Posts Tagged ‘Campaign Finance Fraud’

Obama’s Finance Fraud was expensive for the campaign

October 28, 2008

A commenter on Megan’s blog claimed the following:

A while back, I set up a web payment process for a client and they did not want address validation. Why? Because there was a charge for address verification and they deemed it unlikely that someone would want to pay a bill with a stolen credit card.

My response:

How long ago was that? The information I can find says

MasterCard offers AVS at no additional charge to all merchants who accept U.S. – issued cards.

Then there’s this

A Non-Qualified rate fee is the worst rate possible for processing a credit card. A merchant is charged a non-qualified rate for transactions that the merchant account provider (i.e. the bank) feels are high risk.

The non-qualified rate will be substantially higher than the Qualified and Mid-Qualified Rate.

A merchant is charged a non-qualified rate for credit cards that are processed without Address Verification. A merchant may also experience a non-qualified rate for transactions from foreign countries.

In short, Obama paid more to get AVS turned off.

Update:
Additional research found this:

Address Verification System (AVS): $0 – $0.05 per transaction

The AVS service checks to see that the billing address given by the customer matches the credit card. If you opt not to use AVS, VISA and MasterCard will not support your transactions and will charge you an additional 0.17% to 1.25% on those sales. Most merchant accounts do have an AVS charge, even if it’s bundled with your transaction fee. The AVS service works only with US credit card holders.  Currently, there is no AVS service in place for non-US credit card holders.

Let’s assume Obama got the 0.17% rate increase. His average donation in September was $86. He paid an extra 15 cents on each order, to “save” 5 cents. By disabling AVS, best case is he lost money on every donation > $30.

Big deal? Well, 0.17% of $150 million (his take last month) is $255,000. Having AVS on would have cost, at most, a third of that.

You don’t lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on an “innocent mistake” that you had to work hard to get done.

Obama Finance Fraud, II

October 27, 2008

Ok, so National Journal has done an article about the way Obama is raising money via the Internet, It’s too bad there’s not contact information for the author, Neil Munro, because he including this howler in the article

Obama campaign spokesman Nick Shapiro said, “We review our contributions to ensure that the information donors provide is complete and verifiable. We would only accept a contribution from a pre-paid credit card if the donor provides complete and verifiable information, consistent with FEC guidelines.”

Now, let’s consider what the Chicago Tribune said about Obama’s September 2008 Fundraising

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe did not detail the contributions, beyond saying that the campaign had added 632,000 new donors to its rolls and that the average donation for the month was less than $100.

632,000 new donors, which is to say more than 20,000 new donors a day. How many of those donors do you think the Obama campaign “checked out”?

Let’s assume the average donation was $100 a month (the campaign claims less, but we’ll bump it a bit to make them look better). In that case, 1,500,000 people donated to the campaign last month. So they have 600,000 new donors, and 900,000 repeat donors. How many of those donations, do you think, got checked out?

Then there’s this

Campaign funding experts say that real-world difficulties present a significant barrier to anyone trying to make surreptitious direct donations. For example, National Journal‘s $25 donation would have to be quadrupled to $100, and then repeated 10,000 times, to deliver $1 million to the Obama campaign, which has collected more than $600 million from at least 3.1 million donors.

Well, the Obama campaign is refusing to report any donations less than $200 (following the letter of the law). So, you start by make $150 donations. You make one in the morning, and one at night. That’s $9,000 you’ve donated to the campaign in September, almost 4 times the legal limit, for a comparatively trivial effort.

You want to give more than that? Hire a kid to make donations for you. Or use a computer program to make the donations for you. You know, one that emits random strings of letters for the name. Or, even one that’s more sophisticated, andgrabs random real names and addresses and uses those to donate. Although, in that case, you probably want to make sure the random number generator is good. Otherwise you might end up donating $174,800 in the name of the same person.

Finally, there’s the sub headline for the article

Reports Of Irregularities In Donations Under $200 Raise Questions Of Who Bears The Burden Of Filtering Out Improper Money

Well, if you simply publicly release all the names, WE The People will check it out for you.

But, if you don’t turn off the standard anti-fraud protections, you can let your credit card company do most of the work. In fact, they’re charge you less if you do it that way.

Obama’s Campaign Finance Fraud

October 23, 2008

The Obama campaign announced that it raised $150 million in September. But there are some interesting details about that money you may not see highlighted by the MSM

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe did not detail the contributions, beyond saying that the campaign had added 632,000 new donors to its rolls and that the average donation for the month was less than $100.

Wow! Isn’t that great! American’s are getting active in politics like never before. They care!

Or, it’s all a big fraud.

Speaking to Chris Wallace on the FOX show, McCain complained that Obama won’t have to detail the source of the small donations.

“There’s $200 million of those campaign contributions, there’s no record,” McCain said. “They’re not reported. You can report online now … $200 million that we don’t know where the money came from. A lot of strange things [are] going on in this campaign.”

Ace is all over this

Having worked for companies that process credit cards online, it is necessary to go through and manually disable the safeguards that they put in place to verify a person’s address and zip code with the cardholder’s bank. But international banks don’t currently have the same safeguards that banks in the US have, which also works in the One’s favor.

So most likely they’ve disabled the necessary safeguards for US cards which their merchant bank would be angry about if they found out since it exposes them to risk, as well as international cards which is an even greater risk because there’s no way to verify the information electronically for most countries, so they could just say they’re in the US with phony info and the card will still process online. The One could then just claim that they said they were from America.

Senator Clinton’s website worked with a reputable company that had the same safeguards in place for her online donations, seems like someone just doesn’t like to play by the rules that credit card companies have put in place.

Then there’s the outright theft

Steve and Rachel Larman say a strange credit card charge appeared on their statement this month — a $2300 donation to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

And the fraud so poorly done that even the Obama campaign had to notice

Not long ago, the Obama campaign called [Mary Biskup of Manchester, Missouri] to ask why she donated $174,800, which was just $172,500 above the legal limit.

“That’s an error,” she said.

Biskup told the Post that someone must have use her name but other people’s credit cards to donate the money since no charges ever showed up on her bill.

Does this have consequences? Yes, it Does! Ben Smith of Politico reports Obama “refunded $1.7 million in contributions” in September. How many of those fraudulent donations aren’t being returned, because the people making them are trying to get around the campaign donation limits?

Has George Soros hired someone, given him a credit card, and said “make $180 dollar donations to the Obama campaign all day long”? For that matter, does he just have a computer program doing it?

Who were the people who made $174,800 in donations to the Obama campaign using Mary Biskup’s name? The credit card donations went through, that means they have the numbers. Given the numbers, they can find out who really owns those credit cards.

What police agency is responsible for funting down this kind of fraud? The US Justice Department?

Every person who “donated” to the Obama campaign using Mary Biskup’s name is a criminal. Will they be investigated? Will the Obama Justice Department investigate campaign finance fraud? Or will it be too busy investigating anyone who thinks the First Amendment means they have a right to criticize The One?

The election is in 13 days. Will you vote for fraud? Will you not vote at all? Or will you, if necessary, plug your nose, get drunk, get stoned, or just take a really long shower after voting for McCain / Palin?

Remember, it’s not just campaign finance fraud. It’s also vote fraud. Do you want you vote to matter, ever again?

(Hat tip to Jim Geraghty)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.