Skip to comments.Unaccountable: PAC ActBlue Tops Political Donors with Online Donations
Posted on 09/16/2012 12:33:37 AM PDT by Fedora
If you asked Americans who carries the most clout in political funding, liberals would typically answer corporations, while conservatives might name labor unions, and both would have a point, but few would probably think to mention a PAC called ActBlue. In fact, however, since its launch in June 2004, this PAC has become America's top political donor, ahead of both the AFSCME and AT&T in contributions made between 1989 and 2012, according to data compiled from FEC sources by the Center for Responsive Politics. According to ActBlue's own website, the organization had raised over $290 million in contributions as of September 16, 2012. Per the Center for Responsive Politics' most recent tallies, over $18 million of this total was raised during 2011-2012, with leading chunks going to California Democratic Congressional candidates, among others.
Where is this money coming from? Well, here's the interesting part: anyone can donate online. ActBlue functions as a clearinghouse for donations raised from other sources. If an individual or organization wants to raise money through other online or mobile channels, they can funnel it through ActBlue.
The Direct Route: A Soros Connection
Sometimes the donations are made directly, if quietly. For example, one investigator was able to document an instance of ActBlue receiving a donation from George Soros, whose fundraising organization Democracy Alliance has maintained a behind-the-scenes relationship with ActBlue. (For more on this, see Andrew Stiles' article "The Soros Summit -FB exclusive:Inside the secret Miami meeting-George Soross liberal conspiracy ", posted on FR with commentary by STARWISE.)
The Indirect Route: Another Soros Connection
Sometimes the donations are more indirect. For example, one fundraising partner of ActBlue is the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), another PAC dedicated to electing what it characterizes as "bold progressives."
The PCCC was cofounded by Adam Green, former Strategic Campaigns and Civic Communications Director for Soros' funding vehicle MoveOn.org, and Stephanie Taylor, who worked for the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO before joining Green at MoveOn.org. Using channels such as former Congressman Alan Grayson and actions like the Wisconsin Recall, the PCCC has pushed Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration to support an even more radical agenda, with an insistence so confrontational and uncompromising that more establishment-oriented fundraisers like former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have labeled it tactically "retarded."
This official contempt, however, has not stopped the PCCC from contributing significantly to Democratic coffers. Riding the coattails of Elizabeth Warren's warm-up for Bill Clinton's speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the PCCC placed ads on Google and Facebook, the latter using ActBlue to sell t-shirts and bumper stickers displaying the slogan "I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party."
Where's the Accountability?
The PCCC is operating openly here, but what's to stop anonymous contributors and front groups from using channels like, say, PayPal to send donations to external sites for funneling through ActBlue? Apparently nothing. In November 2008 Michelle Malkin followed up on the research of Kenneth Timmerman by quoting an insider source who opined:
I have over 7 years experience in the payment services industry, and I have never seen such flagrant disregard for online security as I have seen on Obamas Website and ACTBLUE (DNC PAC). In an age of identity theft and rampant online fraud, it is unconscionable for anyone to maintain an ecommerce site without the basic security features.. .There is no plausible explanation for these security violations other than wanting to skirt around campaign finance rules. I would vigorously argue that a large portion of Obamas $579 million in individual contributions is in violation of campaign finance laws. Many donations may have been made by non US citizens, made in excess of the $2,300 individual limit, and made on stolen credit card numbers. . .This fraudulent donation scandal goes deeper than just the presidential election. 33 Democratic Candidates running for Senate have sites that are out of compliance. And a large number of Democratic House seats as well.
That was 2008. Has anything changed in the last four years? Perhaps, but if so, the updates went far enough below the radar that I did not find anything about them while writing this piece. As far as I know, the donations remain unaccountable. But to be sure, not uncounted.
Ping—mentioned one of your posts in this.
Yet another channel for leftists to push for communism
Does Discover the Networks know this stuff?
I missed the memo - when should one post to News/Activism with the FReeper Editorial topic, and when should one post to Bloggers & Personal?
(P.S. Good article, Fedora - thanks!)
Sunday, April 17, 2011
FEC to Investigate 2008 Atlas EXCLUSIVE: Obama’s Secret Campaign Cash: Millions from Foreign Sources
Newsmax is reporting that the Federal Election Commission is finally investigating the story I broke back in 2008 on all of the improper campaign contributions, foreign money and illegal donations to the Obama campaign. Newsmax cites Ken Timmerman’s article, but I broke the story that Timmerman writes about (all posts here), and it was well documented in my book: The Post American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.
Obamas 2008 campaign finance records are full of riddles, mysteries, and unanswered questions. Contributing nearly $25,000 to the Obama campaign was Monir Edwan, who was listed on FEC documents as contributing from the city of Rafah in the state GA. Georgia? No there is no Rafah in the Peach State. Monir Edwan sent money to Obama from Rafah, Gaza.
Rafah is a Gaza refugee camp.
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly.
It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.[i]
Yet no one has found it noteworthy that Barack Hussein Obama himself appears to be in violation of this statute.
According to the FEC, contributions to the Obama campaign from three brothers, Osama, Monir and Hosam Edwan, all from Rafah, totaled $33,000.[ii] And they werent alone. Al-Jazeera reported on March 31, 2008 that Gazans were manning phone banks for the Obama campaign.[iii]
The brothers were vocal in their love for Obama which in itself spoke volumes to Obamas campaign. The media showed no interest, but Obama pricked up his ears. He smelled trouble; even though no reporters asked him about these contributions, he answered anyway.
The Obama campaign contended in the summer of 2008 that they had returned $33,500 in illegal contributions from Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza despite the fact that records do not show that it was returned, and the brothers said they did not receive any money. And indeed, Obamas refunds and redesignations on file with the FEC show no refund to Osama, Hossam, or Monir Edwan in the Rafah refugee camp.
One of the Gazan brothers, Monir Edwan, claimed that he bought Obama for President t-shirts off Obamas website, and then sold the shirts in Gaza for a profit. All purchases on the Barack Obama website are considered contributions. The brothers allegedly claimed that they were American citizens so said the Obama camp.
They listed their address with the zip code 972 (ironically, the area code for Israel) and entered GA, the state abbreviation for Georgia, as their location, while actually living, as we have seen, in a Hamas-controlled refugee camp. If Obamas people thought they were dealing with American citizens from Georgia, why did they ship the t-shirts that Monir Edwan ordered to the correct address in Gaza?
Shipping overseas to a Gaza refugee camp is vastly different from sending a package to the state next door.
On Watchdog.net, a site that monitors campaign contributions, Monir Edwan is listed as Barack Obamas Top Contributor, giving $24,313 between October 27, 2007 and November 11, 2007.[iv] Intriguingly, however, although it gives zip codes and other details for the other four of Obamas top five individual contributors, it provides no additional information at all for Monir Edwan and Edwans link is the only dead one on the Watchdog page.
Why did Palestinians in a Gaza refugee camp have such love for Obama in the summer of 2008? Did they know he was going to run a jihad presidency?
Did Jamal M. Barzinji know the same thing?
Jamal M. Barzinji gave the Obama campaign $1,000.
Dr. Jamal M. al-Barzinji is a noted American businessman and political operative. He has most recently been associated with, notably, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). The IIIT is linked to the international Islamic organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a May 22, 1991 document entitled An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, the Brotherhood lays out a plan to do nothing less than conquer and Islamize the United States. The Brotherhoods success in America would ultimately further the even larger goal of establishing the global Islamic state.[v]
The Brotherhood memorandum includes a list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends, with the appended note: Imagine if they all march according to one plan!!! Among these organizations are some of the most prominent moderate Muslim organizations in the U.S. today, including the IIIT as well as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); the Muslim Students Association (MSA); the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT); the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA); the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), out of which emerged in 1994 the most prominent Muslim group in the United States, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); and many others.
The memorandum also explains that Muslim Brotherhood operatives must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allahs religion is made victorious over all other religions.[vi]
According to the Wall Street Journal, Jamal Barzinji also has business ties to a Muslim Brotherhood activist, Youssef Nada.[vii] And the destruction of Israel is high on the jihadist agenda. After 9/11, federal agents raided Barzinjis office and home. An affidavit filed in federal court charges that Barzinji is not only closely associated with PIJ (as evidenced by ties to al-Arian, including documents seized in Tampa), but also with Hamas.[viii]
PIJ is the jihad terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Just as disturbing were the phone banks in Gaza campaigning for Obama. Muslims in Gaza methodically worked the phones in Internet cafes, calling Americans and doing everything they could to influence the vote.[ix]
When New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler was confronted with the Gaza phone banks issue while campaigning for Obama in South Florida in early November 2008 said that if there really were phone banks in Gaza, that would be a major campaign issue. He said it would be all over the media and be a major problem for the campaign. And he laughed at the idea that Obama was receiving campaign contributions from Gaza. The mainstream media laughed along with him, continuing its refusal to cover this explosive story.
If there had been just one questionable tie, one link to jihadist entities, one link to groups advocating the destruction of Israel, Barack Obama might have merited the free pass he got from the mainstream media about this. But there were so many.
And to this day they have never been explained.
ANYone EVER heard of the results of this so-called FEC investigation???
SEE THE SEARCHABLE INFO
REPORT OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS
By An Authorized Committee of a
Candidate For the Office of President or Vice President
(Summary Page, FEC FORM 3P)
1. OBAMA FOR AMERICA
PO Box 8102
Chicago, Illinois 60680
2. FEC Committee ID #: C00431445
3. This report contains activity for a Primary Election
4. Report Type: August Monthly
For election on 11/06/2012
Presidential Campaign Finance Summaries
Sign-up to receive e-mail notification when Presidential summaries are updated. Sign-up to receive e-mail notification when Presidential summaries are updated.
Documents on this page in [EXCEL] format can be viewed using Excel from Microsoft.
Those documents here in [PDF] format can be viewed using Acrobat Reader from Adobe.
Odd-Year Presidential Activity | Even-Year Presidential Activity
Note: Summary data contained in the spreadsheets and PDFs below were calculated by adding columns A from the Detailed Summary Pages of FEC Forms 3X of presidential candidates across all filings for the relevant election cycle. Please be aware that these spreadsheets and PDFs were produced immediately after filing deadlines and therefore, amended reports filed by committees at a later time are not reflected in the data below.
Even-Year Presidential Activity
Thank you; and I’m not clear on that, either. The interface for that seems to have gotten updated since my last article, so I made my best guess on where to post this, assuming the mods would sort it out if I put it in the wrong place. Hopefully it wound up where it needed to be.
Thanks for finding Pamela Geller’s original article and follow-up on that! This story clearly needs more attention than it’s been getting.
Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed.
Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.
In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for Obama’s accounting team as it has tried to explain why campaign finance filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to further test Obama’s finance vetting by giving money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.
The problem with such cards, campaign finance lawyers said, is that 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,” said Sean Cairncross, chief counsel to the Republican National Committee.
Piasa — forgot to thank you for the ping .. ;)
great more depressing information.
Hey mods, when should one post to News/Activism with the FReeper Editorial topic, and when should one post to Bloggers & Personal?
said Sean Cairncross, chief counsel to the Republican National Committee. "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.". . .
Lawyers for the Obama operation said yesterday that their "extensive back-end review" has carefully scrubbed contributions to prevent illegal money from entering the operation's war chest. "I'm pretty sure if I took my error rate and matched it against any other campaign or comparable nonprofit, you'd find we're doing very well," said Robert Bauer, a lawyer for the campaign. "I have not seen the McCain compliance staff ascending to heaven on a cloud.
When asked whether the campaign takes steps to verify whether a donor's name matches the name on the credit card used to make a payment, Obama's campaign replied in an e-mail: "Name-matching is not a standard check conducted or made available in the credit card processing industry. We believe Visa and MasterCard do not even have the ability to do this.
"Instead, the campaign does a rigorous comprehensive analysis of online contributions on the back end of the transaction to determine whether a contribution is legitimate."
Juan Proaño, whose technology firm handled online contributions for John Edwards's presidential primary campaign, and for John F. Kerry's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2004, said it is possible to require donors' names and addresses to match those on their credit card accounts. But, he said, some campaigns are reluctant to impose that extra layer of security.
Campaign finance lawyers said there is a long history of debate within the FEC about how to ensure that donors use their own credit cards.
Election lawyer Brett Kappel said the FEC has never grappled with the question of cash cards. "The whole system is set up for them to accept the payment, then determine whether it is legal or not. And if it's not, send it back. That's what the statute requires," he said.
So to sum up minus the evasions, the campaign financing lawyers' position in plain English is:
1. It's okay to accept illegal contributions before the election as long as you refund them after the election.
2. It's okay to accept illegal contributions as long as you can accuse the other guy of doing the same.
The Democrats' lawyers are on the record in the above article advocating these positions in not so many words. Does the Obama administration endorse this message? If not, what steps have they taken to correct the above abuses? This is the same kind of thing Woodward and Bernstein were all over the RNC for during Watergate. Four years later, where's this story from 2008? If the Post won't follow up on its own reporting, let's do it for them.
They could care less about adhering to any rules .. it’s all about grabbing as much $$$ as possible and dealing with the consequences later. Same as 2008.
In CC transactions (I used to do them), when you swipe the card, you have to put in all kinds of info about the buyer/contributor. Obama’s team skirted those spots, leaving the source location a mystery. I’ve NO doubt they’re skirting the law today. Probably getting bushels from the muslim brotherhood, PLO, Gaza residents, Saudi Arabia, Arab and other islamists, etc.
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
Who is a Foreign National?
The following groups and individuals are considered “foreign nationals” and are, therefore, subject to the prohibition:
Foreign political parties;
Individuals with foreign citizenship; and
Immigrants who do not have a “green card.”
See how simply $25, $50, $100 cash cards make it to scam and foul our elections?
On that note, here's a piece from April 2012 by the same author who originally broke the ActBlue story in 2008, Pamela Geller. Geller reports that illegal credit card contributions continue this year, answering the question poseed at the end of my article:
A number of Atlas readers and FB friends have advised me that the credit card fraud is in full swing again. Adrian Murray went to barackobama.com and donated $3 using the name Adolph Hitler, 123 Nuremburg Way, Berlin, Germany, and for good measure put in Dictator of Nazi Party as employer. Got an email back saying Dear Adolph, Thank you for your generous donation .
Because the Obama campaign does not require the CVV 3-digit security code for credit card charges, anyone can donate to Obamas campaign from anywhere.
The media, in its continuing act of perfidy and criminally corrupt silence, says nothing, does nothing and refuses to report on these blatant election fraud abuses. And it's happening again. Now.
With the critical identifying info skipped, I don’t see how easily.
The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has been and may still be accepting credit-card and prepaid-card contributions from overseas. It has done so in a way that may very likely prevent it from refunding the contributions to donors, many of whom may have had their credit cards used without their consent. Its virtually impossible that the system for accepting card contributions was inadvertently set up without adequate controls, and almost certain that existing controls were instead deliberately disabled to create untraceability. Finally, it is likely that the total dollar amounts involved run in millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars.
And the comments include this very interesting item:
Hillary brought up the same complaints about the Obama contribution schemes when she was running against him. In that instance they found many $2K contributions from non-English speaking Chinese working at a laundromat. And the MSM brushed it aside as they do now.
There were jillions of intentional, fraudulent campaign donations:
And .. I’ve no doubt they continue today ...
Nice link, thanks! I’ll be mining that for a bit. . .
So which officials would have been responsible for investigating this and following up to make sure fraudulent donations were returned after the 2008 election? That might be interesting to pursue.