It’s about time:
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Republican National Committee plans to file a fundraising complaint against Democrat Barack Obama’s presidential campaign Monday, alleging it has accepted donations that exceed federal limits as well as illegal contributions from foreigners.
RNC officials acknowledged Sunday that they do not have a list of foreign donors to Obama’s campaign. Instead, the complaint is based largely on media reports, including one from a conservative Web site.
The complaint asks the Federal Elections Commission to audit Obama’s campaign fund, RNC chief counsel Sean Cairncross said in a conference call with reporters.
Cairncross said little is known about many of Obama’s donors because the campaign is not required to disclose detailed information about people who give less than $200.
The Obama campaign, which is not accepting public funds, has raised more than $468 million. About half has come from small donors, a point of pride for the Obama campaign.
The AP article didn’t mention it (of course), but one of the reasons the RNC decided to go forward with preparing to file the complaint was what was reported in this Newsweek article, published online yesterday, on some of Obama’s questionable campaign donations. Via the WaPo:
The RNC is alleging that the Obama campaign was so hungry for donations it “looked the other way” as contributions piled up from suspicious, and possibly even illegal foreign donors.
“We believe that the American people should know first and foremost if foreign money is pouring into a presidential election,” said RNC Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross.
Cairncross alleged there was mounting evidence of this, and cited a report in the current issue of Newsweek magazine that documents a handful of instances where donors made repeated small donations using fake names, such as “Good Will” and “Doodad Pro.”
The Newsweek report says that earlier this year the Obama campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought T-shirts in bulk from the campaign’s online store — purchases that count as campaign contributions. The brothers had listed their address as “Ga.,” which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza.
“While no organization is completely protected from Internet fraud, we will continue to review our fundraising procedures,” Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt told the magazine.
At the heart of the RNC complaint is a federal fundraising rule that lets campaigns accept donations under $200 without itemizing the names and addresses of the donors on its campaign finance reports. The rule was intended as a matter of practicality — it did not seem reasonable to ask a campaign to gather that information from every five-dollar donor.
But the Obama campaign has raised more than $200 million this way, a staggering sum for donations that will not be subjected to outside scrutiny.
Jake Tapper notes:
In June, a host of good government groups wrote to the McCain and Obama campaigns asking them to provide more details about their small donors. The McCain campaign agreed to do so, but the Obama campaign rejected the request.
So much for “transparency,” eh?
This is a troubling pattern with Barack Obama. From attempting to silence the free speech of others, falsely accusing his opponents of racism on more than one occasion, to playing down – and in some cases refusing to fully answer for – his close ties with radicals like Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers, to his campaign and the Dem party pushing to have felons and the homeless registered to vote, and the questionable campaign donations (not to mention the ACORN issue) well, I’ll say it again: If this were John McCain, he’d never even have made it to the primaries because the mediots would have scrutinized and hounded him to the point he’d have had no choice but to drop out. But because it’s Barack Obama – a guy the mediots are clearly enamored with– he gets a pass. And anyone who dares to question his record is accused of being a sell-out if they are black, and is accused of racism (more here) if they are white.
This isn’t just troubling; it’s disturbing. This man is on the verge of being elected president of the United States. If he can get by with this stuff before he’s even elected to the WH, just what will he try to get away with after?