Obama Campaign’s Open Door to China
by ARTHUR HERMAN
October 12, 2012
Suppose you are sitting in the Chinese politburo in Beijing. Would you rather President Obama or Mitt Romney, who's just declared that the era of American weakness abroad is over, win on Nov. 6?
Well, you can do something about it. Feel free to get out your credit card, pull up Obama's fund-raising Web site, barackobama.com, and give to the campaign - along with a few thousand of your closest friends. As long as your donation is less than $200, no questions will be asked about whether you're even a US citizen.
If it's under $50, there won't even be a record of it.
It's illegal for foreign nationals to contribute to US elections. Yet the Obama campaign practically invites foreigners to give.
The Obama-Biden campaign has raised more than $271 million from donations under $200, vs. $69 million for Romney. But the Obama team's done so in part by abjuring the most basic controls against fraud or illegal foreign donations.
The Government Accountability Institute, a Washington watchdog group, says it's likely a high percentage of Obama online's donors aren't Americans. For starters, a full 43 percent of the traffic on the site barackobama.com comes from foreign Internet provider addresses, versus just 11.9 percent at Romney's equivalent site.
GAI's 108-page report on online campaign fund-raising at local, state, and national levels shows that many campaigns have inadequate safeguards against foreign donors influencing this election - but Obama's stands out as a veritable cesspool.
Obama's campaign refuses to use industry-standard safeguards against online credit-card fraud. For example, some 90 percent of e-commerce companies (and Romney's site) use Card Verification Value data, which checks those three or four numbers on the back of the credit card to make sure the card user matches the card holder. The Obama site uses it if you want to buy a T-shirt or hat - but not if you make a donation.
Indeed, the moment you sign up at my.barackobama.com, you get numerous solicitations to donate. When you give, you get a thank you e-mail - even if you happen to live in Shanghai.
One Chinese blogger has posted the Obama thank-you notes for his $3 and $5 donations on his Chinese site - which includes hyperlinks steering visitors to the official Obama fund-raising page.