Let CNN's Erick Erickson Bore You With His Attempt At Identity Fraud

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Usually Erick Erickson does you the courtesy of getting past the headline before lying, but now that we're less than a month from Election Day he's apparently decided to dispense with pleasantries.

"I Donated to Barack Obama," declares the headline to Erickson's latest blog post, wherein the CNN contributor documents his attempt to demonstrate that President Obama's campaign is committing some sort of fraud through an "illegal donor loophole" that allows them to accept contributions from overseas (a right-wing meme that's actually a bit of warmed-over nonsense from 2008). Not until the 13th paragraph do we learn that Erickson, after attempting to donate to Obama as a Russian with a made-up passport number, actually had his contribution rejected by the campaign.

So he didn't donate to Barack Obama. Nor did he document any evidence of fraud (in fact he demonstrated that the campaign's anti-fraud measures are working, as he would have known had he read the Obama campaign's statement after John Hinderaker tried this same exact stunt in April). But he had to write something, right? He went to all that effort. Just for us.

The President has come under fire for the shoddy verification processing his campaign does for donations.

In light of this Newsweek story about the Illegal-Donor loophole with Team ObamaA while back, among conservatives, it was even a story that he was doing this shoddy credit card verification for overseas donors.

So, after talking with some lawyers about the process, etc. I donated to Barack Obama. Sort of.

It is rare that I do something where I feel the need to talk to lawyers first. But giving money to Barack Obama was one of those times.

I didn't actually do it. I made up a name, made up a passport number, made up an address in Russia -- hell I made everything up except my credit card number and expiration date.

Got that?

Everything was bull**** except the actual credit card number and expiration date. Everything.

Go try that with Target or Amazon or Apple or Mitt Romney's campaign and see what happens. Here's a hint: it'd get rejected.

When the zip code does not match, it would get rejected.

When the name on the card does not match, it will probably get rejected.

When nothing matches, it will get rejected.

Barack Obama's campaign processed my very generous $5.00 donation.

For several days my bank listed it as processing. Then this is where the anti-climactic end to my story comes. The donation ultimately did not go through.

Had the Obama campaign turned on basic verification, my transaction would have been rejected immediately. Instead, it lingered for a few days before being rejected.

And what's the big takeaway from Erickson's abortive identity fraud adventure? That he doesn't know anything more than when he started because he hasn't actually done anything of any use to anyone.

I do not know what processes the Obama campaign employs to weed these out. It actually appeared, based on the way it processed for several days, that the bank stopped it, not that Barack Obama stopped it. I do not know why they chose not to use the credit verification value system (CVV). I am glad, ultimately, that my donation was rejected. But I wonder if I had put in other data that seemed more credit -- not a ridiculous fake name, a passport number of just multiple zeros, etc. would it have been rejected?

Posted In
Campaign Finance
CNN, redstate.com
Erick Erickson
2012 Elections
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