Sorry Drudge, The Obama Campaign Is Not Accepting Donations From Osama Bin Laden

Blog ››› ››› KEVIN ZIEBER

Right-wing media are ignoring anti-fraud protections the Obama campaign has in place to allege that the Obama campaign accepted donations from someone impersonating Osama bin Laden. 

Matt Drudge is hyping an article by World Net Daily's Aaron Klein who claimed that "Using a Pakistani Internet Protocol and proxy server, a disposable credit card and a fake address, 'Osama bin Laden' has successfully donated twice to Barack Obama's presidential re-election campaign.' " 

Drudge linked to Klein's story under the headline "REPORT: Obama camapign [sic] takes money from 'Osama bin Laden' ":

In fact, the campaign has explained that it has anti-fraud protections in place to stop fake or illegal donations and that just because a fraudulent donation "may initially appear to a donor to have been accepted," such a donation will soon be rejected. 

In response to another attempt to show that the Obama campaign is accepting illegal donations, the campaign explained its address verification process to Election Law Blog: 

"If a billing address is verified via AVS, then the credit card contribution is processed without delay.  Some transactions caught by AVS may initially appear to a donor to have been accepted even though this is not the case.  Obama for America employs a manual process to review any transaction flagged by AVS, also taking into account other fraud risk factors, and using fraud detection services provided by our credit card processor.

"As an example, the contribution discussed here may have initially appeared to have gone through when the donor completed the transaction at 10:18 a.m. but it was rejected at 4:51 p.m. under our standard fraud detection procedures.

"So any claims that Obama for America has disabled  AVS are inaccurate; any question about this would have been answered-if the question had been asked."

The Obama campaign also requests "proof of a current and valid U.S. passport" if a contribution originates from outside the United States and raises questions about the contributor's citizenship:

OFA screens all online credit card contributions that originate from a foreign IP address and, if any questions arise regarding the contributor's U.S. citizenship, the campaign requests proof of a current and valid U.S. passport in order to be in compliance with the FEC's safe harbor guidelines.

The right alleged widespread illicit donor practices in the Obama campaign back in 2008, but an FEC audit found no evidence to support the allegation that the Obama campaign had been accepting contributions from prohibited sources. 

Posted In
Elections, Election Law
The Drudge Report,
Matt Drudge, Aaron Klein
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