Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This pig's probably not circumcised

From the not quite Kosher department, Raw Story is reporting that the Obama campaign has been accepting donations from pre-paid credit cards. The problem with these cards vis-a-vis campaign finance law would be that there's no way to vet that someone using these cards is eligible to make a donation since they're pretty much untraceable.
"The problem with such cards, campaign finance lawyers say, is that [prepaid phone cards] they make it impossible to tell whether foreign nationals, donors who have exceeded the limits, government contractors or others who are barred from giving to a federal campaign are making contributions."

"They have opened the floodgates to all this money coming in," Sean Cairncross, chief counsel to the Republican National Committee told the Post. "I think they've made the determination that whatever money they have to refund on the back end doesn't outweigh the benefit of taking all this money upfront."
The Obama campaign claims they are doing a back end review of the donations to make sure everything's legit using the lame and inaccurate claim that it's not a standard check to match the name on a credit card to the donor's name. Of course, any review they are doing is performed after the cash has been deposited (it's amazing how much interest you can earn on $100 M).

My assumption is that the majority of these are most likely donations made by college kids whose parents have supplied them with pre-paid credit cards but the appearance of impropriety is sometimes as bad as actual wrongdoing so this is just a case of bad judgement being used to make things easier on the campaign. I'm sure the RNC will make sure we hear all about it for the next few days (and continue to hear about it even after the election if Obama wins).


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