03 November 2008

Redefining 'Grassroots'

Ah, the audacity of the Obama campaign. Recently they've been getting hammered for accepting donations from fictitious characters. The charge applies equally to their friends in the voter-registration arean, ACORN. From John Fund of the WSJ's Political Diary:
Earlier this week, Anita MonCrief, a former employee of Acorn's Project Vote, testified in a Pennsylvania court that she was given donor lists from the Obama and other Democratic campaigns so she could approach donors who had "maxed out" on candidate donations but could still contribute to Project Vote's registration efforts.

Both the Obama campaign and Project Vote strenuously deny the charge. Project Vote says it "does not have any cooperation with the Obama campaign." Team Obama's Pennsylvania campaign spokesman, Sean Smith, added that anyone was free to download a list of Obama's donors from the Internet.

Ms. MonCrief gave me spreadsheets of donors from several Democratic campaigns that were clearly not downloaded from the Internet. In any case, it's illegal for a nonprofit group to use Federal Election Commission lists to help its own activities. If the Obama campaign did give its lists to Project Vote, that would be very strong evidence of illegal coordination between the two entities.

Whether or not the Obama campaign shared its lists, it certainly hasn't shown any interest in going beyond the letter of the law when it comes to disclosing its donors to the general public. Despite pleas from campaign-finance reform groups such as Common Cause and Democracy 21, Team Obama has refused to follow Senator McCain's lead and release names of donors who have given less than $200, even though such donors supplied half of the $605 million the Obama campaign raised through September 30.

Perhaps one reason is that, as the Washington Post reported this week, the Obama campaign has turned off its Address Verification System, or AVS, at its Web site. That program should have stopped most contributions coming in from citizens of foreign countries -- a violation of federal law. The Federal Election Commission, which does receive a complete list of donors, has a list of several thousand small Obama donors it suspects may have contributed illegally from foreign countries.
You have to purposely turn off AVS. These things don't happen accidentally. Neither does signing up felons and the dead. Make no mistake about it, Democrats will, by hook or crook, do whatever it takes to win this election.

Meanwhile, the law-abiding are left out in the rain.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.