Posts Tagged ‘Campaign Finance Reform’
If the Romney campaign flagrantly violated the law in this manner, I can guarantee the Justice Department would be all over it, and it would be front page news for a week. But if a Democrat does it, they shrug their shoulders and look the other way.
The Obama re-election campaign has accepted at least one foreign donation in violation of the law — and does nothing to check on the provenance of millions of dollars in other contributions, a watchdog group alleges.
Chris Walker, a British citizen who lives outside London, told The Post he was able to make two $5 donations to President Obama’s campaign this month through its Web site while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney cash was rejected. It is illegal to knowingly solicit or accept money from foreign citizens.
Walker said he used his actual street address in England but entered Arkansas as his state with the Schenectady, NY, ZIP code of 12345.
“When I did Romney’s, the payment got rejected on the grounds that the address on the card did not match the address that I entered,” he said. “Romney’s Web site wanted the code from the back of card. Barack Obama’s didn’t.”
Unfortunately, it’s clear this isn’t an isolated incident:
A soon to be released report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute shows that President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has increasingly collected more electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes throughout the 2012 campaign cycle.
From February through June this year the GAI findings reported that the Obama campaign collected $175,816.26 in electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes. One month later, the campaign raised $411,369.55 through such donations and $197,464.59 in August.
By the end of September, the Obama campaign raked in $2,199,204.38 – thanks to donations from non-existent ZIP codes.
Obama House of Cards Could Collapse with Donor Scandal
View on YouTube
There are plenty of foreign nations who would love to influence the outcome of this election. China wants us to continue borrowing from them until they literally own us, and to neglect our military while they engage in a massive build-up. Russia wants the “flexibility” Obama promised to surrender our missile defense. Saudi Arabia wants us to continue to be dependent on their oil instead of harvesting our own reserves. Radical Muslims in the Middle East want the US to stay impotent as they transform the region into a dangerous, unified Islamic Caliphate.
All of them want Obama to stay in power. All of them have good reasons to funnel money into his campaign. With the security features on his donation forms set to virtually nil, there’s little to stop illegal campaign contributions from making their way into his coffers. No doubt, that’s exactly what he wants.
A new report on foreign influences in American elections by the conservative Government Accountability Institute (GAI) has raised questions over whether the Obama campaign has violated federal election law by allowing foreign credit card transactions on its website.
In a 109-page report entitled ‘America the Vulnerable: Are Foreign and Fraudulent Online Campaign Contributions Influencing U.S. Elections?, several major security vulnerabilities on the part of the Obama campaign are detailed.
‘As FBI surveillance tapes have previously shown, foreign governments understand and are eager to exploit the weaknesses of American campaigns,’ the report states.
‘This combined with the Internet’s ability to dis-intermediate campaign contributions on a mass scale, as well as outmoded and lax Federal Election Commission rules, make U.S. elections vulnerable to foreign influence.’
To buy Obama merchandise, the campaign requires buyers to enter their credit card CVV security code but does not ask the credit card security code to be entered when making an online campaign donation.
By GAI’s estimates, the Obama campaign’s failure to utilise industry-standard protections potentially costs the campaign millions in extra processing fees.
The study also points out security problems with a host of political websites, including the online donation pages for nearly half the members of Congress.
It found that the third-party owned Obama.com – which redirects users to an official Obama campaign donation page – has 68 percent foreign traffic, which would suggest a large amount of foreign traffic also heads to the Obama campaign donation page. The GAI found the site was was bought by an Obama bundler in Shanghai, China.
‘It’s very clear the Obama campaign is the most successful and aggressive at online fundraising and they on a regular basis are submitting contributions or asking for contributions from people around the world,’ Peter Schweizer, president of GAI, told Fox News.
The study claims the campaign used ‘active foreign solicitation’ with email solicitations that go around the world and raised the possibility that low-dollar donations could be trickling in with little accounting of where they come from. Information on donations under $200 does not have to be disclosed.
Red State’s Erik Erickson wanted to test and see what kind of donations the Obama Campaign was willing to accept, and he took this screen shot of one they processed (click to enlarge):
This is illegal and a big deal, but if pouring billions of taxpayer money into dozens of bankrupt “green” companies, two dead border agents, 300 dead Mexican citizens, and 4 dead Americans (including an Ambassador) in Libya aren’t enough scandals to make Americans sit up and pay attention (thanks to our deliberately negligent media), I doubt this is going to make a dent.
There are so many scandals with this administration that it’s hard to keep track anymore.
I’m sure the Chinese Communists are more than eager to influence America’s elections!
The Obama campaign may be attacking Republican rival Mitt Romney for investing abroad, but it is not shy about raising campaign cash overseas. Last week, the campaign held a fundraiser for American expatriates in Shanghai, raking in large sums from those benefiting from the sort of personal and professional investment overseas that President Barack Obama has cast as unpatriotic in a recent attack ad against Romney.
It is not the first time the Obama campaign has raised money overseas. In 2008, the campaign held similar events in Shanghai (photo above). Earlier this month, it raised money on July 4th in Paris, and though the new Obama attack ad uses a Swiss flag to denounce Romney’s foreign investments, the Obama campaign is bringing Hollywood superstar George Clooney to Switzerland next month for a huge fundraising event.
The overseas contributions are legal, as long as they are made by American citizens. But the Obama campaign had to return a number of overseas contributions from non-citizens in the 2008 cycle, and it has been accused once again of being too lax in preventing such contributions in 2012. Regardless, the hypocrisy of attacking Romney for investment abroad, then raising money from those working and investing abroad, is glaring.
How is our tax code influenced by special interests?
Randall Holcombe, Professor of Economics explains how cronyism in the tax code can benefit special interest groups, and he discusses how we can address this cronyism by reducing the spending power of the government.
“If you really want to understand the nature of our tax code, don’t ask yourself, ‘Why aren’t these provisions in the public interest?’ That’s not how taxes are passed. Ask yourself, ‘Who benefits from these taxes, and how much political power do they have?’” — Professor Randall Holcombe
H/T Mike Kubinec
Restrict the powers of the federal government back to its original enumerated powers and eliminate every agency, department, subsidy and program that doesn’t fall under those specific powers, and the problem of money in politics is largelyreduced.
Lobbyists aren’t interested in vying for a place at a taxpayer trough that’s empty. Campaign contributors aren’t compelled to buy politicians who don’t have the power to dish out favors or pass regulations that squash their competition.
Stop offering the product of unconstitutional government powers, and the buyers will stop coming.
As the upcoming elections draw closer, let me make three predictions that I personally guarantee. First, they will set a record as being the most expensive ever, even accounting for inflation. Second, all the usual do-gooders and reformers will complain that this money undermines “democracy” and something must be done. Third, all efforts to curtail lavish spending (e.g., limits on individual contributions, public funding of presidential elections, transparency of donations, etc.) will fail, just as before.
This hand-wringing about evil money sidesteps the reasons for the increase. Contrary to what reformers insist, soaring spending is not about an epidemic of donor greed to subvert some “public good.” The sharp increase is about expanding government power — big, fat government itself, not nefarious contributors, is the culprit. In a nutshell, heightened generosity reflects Washington’s growing intrusion into every corner of our lives. Big-money donations are largely defensive. Nobody gives millions unless necessary, and if government can issue a few rules that might devastate your business, out comes the checkbook, and the greater this potential impact, the greater the generosity.
It is no accident that the upturn in campaign donations almost exactly parallels the explosion of Washington’s meddling that began in the 1960s and now seems unstoppable. Indeed, savvy office-holders have long known that the most efficient way to boost campaign donations is to propose an odious regulation. By necessity, the targeted industry will respond by hiring more lobbyists, who will then guide campaign donations so as to defeat the proposed rule. And with the Sword of Damocles always there, the contributions become routine. Accusations of shakedowns aside, everything is perfectly legal and absolutely immune to “anti-corruption” measures.
”Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.” Period. The “corporate personhood” argument is a farce. The 1st Amendment applies to both individuals and groups of individuals (non-profits, churches, clubs, corporations, unions, activist groups) alike. Apparently that’s just too much free speech for Statist Dems like Merkley to handle.
The problem isn’t the amount of “money in politics”. The problem is that politicians abuse unconstitutional powers that lobbyists want to buy (bailouts, subsidies, regulations favoring one industry or company over another, etc.). Even companies that revile the spoil system are forced to play the game because otherwise their competitors (who lobby for government favors) would overwhelm them.
Of course, the political class would rather restrict our constitutional rights than their own unconstitutional powers, and call it “reform”. They enjoy the unconstitutional powers that come with having a trough of taxpayer money and favors to attract attracts lobbyists (and campaign contributions).
Restrict government back to the original enumerated powers in the constitution, repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments, and the entire issue becomes moot.
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and six other Democrats charged Tuesday that modern political campaigns – and democracy itself – are threatened by a pair of “awful” Supreme Court decisions that can only be fixed by changing the U.S. Constitution itself.
The senators said during a news conference that adding a new provision to the Constitution is necessary if Congress wants to nullify a 1976 ruling that said campaign spending was the same as free speechand a 2010 ruling that removed all limits on campaign spending for special interests, corporations and labor unions.
“In the mid-70s the activist Supreme Court opened the flood gates to allow special interest money to flow into our elections by falsely equating money with speech,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said, referring to the case Buckley v Valeo.
That case was followed last year by Citizens United v Federal Election Commission which opened the way to a surge of campaign spending by corporations, interest groups and labor unions.
Schumer called Citizens United “Buckley on steroids – which really took the First Amendment to an illogical, almost anti-democratic extreme. These are awful decisions that need to be overturned.”
But to overturn them, the Constitution must be changed to explicitly give Congress the power to govern campaign spending. That authority has been diminished as a result of those two cases, the senators said.
The amendment aims to accomplish three goals. It would:
- Authorize Congress to regulate and limit the raising and spending of money for federal political campaigns and allow states to regulate such spending at their level;
- Include the authority to regulate and limit independent expenditures, such as those from Super PACs, made in support of or opposition to candidates;
- Not dictate any specific policies or regulations, but instead would allow Congress to pass campaign finance reform legislation that withstands constitutional challenges.Merkley said the flood of unregulated money into campaigns has given wealthy people and organization far too much power.
“It goes agains the very nature of democracy founded on one person, one vote,” he said at the news conference.
Meet your children’s communist masters. What part of selling future generations into debt slavery do policiticians consider moral (and Christians, Biblical)?
Obama’s entire agenda depends on China’s continued willingness to buy American debt…and fund his re-election campaign.
Foreign dignitaries visit the United States frequently. Most of them stay for a few days in Washington, D.C. Some of them visit the United Nations in New York. Few of them stray from the governmental and cultural centers of the United States. So, why is Chinese President Hu Jintao traveling to Chicago?
This week, President Obama invited President Hu to visit the White House. There, Obama plans to roll out the red carpet with a black tie dinner with all the usual taxpayer-provided accoutrements. By contrast, the Dalai Lama of Tibet was forced to walk out of the White House’s side door near an enormous pile of trash bags.
From there, Hu will move on to the Windy City, where he’ll be hosted by Richard Daley, brother of new White House chief of staff Bill Daley. Hu will spend his time in Chicago visiting a Chinese car spare parts factory and a Chinese school. Exclaimed Daley: “It’s a big deal. Big, big, big, big. Big deal.” It is a big deal — for President Obama.
The same week that President Obama invited President Hu to the United States, media outlets reported that Obama was preparing to launch his 2012 campaign in earnest. The Wall Street Journal broke the news that Obama’s re-election campaign would be announced this month “with fundraising likely to begin in March or early April.” Politico.com stated that Obama’s advisers were “quietly working to bring back together the major donor base that produced a record-breaking fundraising haul in his first run for president.”
At the same time, many of these outlets reported that Obama faced an uphill battle to raise cash. Obama has alienated the same Wall Street contingent that put him in power; he has alienated the pharmaceutical companies, whom he blackmailed repeatedly during his push for Obamacare. Even Obama’s erstwhile allies are shying away from his re-election campaign, with his approval numbers on thin ice.
Where’s a struggling Democratic incumbent president to turn? To China, perhaps.
It seems unlikely that Hu is visiting Chicago to hang out at Chinese schools or manufacturing plants. Both New York and San Francisco have larger Asian populations than Chicago. It’s even more unlikely that Hu is visiting Chicago because it’s a booming economic hub — the state of Illinois raised its income tax by 66 percent this week due to revenue difficulties.
Hu is visiting Chicago because he is likely meeting with Obama’s campaign, which is located in Chicago. David Axelrod is already back in the Second City prepping Obama’s campaign. Bill Daley’s home base is in Chicago. Rahm Emanuel, a chief architect of Obama’s original victory, is running for mayor in Chicago. During the 2008 election cycle, foreign money flooded into Obama’s campaign coffers from countries, including Thailand, France, Austria, Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong, Sweden, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Historically, we also know that Democratic presidents seeking to raise money for re-election have not been shy about reaching out to the Chinese. In 1996, the Democratic National Committee, desperate to recover from a shocking midterm defeat, worked with Chinese agents to funnel money into U.S. elections. In return, President Clinton declassified millions of pages of secret military technology, allowing China to dramatically accelerate its weapons capabilities. No wonder Gen. Ji Shengde, the Chinese intelligence head, explained to one of the Democratic money launderers, “We really like your president. We want to see him re-elected.”
If they liked Clinton, they must love President Obama. Obama has made America’s economy almost completely reliant on China’s. He has slashed America’s missile defense capabilities. He has stated over and over again that China is a model of development. Obama has already outsourced America’s debt to China. Why not outsource his re-election campaign, too?
This sycophantic display by President Obama to President Hu is sickening enough in light of the fact that China continues to support anti-American regimes around the globe. It is even more sickening when we consider that Obama’s personal ambition is matched only by his opportunism, and that his administration — a combination of Chicago thuggery and Clintonian trickery — is short on cash. If you’re wondering where Obama’s 2012 cash comes from, therefore, guess Hu.
Liberals are experts at creating hundreds of front groups to raise, filter and shuffle money around. That’s why they insist on campaign finance reform – they know how to work around it to their advantage and their opponents’ peril.
Their paid “grassroots volunteer” saw my Tea Party bumper stickers in the driveway and claimed that they’re “angry about the same things you are: corrupt politicians, jobs shipped overseas, and bailouts for big corporations.” Trying to siphon off some of the Tea Party anger to their advantage, huh? These crooks never miss a beat! The Working Families Party isn’t new. It’s a powerful ACORN front group.
The same thing happened with the “Yes” campaign for 66 & 67. They created a bogus “Oregon Small Business Council” months before the vote to endorse their campaign. One teacher directed me to a “non-partisan” group called “Our Oregon” for “unbiased” information. “Our Oregon” was funded by “Vote Yes For Oregon”, a subsidiary of “ActBlue“, the self-described “Clearinghouse for Democratic Action”, funded by the Leftist “New Progressive Coalition (NPC)“.
If ACORN gets cut off taxpayer money by one route, they’ll find a way to get it by another way. They are expert parasites.
Didn’t Acorn, the corrupt community organizer, get its federal funding yanked after its last scandal? Actually, no. Through municipal middlemen, it’s poised to rake in another $4 billion. Where is the outrage?
You’d think a group implicated in dozens of electoral fraud cases, theft of funds and, most recently, helping criminals interested in bringing child prostitutes to the U.S. would have been ruled ineligible for federal aid long ago.
But think again, because these aid rats are experts at survival.
FrontPage magazine reports that federal Judge Nina Gershon ruled that Acorn is eligible for the Obama administration’s proposed $4 billion in Housing and Urban Development grants within the $3.83 trillion federal budget proposal for 2011.
That cancels the ban Congress placed on Acorn funding late last year after at least five of the group’s offices willingly aided undercover reporters posing as a pimp and prostitute to get federal funding for a brothel and cheat on their taxes.
The Democrats are acting as if they want to punish everyone in the financial services industry, including the innocent, while the Republicans seem to want to protect everyone on Wall Street, including the guilty.
How about just punishing the guilty? The Democrats can’t do that because the list of Wall Street’s biggest offenders may turn out to be eerily similar to the list of Obama’s biggest campaign contributors.
The official state of our union is disarray… thanks almost exclusively to you and your less-than-American belief system and equally anti-American cohorts in congress.
Had your elitist political friends not forced banks to make bad loans under your Community Reinvestment Act, which labels banks not willing to make bad loans “racists,” the mortgage industry would not have made bad loans and the securities the government sold, supported by a book of bad Fannie and Freddie backed loans, would not have ended in financial calamity for the entire US economy.
But to suggest in your state of the union speech – “With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that, I believe, will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.” – after coming to power on an unprecedented and vulgar amount of corrupt international special interest funding, is just plain insulting!
You spent more to become president than any president in US history, more than four times your opponent, and every penny of it came from “special interest groups,” more than $200 million of it from still unknown overseas sources.
When the radical Left starts screaming about a court case, you can guarantee it’s because they just lost their political advantage!
The reason Obama and the Lefties support “campaign finance reform” is because they are experts at channeling and shuffling money around through thousands of seemingly unconnected organizations.
For instance: “Our Oregon” is a subsidiary of “Vote Yes For Oregon”, which is a subsidiary of “ActBlue“, the self-described “Clearinghouse for Democratic Action”, funded by the Leftist “New Progressive Coalition (NPC)“.
DiscoverTheNetworks.org works overtime to help conservatives keep track of all of the ways these radical groups and inviduals are connected.
This fits perfectly into Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” #4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” While they cry “corporate corruption” and a million other accusations to force Republicans to toe the line, they secretly work around it, putting their opponents at a disadvantage.
In a stunning reversal of the nation’s federal campaign finance laws, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday that free-speech rights permit groups like corporations and labor unions to directly spend on political campaigns, prompting the White House to pledge “forceful” action to undercut the decision.
In a written statement, President Obama said the high court had “given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics.” He called it a “major victory” for Wall Street, health insurance companies and other interests which would diminish the influence of Americans who give small donations. Obama pledged to “work immediately” with Congress to develop a “forceful response.”
“The public interest requires nothing less,” Obama said.
Siding with filmmakers of “Hillary: The Movie,” who were challenged by the Federal Election Commission on their sources of cash to pay for the film, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that banned corporate and labor money. The decision threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.
The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.