed lack of knowledge of her status in the present tense. What about past knowledge? Wouldn't a statement like this normally say that he "had" no knowledge?

3. Does this contradict his past implications that immigration raids and associated deportations should be stopped until "immigration reform" passes? Is he more "humane" to millions of other illegal aliens than his own aunt? (See Barack details practical, progressive, and humane federal policy that fundamentally addresses issues of immigration, link)

4. Isn't this yet another in the long line of support for illegal activity that follows him around everywhere he goes? His former bagman has been convicted; he's linked to others under investigation or suspected of being involved in illegal activity; his illegal alien aunt gave him illegal campaign donations; he supports illegal immigration and would allow it to continue; and, he's received potentially tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions.

5. The campaign says they'll return her donations (link). What about all the potential millions from others?

6. Let's look at the timeline the AP provides and see if it could be possible - shocking as it may be - that Obama is lying about having knowledge of her status:

~1988: [Obama] first met his father's side of the family when he traveled to Africa 20 years ago. He referred to Onyango as "Auntie Zeituni" when describing the trip in his memoir, saying she was "a proud woman."

~1992: returns to Kenya with Michelle, sees her again

~1999: Onyango visited the family in Chicago on a tourist visa at Obama's invitation about nine years ago, the campaign said, stopping to visit friends on the East Coast before returning to Kenya.

2005: She attended Obama's swearing-in to the U.S. Senate in 2004 [note: actually 2005], but campaign officials said Obama provided no assistance in getting her a tourist visa and doesn't know the details of her stay.

2006: The campaign said he last heard from her about two years ago when she called saying she was in Boston, but he did not see her there.

Does anyone in their right mind think that the hyper-ruthless and -efficient Obama campaign wouldn't have immediately have done a background check - "vetted" her - to make sure she wasn't going to be a liability? He knew she came here on a tourist visa in 2004. Did she apply for asylum on that visit? Isn't that something she would have mentioned to him? Perhaps not, but wouldn't he expect that she would have returned home? Then, when she called back in 2006 wouldn't he immediately wonder under what status she'd come back? If she'd mentioned that she'd applied for regular legal immigration (rather than seeking asylum), wouldn't he wonder about the timing? Clearly she wants to live in the U.S.; wouldn't he have inquired about what she was doing to further that goal?

And, she previously told at least two reporters that she couldn't comment on anything until after the election. Did she think up that on her own? What role if any do those in Obama friend Deval Patrick's administration have in any of this? Were any of those people "minding" her?

Everyone reading this - not MSM reporters - needs to go out and try to ask Obama some questions about this. We need to find out exactly what Obama knew about this (and when he knew it). And, we need to find out exactly what else he's hiding away until after the election.

UPDATE: Rep. John Conyers has sent a letter to Michael Chertoff, saying in part: "I was startled to read in today’s Associated Press that a 'federal law enforcement official' has leaked information about an immigration case involving a relative of Senator Obama." However, is what the official did illegal, or are they just worried about reprisal in case BHO wins? If the former, the comments here concerning the JTP case apply. What part of her case is not a part of the public record?

UPDATE 2: His swearing-in was actually in 2005, not 2004 as the AP report says. I changed that above. That also means that she was here illegally while attending his swearing-in ceremony.

Obama's illegal alien, impoverished aunt redistributed her "wealth" to Obama's campaign via illegal donations - 10/31/08

Barack Obama's impoverished Aunt Zeituni - recently discovered living in poverty in a Boston slum - donated $260 to Obama's campaign. From this:

Federal Election Commission records show that Onyango donated at least five times to her nephew's campaign in July and September. Three of the donations were for $5 each, and two of the donations were for $25. Records compiled by The Huffington Post show she gave a total of $260 to the campaign.

Her actions were illegal, but she can be forgiven. Obama on the other hand...

Barack Obama's Pay to Play Chicago Way: got donations after state funded grant - 10/30/08

From the Sep. 8, 2007 L.A. Times article "Fresh face or old-school player?" (link, via this):

Later [in 1999], [associates former Obama opponent, Yesse B. Yehudah, a Republican] pitched in an additional $5,000 to help retire Obama’s debt [from his run against Bobby Rush]. The contributions were recorded on Oct. 7, 2000, three days after the Illinois Senate, at Obama's behest, approved a $75,000 state grant to Yehudah's nonprofit [a social services organization called Fulfilling Our Responsibility Unto Mankind], state records show.

Obama campaign intentionally disabled address verification on donations (AVS) - 10/30/08

A company hired by Newsmax to look into some of the questionable donations to the Barack Obama campaign has found even more strange cases of those who don't appear to be U.S. citizens, such as thousands for an assortment of Middle Eastern and Asian countries: link.

However, the most important bit appears to be the news that AVS was intentionally disabled and by a major company. Some news reports haven't mentioned it, and some have thought it could have just been an innocent move such as due to a bug in their software (no, really: meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/10/persecute_or_prosecute.php). However:
Newsmax asked James Wester, a spokesman for Chase Paymentech, who was responsible for taking the unusual step of deactivating the Address Verification Service recommended by VISA USA on the Obama Web site. Such security features can be deactivated by the processing company, or at the request of the merchant, in this case, Obama for America.

Wester said that Paymentech was "not going to be issuing a statement at this time."

VISA USA has a series of verification tools it recommends to online merchants to prevent online credit card fraud and to guarantee the security of personal credit-card information...

Michael Luo/NYT spins away Barack Obama's fraudulent donations - 10/23/08

Michael Luo of the New York Times discusses the various attempts by Barack Obama's opponents to test just how easy it is to donate to the Obama campaign using fake names and addresses ("Donor Patrol: ObamaaMichael Luo of the New York Times discusses the various attempts by Barack Obama's opponents to test just how easy it is to donate to the Obama campaign using fake names and addresses ("Donor Patrol: Obama’s Online Site Accepts More Fakes", link). He spins the story completely in favor of the Obama campaign to the point of covering up for them:
[The fake donation] experiment would not necessarily be notable, except it appears that many others are doing the same thing. Power Line, a conservative political blog, reported a reader had successfully made donations under the names Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Bill Ayers. While those experiences could not be immediately verified, Ms. Franzi sent The Caucus a screenshot from her bank account that showed a contribution to Obama for America going through at 1:02 p.m.

To be fair to the Obama campaign, officials there have said much of their checking for fraud occurs after the transactions have already occurred. When they find something wrong, they then refund the amount...
However, unless the Obama campaign is given the full credit card number and is storing it (a huge security risk considering they don't have the same expertise and experience as processing companies), they're unable to later verify that a specific credit card number belongs to a specific person at a specific address. That's a bit like a store checking for fraudulent currency not at checkout but after dozens of bills from different parties are already in the cash drawer. See also this.

Barack Obama campaign accepts bogus gift card donations - 10/23/08

Back on the first, I linked to a Ken Timmerman article about the Barack Obama campaign having millions in possibly fraudulent campaign donations. In that post I verified with the BHO campaign that they accept credit card-style gift cards. Those can be bought with cash and in large enough denominations that it would be possible to donate large sums of cash to their campaign. Those donations would be nearly untraceable, for instance, if it were done over the internet using one or more proxy servers.

37,000 Obama donations possibly from foreign currency; federal law violations? - 10/19/08

From this (a followup to this):
more than 37,000 Obama donations appear to be conversions of foreign currency.

According to a Newsmax analysis of the Obama campaign data before the latest figures were released, potential foreign currency donations could range anywhere from $12.8 million to a stunning $63 million in all. With the addition of $150 million raised in September, this amount could be much more...

But many of the donors Newsmax canvassed said they had "never" been contacted by the Obama campaign or seen any refunds, even though their contributions went over the limit months ago.

In all, Newsmax found more than 2,000 donors who had contributed in excess of the $4,600 limit for individuals per election cycle.

Such donations, if not returned within 60 days, are a clear violation of federal campaign finance laws...
See also this, where John McCain says:
"We know that when you have unlimited amounts of money - in this case $200 million unreported - and there's already been stories of people who have made small contributions multiple times and all that. I'm saying it's laying a predicate for the future that can be very dangerous... There's $200 million of those campaign contributions — there's no record. You can report online now. Two hundred million that we don't know where it came from. Lot of strange things going on in this campaign. The American people should know where every penny came from... They know where every penny of my campaign contributions came from."

Barack Obama took Rezko's money while Rezko's tenants froze in Chicago winter (-7F) - 10/14/08

Around Christmas, 2006 1996 the low temperature in Chicago was just three degrees Fahrenheit. Over the New Year there was a "heat wave", and it warmed up to a low of 26F. But, the next week it fell to a low of -2F. The next week it was even worse: a low of -7F. You don't need a Weatherman to tell you that with the wind chill in a city like Chicago it can feel much, much colder. Which brings us to this cheery holiday tale featuring Barack Obama from April 23, 2007:
For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building on Chicago's South Side.

It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.

Rezko and Mahru couldn't find money to get the heat back on.

But their company, Rezmar Corp., did come up with $1,000 to give to the political campaign fund of Barack Obama, the newly elected state senator whose district included the unheated building...
The heat was turned off from December 27, 1996 to early February 1997. The city eventually stepped in and sued to get the heat turned back on (link). Seasons Greetings.

Did Barack Obama help Kenya prime minister Raila Odinga raise funds? - 10/14/08

The answer to that is... it could happen. See this. One of the debunkings of that claim that I've seen is that the "fact checkers" [1] couldn't find a $1 million transfer from the Obama campaign to Odinga, and that there's no such thing as the "Friends of Senator B.O." However, the wording at the first link implies that it wasn't a transfer so much as Obama facilitating donations from others directly to Odinga.

However, before you get too excited, see this email supposedly from Obama:

"I will kindly wish that all our correspondence [be] handled by Mr Mark Lippert. I have already instructed him. This will be for my own security both for now and in future."

You probably had the same reaction as I did: that doesn't sound like the BHO we know. In fact, it sounds more like someone who sends you an email wanting to establish a "mutually beneficial business relationship" in order to retrieve Thirty Three Million American Dollars.

Despite that, there are definitely links between BHO and Odinga, and it's pretty clear that - while he did speak with Odinga's opposition - he was in Odinga's corner.

However, the claim that the pact between Odinga and Muslim leaders promised Sharia law appears to be falsified [2].

[1] politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/465
[2] wikileaks.org/wiki/
Framing_Obama:_what_the_Spectator_and_the_New_York_Sun_won't_tell_you

"Iraqi Billionaire Threatens Reporters Investigating Rezko Affair" (Nadhmi Auchi) - 10/12/08

From this:
Why aren't the American media investigating the role of British billionaire businessman Nadhmi Auchi in supplying loans to Barack Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko? Some point to media bias, but there is another factor. Working for Auchi, who was born in Iraq, attorneys from London law firm Carter-Ruck have for several months been flooding American and British newspapers and websites with letters demanding removal of material they deem "defamatory" to their client...

...The Obama campaign recently issued a non-denial denial in response to claims that Obama met with Auchi―contained in Jerome Corsi's bestseller, The Obama Nation. They cited only two references. One is, "Mr. Auchi's lawyer" who told the February 27, 2008 London Evening Standard, "As far as he can remember he has had no direct contact with Mr. Obama." Another is, "A lawyer for Auchi, Alasdair Pepper" who says, according to the April 16, 2008 Washington Post, "Auchi Had ‘No Recollection' Of Meeting Obama or Michelle." Alasdair Pepper is the attorney whose name appears on the Carter-Ruck demand letters...

John McCain/Barack Obama townhall debate live coverage (10/7/08) - 10/07/08

Live coverage of the John McCain/Barack Obama town hall "debate" - concomitant with me weeping for those who want to turn our political system into something closely approximating the Soviet Union - begins now. The questions I've seen so far are simply allowing them to replay their stock speeches.

You bet BHO supports nuclear energy. His contributors depend on it.

Questions for Barack Obama about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - 10/06/08

Please go to a Barack Obama public appearance, ask him one of the following questions (derived from a McCain campaign missive [1]), get his response on videotape, and then upload that to Youtube. If you can get a "good" answer from him it would have a devastating impact on his campaign.

"Senator Obama: You got over $100,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their employees. Did you ever talk to the executives of Fannie and Freddie about the reckless loans they were giving out? That is, could you please list some approximate dates when you discussed those reckless loans made by your contributors' organizations? I don't need exact dates, but just a few off the top of your head. Just some approximate dates, please."

Or:

"Senator Obama: You got over $100,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their employees. Did you ever talk to the executives of Fannie and Freddie about proposals from Senator McCain dealing with stronger oversight of their operations? That is, could you please list some approximate dates when you discussed that proposed stronger oversight with your contributors or their organizations? I don't need exact dates, but just a few off the top of your head. Just some approximate dates, please."

The source for the donations is here and if anyone asks says it's from the "OpenSecrets.org database and various news reports".

The source for McCain's reforms is the "Congressional Record of May 25, 2006 with John McCain's floor speech relating to the 'Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005'" (link).

Read both of those beforehand and print out several copies of each to give out to interested parties.

For more on my long-running and so far unsuccessful effort to get people to ask Obama tough questions, see this.

[1] From this:

...Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama... the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place... He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them. Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why didn’t he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won't tell you, but you deserve an answer.

Barack Obama: millions in very questionable campaign contributions - 10/01/08

[See the update about gift cards.] The Barack Obama campaign has raised millions of dollars in very questionable contributions. The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) won't say whether they're conducting an investigation, but they have asked the BHO campaign to explain or to return some of it.

That includes over $17,000 given in $25 increments by someone named "Good Will" and listing his employer as "Loving" and his occupation as "You". Someone using similar obviously false information donated even more, claiming to be from a different city.

It also includes millions of dollars from overseas. While past campaigns have placed stringent safeguards to ensure that all of that money was coming from U.S. citizens, the BHO campaign hasn't done the same:
The FEC breakdown of the Obama campaign has identified a staggering $222.7 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less [note: more than half of the total]. Only $39.6 million of that amount comes from donors the Obama campaign has identified...

...The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their "state" as "IR," often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as "UK," the United Kingdom...

...[about $200,000 might be legit, but other foreign contributions] came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.

Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran...
Much more at the link.

Something that would be interesting to know is whether you can donate to the BHO campaign using a Visa/MC/Amex gift card. Those have legitimate credit card numbers, but some don't require any personal information and all can be bought with cash.

10/6/08 UPDATE: I called the BHO campaign's donations line and a supervisor confirmed that they accept both debit cards and gift cards. The latter would allow large amounts of cash to be laundered to the BHO campaign, since some cards have maximum amounts of $500 or $1000. The supervisor was also aware that gift cards don't necessarily have indentifying information for the bearer attached to them, so she helpfully told me to enter my name in their donation form.

Hopefully someone can look into how much the BHO campaign has taken in from mostly untraceable sources like that.

10/19/08 UPDATE: 37,000 Obama donations possibly from foreign currency; federal law violations?

Barack Obama misleads, smears Middle America - 04/11/08

Speaking in San Francisco at a fundraiser for the wealthy (and in Marin County no less; pictures of his tour here), Barack Obama smeared Pennsylvanians and others by saying:

Dirt on Barack Obama: Exelon, Tony Rezko, William Ayers, Rashid Khalidi - 02/17/08

The Queen's minions have been busy digging up dirt on the Man of Hope. First up is Larry Johnson with this warning about Barack Obama's links to three questionable figures: Tony Rezko, William Ayers, and Rashid Khalidi. The first will go on trial later this month, the second is a self-admitted terrorist, the third an alleged "PLO activist".

Earlier this month, the New York Times offered "Nuclear leaks, response tested Obama in Senate". Nuclear plants run by Exelon Corporation in Illinois leaked radioactive materials into the groundwater. Obama highlighted legislation he supported that required plants to notify authorities when even minor leaks occur, and he boasted about it in his infamous speeches:
A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks... Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama’s comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate.
As NBC's Lisa Myers reports here, employees of Exelon are Obama's fourth-largest contributor, having given him $269,000. Taylor Marsh has more here.

UPDATE: More dirt here:
In his books, Obama admits attending "socialist conferences" and coming into contact with Marxist literature. But he ridicules the charge of being a "hard-core academic Marxist," which was made by his colorful and outspoken 2004 U.S. Senate opponent, Republican Alan Keyes.

However, through [his childhood mentor] Frank Marshall Davis, Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). The record shows that Obama was in Hawaii from 1971-1979, where, at some point in time, he developed a close relationship, almost like a son, with Davis, listening to his "poetry" and getting advice on his career path. But Obama, in his book, Dreams From My Father, refers to him repeatedly as just "Frank."

The reason is apparent: Davis was a known communist who belonged to a party subservient to the Soviet Union. In fact, the 1951 report of the Commission on Subversive Activities to the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii identified him as a CPUSA member. What’s more, anti-communist congressional committees, including the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), accused Davis of involvement in several communist-front organizations...
UPDATE 2: Here are even more Obama issues.