The media establishment is getting closer to covering the grossly negligent standards of the Barack Obama campaign’s collection and processing of online donations: see this Washington Post story by Matthew Mosk from yesterday.
Nevertheless, Powerline’s Scott Johnson notes that the heart of the story continues to be missed:
Yet Mosk’s story yesterday is still lacking. It fails to observe that the McCain campaign’s online donation screen contributors through the use of the basic Address Verification System. On the contary, it creates the false impression that the McCain campaign is party to the same modus operandi.
Moreover, despite the implication of the Obama campaign’s statement that it provides “extensive review” to donations received online, Mosk fails to note that Obama contributors using a valid credit card but a fictitious name and address cannot be effectively screened once they have been accepted. That’s why the McCain campaign is using AVS security and the Obama campaign is not, but Mosk’s story blurs the difference between the campaigns.
Mosk’s regurgitation of the statement that the Obama campaign “has ensured that [it] has refunded any improper contributions” is ludicrous. We know, for example, that “John Galt,” “Osama bin Laden,” “Bill Ayers,” “Saddam Hussein,” “Della Ware,” and “Adolfe Hitler,” among many others, are still waiting for their refunds. Again, one wonders if Mosk means to be obtuse.
Mosk also relates the Obama campaign’s comment “that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.” But failing to screen donors at the front end coincidentally facilitates the violation of basic federal campaign finance law. Federal campaign finance law requires donors contributing over $200 to be identified, limits donations to a total of $2,300 and prohibits foreigners from contributing.
The Obama campaign’s intentional disabling of basic AVS credit card security knowingly facilitates criminal fraud and illegal contributions. Is this too difficult a concept to grasp? John Ronning, for example, provides a step-by-step set of instructions for foreigners seeking to contribute to the Obama campaign.
Why would the Obama campaign intentionally switch off the basic AVS safeguards? Can they be held responsible for such negligence in any way? If there’s a legal loophole here, it needs to be addressed. Meanwhile, Mark Steyn imagines a hard-hitting interview of Barack Obama on the issue of online fraud by Charlie the Anchor.