How Obama Games The System
Barack Obama's record setting September fundraising comes with an asterisk. Approximately 98% of the money was collected through untraceable and quite possibly, illegal sources. We really don't know, but much of it could have been donated by the Chinese or the Iranian mullahs.
There are ways to guard against this, but Obama, unlike any other candidate, prefers not to protect democracy from foreign money. He claims that he's not cheating. But if he isn't, then why not install those protections?
This makes it all the more surprising that the Obama campaign does not use a standard security tool, the card verification value (CVV) system—the three- or four-digit number often imprinted on the back of a credit card, whose purpose is to verify that the person executing the purchase (or, in this case, donation) physically possesses the card. The Romney campaign, by contrast, does use the CVV—as has almost every other candidate who has run for president in recent years, from Hillary Clinton in 2008 to Ron Paul this year. (The Obama campaign says it doesn’t use the CVV because it can be an inhibiting factor for some small donors.) Interestingly, the Obama campaign’s online store requires the CVV to purchase items like hats or hoodies (the campaign points out that its merchandise vendor requires the tool).
We also focused on the Obama campaign because it is far more successful than Romney when it comes to small donors—which the Internet greatly helps to facilitate. In September the Obama campaign brought in its biggest fundraising haul—$181 million. Nearly all of that amount (98 percent) came from small donations, through 1.8 million transactions.
The Obama campaign says that it is rigorous in its self-regulation effort. “We take great care to make sure that every one of our more than three million donors are eligible to donate and that our fundraising efforts fully comply with all U.S. laws and regulations,” says campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher. Campaign officials say they use multiple security tools to screen all online credit-card contributions, and then review, by hand, those donations that are flagged by their automated system. Potentially improper donations, such as those originating from foreign Internet addresses, are returned to any donors who cannot provide a copy of their current U.S. passport photo pages, the campaign says.The Obama campaign's defense is trust us.