ISSN 2330-717X

Dubious Donations – OpEd


By Andrei Ptashnikov

Washington Post has reported about a new case of sending money of dubious provenance to the account of Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Abake Assongba, a woman who runs a charity foundation, has transferred $50,000 to the account of Obama’s re-election campaign. At first sight there is nothing unusual about it. According to recent reports, the number of Americans who made donations to support the current US president has exceeded 1.3 million people. But it has become known that Assongba raised this money by defrauding a Swiss businessman for the sum of $657,000. The investigation into this case is still under way. The donation has been made and this money gives Obama nothing but the headache. Now possibilities of sending the money back are being considered.

This is not the first time when the money of dubious provenance was sent to the account of Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. In February, the headquarters of Obama’s campaign sent back more than $200,000 to the relatives of Juan Cardona, a Mexican businessman, the owner of the large network of casinos. A US resident, Cardona is now in Mexico escaping from the US Justice which accuses him of money laundry and illegal turnover of drugs on the territory of the US. Cardona wants to go back to the US but first the case which was initiated against him must be closed. Probably hoping that the US authorities will close the case the American relatives of Cardona decided to make a donation to Obama’s fund.

In late December 2011, $70, 000 returned to Jon Corzine, another US businessman with a controversial reputation. Of course, these are insignificant sums in comparison with hundreds of millions of dollars which have already been transferred to the fund of Obama and the Democrats and which are yet to be raised before the autumn elections. In the end of January, the total amount of such donations exceeded $200 million and this is not the end. During the previous election campaign four years ago the Democrats raised $750 million and now they hope to raise even more.

Nevertheless, no matter how insignificant the returned sums were the very fact that Obama has such sponsors affects his popularity and image and plays into the hands of his opponents. For the Republicans the reports about dubious donations to Obama’s fund came just in time. According to recent opinion polls, now the possibility of Obama’s victory at the elections on November 6 is almost by 10% higher than the victory of the Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Anyway from the incident we told you about it can be concluded that money does stink.

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VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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