By Jim Kouri
A public-interest watchdog group yesterday released a shocking report of its investigation into fundraising by both presidential candidates that revealed that President Barack Obama’s fundraising tactics has garnered campaign contributions from Chinese, Arabic, Thai, and Korean nationals overseas. According to the Federal Elections Commission, contributions to American political campaigns from donors in foreign nations are criminal violations of federal law.
According to Government Accountability Institute officials, the web site Obama.com, which acts as a gateway the Obama campaign’s donation web site, receives an enormous number of “hits” from citizen’s of foreign countries. This situation has resulted in the questioning of the legality of million of dollars in donations to the Obama campaign, according to a new report.
The 108-page analysis, from the group that uncovered President Obama skipping many of his national security briefings, studied Internet fundraising by both Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney, as well as congressional candidates in the Democratic and Republican Parties.
While the GAI probe showed questionable activity by many campaigns, the largest section of its report addresses donations to the Obama campaign. For example, an anonymously registered redirect site (Obama.com) features 68% foreign traffic.
The report indicates that:
In 2008, Obama.com was purchased by an Obama fundraiser living in Shanghai, China, whose business is heavily dependent on relationships with Chinese state-run television and other state-owned entities.
Starting in December 2011, the site was linked to a specific donation page on the official www.BarackObama.com campaign web site for ten months. The page loaded a tracking number, 634930, into a space on the web site labeled “who encouraged you to make this donation.” That tracking number is embedded in the source code for Obama.com and is associated with the Obama Victory Fund. In early September 2012, the page began redirecting to the standard Obama Victory Fund donation page. Search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, using common spamming techniques, may have also been undertaken by unknown third-parties, generating foreign traffic to Obama.com.
The report also reveals many of the donations are less than the $200 cut-off that mandates campaigns to identify the donors.
The web site, Obama.com, is now unavailable for viewing according to search engines such as Google. Bing, and others.
During Obama 2008 campaign, a World Net Daily story by Aaron Klein claimed that Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign contended that it had returned $33,500 in illegal contributions from Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza, but the donors told Aaron Klein of WND they never received any money.
The Palestinians said that the financial transactions made on Obama’s campaign web site were not actual donations but purchases of “Obama for President” T-shirts. The transactions, however, were listed as donations in U.S. government election filings.