Skip to comments.FEC Launches Audit of Obama's 2008 Campaign
Posted on 04/16/2011 7:05:00 PM PDT by Qbert
The Federal Election Commission has launched an audit into President Barack Obama's record-breaking 2008 campaign.
Individuals familiar with the campaign told Roll Call Friday that the FEC has been investigating the financial records of Obama's previous campaign. The scope of the probe, which began approximately two years ago, is unknown. Presidential audits typically take years to complete and can cost millions of dollars.
The newly formed 2012 Obama campaign did not deny there was an audit, but a spokeswoman called it a "review."
"The FEC is conducting a routine review as is true with the McCain Campaign, the Romney Campaign and many others to determine if they have any questions with the information reported," said Katie Hogan, deputy press secretary for the campaign. "Given that there was an historic number of contributors and contributions nearly four million and over nine million respectively this takes time."
The FEC was not required to audit the president's campaign because Obama chose not to accept $84 million in federal funds following the Democratic National Convention in 2008. However, the agency was obligated to launch a similar investigation into Republican nominee Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) 2008 White House bid after he opted to receive government funds.
FEC spokespeople would not confirm the audit of Obama's 2008 bid or say why the agency used its discretion to launch its investigation. But the decision came in the wake of Republican allegations of illegal contributions, as well as dozens of letters from the agency questioning transactions that appeared out of compliance with campaign finance laws.
The FEC's decision to audit the campaign is not surprising, given that it was the largest federal campaign in history, raising more than $750 million in receipts. If Obama's campaign were not audited, it would have been the first presidential nominee's campaign to escape such scrutiny since the public financing system was created in 1976.
The potential for the FEC's audit became increasingly more likely as the FEC questioned some of Obama campaign filings. In all, the FEC wrote 26 letters to Obama for America warning the campaign that if it did not adequately respond to the agency's questions that it "could result in an audit or enforcement action."
These letters totaled more than 1,500 pages of questions and data that outlined compliance concerns including the longest one ever sent to a presidential candidate.
The Obama campaign has shown signs of an audit for years as it has ramped up its spending on legal fees and other similar expenses, according to CQ MoneyLine study of disclosure reports.
As of the end of March, Obama for America had spent nearly $3 million on legal fees since the 2008 election. In all, the president's campaign spent three times more on lawyers after Election Day than in the two years preceding it.
The lion's share of Obama's legal spending went to Perkins Coie, a well-known Democratic legal and accounting firm. Perkins Coie is representing the Obama campaign in all major legal matters, including seven of the FEC's known investigations involving the White House bid. In each of these cases, the FEC voted to dismiss the case or found "no reason to believe" that the Obama for America or related committees had violated any laws.
Perkins Coie may be also representing Obama for America in the FEC's spending investigation of a Republican National Committee complaint. A few weeks before the election, the RNC alleged that Obama's campaign accepted donations from foreign nationals, received contributions that had exceed limits and submitted fictitious donor names to the agency. The status of this investigation is unknown, though the FEC confirmed it received the complaint. Obama campaign officials said they have made significant efforts to track down elusive donor information for some of its contributors. In many situations, it has chosen to make large refunds or give any questionable money to the government.
During the 2010 cycle, the Obama campaign led all organizations when it came to sending refunds to individual donors. Following the election, it disclosed disbursement transactions totaling more than $5.7 million in refunds.
Though the FEC has not penalized Obama, the president's campaign has also voluntarily paid more than $400,000 to the Treasury Department during the past two years for donations that were out of compliance with campaign finance rules.
This sum is not just the most of any campaign; it is greater than all other similar spending by House, presidential and political action committees put together during the 2010 cycle. The Obama campaign paid the Treasury Department $232,000 at the end of 2009 for "disgorgement of unverifiable contributors" and another $182,000 in June 2010 for "uncashed checks."
"Legal fees and disgorgement are consistent with FEC proceedings," said Jan Baran, who heads the election law and government ethics group at Wiley Rein.
An audit of Obama’s campaign can only result in a Bush indictment.
We found no serious or substantial irregularities...
It’ll go something like that.
Took them long enough to start it. I bet it will be over by the end of the month.
Let the Democrats eat their own.
I think they think 0bama cannot win
The two FEC staffers doing the audit were shown outside the polling place in the Germantown section of Philadelphia in 2008. Keepin it real!
They’re trying to head off opponents attempts to show where his money came in 2008 before 2012 campaigning starts. They won’t have to answer direct questions. They’ll just say the FEC found no irregularities. And questions about his 2012 contributions will be nipped in the bud.
Farce alert—farce alert—Farce alert
They should Audit Visa and their debit Card Programs and see how Many Consecurive Number card Numbers were Laundering foreign Cash and Union cash.
I think you’re right. I think Hillary unleashed Trump because of this thinking. I think they’re right.
It keeps scumb bags working.
We found no irregularities with the Kenyan donations.
Could be, Could Be...
Perkins Coie is the law firm keeping Obama’s documentation a secret. One of their former clerks was given a job in Judge Carter’s court when a suit was filed challenging Obama’s eligibility. I believe Obama’s personal WH lawyer is from Perkins Coie, unless recently changed.
IIRC, a Lawyer for PC was prepping for definition of NBC as well.
In 2008 Obama’s campaign website deliberately turned off all security checks in handling credit card transactions. The website allowed contributions from Mr. Woodya Bendover and Adolf Hitler of 12345 No Such Place Ave. With essentially no limits, and no tracking of illegal overseas sources, he raised a record amount of funds.
The Obama campaign’s website deliberately disabled the Address Verification System (AVS) check. AVS is required by Visa/MC for all Internet mechant accounts to prevent fraud. Yet the Obama campaign was able to override AVS and somehow not get sanctioned by Visa/MC for it. It was willful attempt to avoid the verification of the addresses of the cardholders who contributed to Obama’s campaign.
rules are for other people. There was no stopping this juggernaut.
I can’t wait for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck to take the stand and testify they made campaign contributions. If it gets too rough, I wonder if Disney will fire them.
Probably the FEC will use investigators from Gaza or the Hizbollah. Thanks Qbert.
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