Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama's Dirty Money and Fakes Names "Continue to Pile Up"

More fake names found on Obama donor lists

The number of fake names attached to Barack Obama's campaign contributions continue to pile up as news outlets and political researchers go through thousands of pages of donor listings.

New discoveries include Edrty Eddty, who donated $250 in July 2008 and Es Esh, who gave $325 in July. Esh's address: "fhdfhdfh, Erial, NJ 08081"

"Every campaign faces the challenge of screening and reviewing its contributions," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said. The campaign returned all the money.

Campaign finance experts say the notion that someone would donate under a fake name is not as surprising as it might seem. Some don't want to be identified to avoid getting inundated with future requests. Others are pranksters.

What has changed is the number of false donors, and that has to do with the dramatic change in the scale of Internet fundraising efforts, said Brett Kappel, a Democratic campaign finance lawyer. "Both of these campaigns have raised several orders of magnitude more money over the Internet than any previous campaign," Kappel said. "The FEC software can't even handle it, their reports are so large."

The anonymity and reach of the Internet has increased the opportunity for foreign nationals to donate as well. The Republican National Committee has filed a complaint with the FEC to review Obama's contributions for evidence of foreign influence.

An August review by the Associated Press found that Obama's campaign accepted donations from at least three foreigners.

LaBolt rejected the complaint about possible foreign donors as little more than political mischief, and he noted that McCain refunded about $50,000 in donations solicited by Mustafa Abu Naba'a, a Jordanian national who bundled contributions for McCain in concert with a Florida businessman.


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