Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Obama best President China can buy



In 2008, the Obama technology team’s strategy was based on aggressive grassroots

activism and targeted marketing, raising a stunning $500 million online. The Obama campaign’s

technology team gives every indication of surpassing its 2008 performance. According to a

September article in the
Financial Times, Jim Messina, the campaign manager for the Obama reelection,

enlisted the help and advice of the top brass at Google, Apple, Facebook and

106 Messina designed the team’s strategy around the campaign’s social media

platform my.barackobama.com and “big data.”
107 The campaign’s my.barackobama.com boasts

the handicraft of Chris Hughes, one of the founders of Facebook, and works on the same selfpropagating

model as the hugely successful social networking site (users create their own

108 My.barackobama.com’s visitors, both foreign and domestic, can enter their emails to

receive campaign solicitation letters and send their friends invitations to do the same.

The Obama campaign couples its email presence with its sophisticated use of the data it

has collected on individuals. The Financial Times reported that the Obama campaign uses a

whole host of personal facts about each voter. Republican strategist Mike Murphy told the

Financial Times that the Obama campaign knows “if you’re a Catholic professional who owns a

house and who’s registered to vote, and doesn’t vote in school board elections but tends to vote

in other elections. And if you’re married, have three kids and subscribe to a lot of magazines.”

The Obama campaign makes use of this detailed data and has recently released a phone

application that allows Obama supporters to see which of their neighbors are democrats, how old

their neighbors are, whether or not the Obama campaign would like their neighbors to receive a

door visit from other democrats, and other information. However, no one knows exactly how

much the Obama campaign has on each American citizen because the campaign never discloses

that information.

106 Richar McGregor, “Inside Obama’s HQ,”

Financial Times, September 14, 2012, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/0df7cc4a-fd35-11e1-a4f2-


107 “Web 2.0 Case Study: Barack Obama’s Use of Social Media,”

The Global Human Capital Journal, December 29, 2008,


108 Brian Stelter, “The Facebooker Who Friended Obama,”

The New York Times, July 7, 2008,


109 McGregor

110 Ibid.,

The Obama Campaign’s Online Infrastructure

Despite the Obama campaign’s level of technological sophistication, the campaign does

not use the industry standard CVV feature on its donation pages. This creates a security risk that

is compounded by the considerable foreign interest in President Obama’s political history,

personal story, and views.
111 The main campaign website BarackObama.com receives

approximately 43% of its traffic from foreign IP addresses, according to Markosweb.com.

Though Americans living abroad no doubt generate some of this interest, the majority is likely

from foreign nationals. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with the President’s

international attention, his donation pages’ lack of CVV means that this interest creates

significant vulnerabilities for the integrity of the campaign’s donation process. The absence of

these security protocols is incongruous with the acknowledged technological sophistication of

the campaign.

As stated earlier, the Obama campaign relies on an aggressive email presence to solicit

donations from people that the campaign has calculated (using its massive amount of data on

individuals) to be likely donors. However, foreign citizens report that they regularly receive

emails soliciting donations from the campaign, in potential violation of federal campaign law.

The FEC, in an advisory opinion, has stated that there is no proscribed method in soliciting

federal campaign contributions.
114 The advisory opinion appears to conflict with the plain

reading of
2USC-441-E; Subp-A.

One-way foreign citizens receive solicitation letters from the Obama campaign is through

my.barackobama.com, the social media platform created in part by Facebook’s Chris Hughes.

The website has no apparent safeguards to protect itself from foreign citizens participating.

According to the Obama campaign, my.barackobama.com currently has produced at least 13.1

111 Bruce Stoke, “Does the World Want Obama?” Pew Research Center, August 27, 2012, http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/08/27/does-worldwant-


112 SmartViper Web Mining Company: SmartViper Website Analytics, Markosweb.com; Because metric sites don’t gather separate traffic

levels for the donate.barackobama.com or contribute.barackobama.com subdomains, it is unclear how many foreign visitors actually wind up



2USC-441-E; Subp-A: “It shall be unlawful for…a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation…from a foreign national”

(emphasis added).

114 FEC Advisory Opinion 2011-13.

million email addresses for the campaign, each of which receives at least one email a week

soliciting a donation.
115 By looking at a random sample of 65,000 links into

my.barackobama.com, the Government Accountability Institute found that approximately 20%

of the links originated from foreign locations.

The primary purpose of my.barackobama.com is to create a highly personalized vehicle

for individuals to “get involved” and to invite others to do the same. The campaign employs

various techniques to gather email and other data on the friends and associations of

my.barackobama.com’s members to further the campaign’s fundraising efforts.
117 However, at

no point during the subscription process is a visitor asked whether he or she can legally donate to

a U.S. election. Once a visitor signs up, he or she immediately begins receiving solicitations for

donations. In fact, numerous foreign nationals report receiving solicitation letters and thank you

emails from the campaign for their support. Some of these emails have been reposted on blog

sites to encourage friends to click on the donate link or get their names on the email list.

Foreign Nationals and the Obama Campaign

Using a collection of online research tools, the Government Accountability Institute

analyzed a portion of the foreign links that lead to the Obama campaign website,

my.barackobama.com. The Institute found a wide variety of instances in which apparent foreign

nationals either received solicitation emails or posted links to my.barackobama.com. The

following are but a sample.

1. In July and August, a Chinese blogger reposts letters he has received from the Obama

campaign, each of which contains a solicitation for $3 or $5 (note that these smaller

donations don’t require the campaign to keep any record of them).
118 Markosweb states that

115 Blue State Digital, “Work: Obama for America,” http://www.bluestatedigital.com/work/case-studies/barack-obama/.

116 To guard against repeating the same sites in our sample we selected every 10th site in our database to examine more closely.

117 If one goes to the Obama campaign’s main website and asks to join my.barackobama.com, they are simply asked for a name, email, and zip

code/postal code. A user can then send invitations to their friends and associates to visit that user’s own particular donation page.

118 http://blog.sina.com.cn/youyuanbujingmeng

87.8% of the traffic flowing to the site comes from China while only 4.5% is from the United

119 The website contains hyperlinks that lead to the campaign’s donation page. The

website also contains graphics showing the disparity between Romney’s and the President’s

fundraising and a countdown clock to the date of the election. Other than the campaign

solicitation letters, the website is in Chinese characters.

2. On August 9
th, 2012 the Obama campaign sent a solicitation letter to “Hikemt Hadjy-Zadh,”

an Azerbaijani citizen. His email address is on an Azerbaijani domain and he posts numerous

119 http://www.markosweb.com/www/sina.com/

120 This example is one of many of the instances where Chinese individuals repost campaign solicitation letters on their own websites. For more

examples from mainland China and Hong Kong, please see . http://tuzipei.blog.163.com/blog/static/139303005201132952320913/

163.com; http://zh-tw.facebook.com/barackobama/posts/204381686306063?comment_id=1374238&offset=0&total_comments=4792;

http://home.ngocn.net/wap/space.php?m_sid=5674ab592318ecd6dffa1b5fde1dbc30&uid=2931&do=blog&id=19942; http://zhhk.


http://tuzipei.blog.163.com/blog/static/139303005201132952320913/; http://www.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/stocks/1/540030.shtml

solicitation letters he has received from the Obama campaign. Mr. Hadjy-Zadh reposts the

complete letters on a discussion forum, including numerous hyperlinks that go directly to the

campaign’s donation page.

3. A writer in Vietnam writes on a website for the Vietnam Institute for Development Studies (a

government-backed think tank) and posts emails he has received from my.barackobama.com

with more than 24 total links to the campaign’s donate page embedded in the emails. The

website is in the Vietnamese language, hosted on a Vietnamese server, and uses a

Vietnamese domain address.
121 In one instance, a letter from Mitch Stewart, Director of the

Obama campaign’s “Organizing for America,” asks for donations. Ironically, Stewart

laments that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is reportedly taking money from foreign

sources. The reader is then prompted to give his name and email address and thereafter

begins receiving solicitation letters for donations.
4. A Dutch blogger writing in Dutch on a Dutch website reprints an email from March 22, 2010

in which President Obama thanks his supporters for their help. “You’re welcome, Mr.

President,” he writes back.

5. The Dutch blog “His Dirk” received a donation request from the campaign. Aware of the

U.S. law, the blogger decided not to contribute. The blogger observed, “I imagine many non-

Americans have money transferred to the Obama campaign. It’s just too easy.”

6. A member of the Italian Radical Socialist movement and an administrator of their website

reposts solicitations from the Obama campaign which he reports receiving regularly for three

122 “You’re welcome Mister President,” http://www.fritshuis.nl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=167 %3Ayoure-welcomemister-

president&catid=1 %3Aalgemeen&Itemid=1; please see screenshot 3 in Appendix D.

123 Dirk Zijn, “Response to Your Message to Senator Obama,”

DirkZijn Blog, December 3, 2007, http://www.dirkzijn.nl/tag/donation/; please

see screenshot 4 in Appendix D.
124 “And because we are three years in his mailing list…But frankly after 3 years his

letters excite me much less...”

7. A Japanese blogger named Isogaya posts a link to the Obama campaign’s donation page.

When posting the link, Isogaya notes that an option in giving would be to give a gift card.

8. A Norwegian blogger posts a solicitation from the Obama campaign, including the link to the

donate page. When another blogger opines that non-U.S. citizens cannot contribute because

of American law, the blogger responds in Norwegian,“I have in practice given money to

Obama, I had done it.”

9. A blogger in Egypt who serves on the board of the Union of Arab Bloggers posts the

solicitation letters he reports to regularly receive from the Obama campaign.
127 “We as Arabs

and Muslims” support the “Democratic party, compared to the Republican Party,” but notes

his objection to the President’s stand on gay marriage.

President Obama and Foreign Nationals in Social Media

The Obama campaign makes extensive use of social media to further its message and to fuel

its campaign. However, the fact that the Obama campaign never tempers its aggressive use of

social media as a fundraising tool with a clear message that only American citizens can

contribute creates enormous opportunities for foreign nationals to insert themselves into the

electoral process.

124 http://www.radicalsocialismo.it/index.php?option=com_fireboard&func=view&catid=4&id=47348&Itemid=209

125 http://q.hatena.ne.jp/1175726038

126 http://vgd.no/utdebattert/valg-2009/tema/1399676/tittel/e-post-fra-barack

127 http://sonbaty.blogspot.com/2012/09/fwd.html
1. The Obama campaign regularly and aggressively posts solicitations for donations and

campaign memorabilia on Facebook. The campaign does not make clear in these postings

that only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are allowed to contribute. Given

Facebook’s operational architecture, this can only lead to obvious confusion. For

example, here is a recent solicitation posting from the president himself that appear on

Taiwanese Facebook (zh-tw.facebook.com).

2. The Obama campaign’s Gen44 project, a fundraising campaign targeting young

professionals, is mirrored on Thai Facebook (

128 http://th-th.facebook.com/Gen44/posts/222613071195215?comment_id=696008&offset=1&total_comments=8; GAI found Gen44 on other

Facebook sub-domains as well. Italy: http://it-it.facebook.com

3. Obama Campaign director Jim Messina tweets solicitations for Obama campaign events

that appear on a South Korean twitter imitation site.

4. Obama campaign bundler Steve Westly’s online solicitations can easily be found on

Hong Kong Facebook.

129 http://twtkr.olleh.com/Messina2012/status/137682871170244608

130 http://zh-hk.facebook.com/SteveWestly/posts/303944846297428?comment_id=4206428&offset=0&total_comments=1

5. A campaign solicitation letter is available on Arabic Facebook.

Obama Technology Team’s Use of Industry-Standard Anti-Fraud Credit Card Security


The Obama campaign’s failure to use the CVV is quite possibly costing the campaign

millions of dollars in additional fees. Recall that card processors charge
higher transaction fees

for campaigns that fail to use the CVV (see page 36). In 2008, the Obama campaign raised more

than $500 million online. Assuming the campaign paid industry standard rates, the campaign

would have paid at least an additional $7.25 million in fees to the banks that it could have

avoided if it were to have used the CVV.

131 http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?anno=2&depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com.pk&sl=ar&tl=en&u=http://arar.



132 The $7.25 million estimation is based on the difference between industry standard rates for campaigns that use the CVV and AVS and

campaigns that don’t use either systems. The $7.25 million figures does not include potential chargeback fees or each transaction’s flat fee.

GAI calculated this number by subtracting the amount that the campaign would have paid, based on Cybersource’s standard rates, if it had

used both the CVV and AVS from the amount the campaign paid by not using the CVV [(.0362 - .0219) * $500,000,000.00]; Jose Antonio

Vargas, “Obama Raised Half a Billion Online,”

The Washington Post, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2008/11/obama-raised-half-abillion-


The campaign’s decision to not use the CVV is rather curious – their technology experts

use it in their other commercial and charitable endeavors. Michael Slaby, the chief integration

and innovation officer for the Obama Campaign, sits on the board of Citizen Effect, a charitable

organization that largely accepts its donations online.
133 Slaby’s college roommate started the

charity and Slaby sits on the board.
134 To make charitable donations online to Citizen Effect

donors are required to use the CVV.

Harper Reed, the chief technology officer of the Obama campaign, was previously the

chief technology officer for Threadless, a successful crowdsourcing T-shirt company.
135  It likewise requires the CVV for financial transactions.
136 This is clear evidence that the Obama campaign’s technology experts understand the threat of fraud and the necessity of security for online transactions.

Even more curious is the fact that the Obama campaign sees the benefit of using the CVV

in its merchandise shop. To buy official merchandise from the Obama campaign website—a T-

133 Citizen Effect website, About Us, http://www.citizeneffect.org/about_us.; Andrew Romano, “Yes We Can (Can’t We?),”

The Daily Beast,

January 2, 2012, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/01/inside-president-obama-s-reelection-machine.html.

134 Evision Good website, “Interview with Dan Morrison, Founder of Citizen Effect: The Importance Of A Strong Advisory Board,”


135 David Wolinsky, “Why Obama Hired Threadless’ Harper Reed at CTO,”

NBC Chicago, http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/inc-well/Why-


136 Threadless Tees website, “Your Cart,” https://www.threadless.com/cart/step/shipping-info/.

shirt, hat, hoodie, etc., one is required to input the CVV.

The Obama campaign has claimed that it doesn’t need the CVV because they are able to

vet contributions on the back end using sophisticated techniques that it doesn’t disclose.
137 This

begs the question: why is it using different techniques when it comes to selling campaign


The Obama campaign’s vulnerabilities are not difficult to fix. In addition to the CVV

and a strong AVS system, the campaign could make use of geo-location on the campaign

websites so that if a visitor comes from a foreign IP address, he or she would be alerted of the

relevant federal laws and asked for a passport number or military ID in order to proceed to the

donation page.

137 Rick Hasse, “Obama Campaign Responds to Michael Barone on Credit Card Procedures for Fundraising,”

Election Law Blog,



The Curious Case of Obama.com

The security vulnerabilities of the Obama campaign are well-illustrated by the privately

held Obama.com, a redirect website which sends its largely foreign visitors to a donation page on

barackobama.com and loads a unique affiliate number (affiliate number 634930), allowing the

campaign to identify the traffic that reaches it through Obama.com.

The fact that Obama.com is not owned or managed by the Obama campaign is a mystery.

Obama for America owns 392 different domain names bearing either the President’s name or the

name of campaign initiatives.
139 It seems logical that Obama.com would be sought after by the

campaign. In 2008 an Obama bundler with considerable business ties in China purchased the

site. It is currently registered anonymously.

138 An affiliate number is an identifier that is widely used for tracking web traffic.

139 Domaintools.com, Registration Required
Obama.com Traffic

According to Markosweb, which uses data from Google Analytics, approximately 68% of

Internet traffic going to Obama.com comes from foreign locations.
140 An examination of the

backlinks going to Obama.com reveals that a strong majority is from foreign language or

foreign-based websites. These websites do not appear to be catering to American expatriates.

During June and July of 2012, web traffic to the site increased, again with the majority of

the traffic coming from overseas. An examination of the traffic generated indicates that most

visitors are not coming to the website through search engines but are arriving there by typing in

“Obama.com” or by clicking a link to Obama.com.

History of the Site

In the fall of 2000, Obama.com was a “parked” page owned by small company that sold

domain names.
142 The site was in Japanese, most likely because “Obama” means “little beach” in

Japanese, and there is also a small town named Obama in the Fukoka province of Japan.

Obama.com changed ownership among several users and was hosted with a major

Japanese Internet company specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and affiliate

marketing named Japan Global Media Online. The site remained parked in the Japanese

language until the last two weeks of September 2008.

140 “Donate: You Power This Movement,” http://markosweb.com/www/obama.com/; last accessed September 4, 2012.

141 Alexa: The Web Information Company, http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/obama.com#; click the “search analytics” tab to see data.

142 DomainTools, http://www.domaintools.com/research/whois-history/?page=results&q=obama.com, registration required.

In the last week of September 2008, Obama.com was registered to “Roche, Robert.”

Roche is an American citizen (originally from Chicago) who has spent the bulk of his time since

the late 1990s developing business interests in Shanghai. He has considerable business interests

in Chinese state-run television and ties to several state-owned Chinese companies.

By October 2, 2008, Obama.com began redirecting all visitors to specific content on

145 Upon arrival to my.barackobama.com, visitors were asked for their

name, email, and zip code and presumably were sent solicitation letters, like every other visitor

who provides that information to the campaign.

Following President Obama’s campaign victory in November 2008, Obama.com

redirected visitors to a page selling inauguration merchandise and taking donations for the

inauguration celebration.
146 Throughout 2009, the website redirected to pages on the campaign

website advocating various presidential initiatives. Starting in late January 2010, Obama.com

redirected to a page gathering email addresses and continued to do so through 2011. Sometime

144 See screenshot number 5 in Appendix D. On October 27, 2008, the administrative email was registered to robert@oaklawn.jp; Oaklawn

Marketing is a Japanese infomercial company started by Robert Roche.

145 Internet Archive: Way Back Machine Beta, http://wayback.archive.org/web/20090401000000*/http://obama.com.

146 Ibid.; See Screenshot 6 in Appendix D.

during 2012, the webpage began sending visitors to a donation page on the Obama campaign’s

website. The campaign’s donation page loads an affiliate number to track the traffic and

donations coming via the website. It continues to do so today.

On October 4, 2010, Obama.com’s site registration was changed from “Roche, Robert” to

an anonymous registration with a company called Domains By Proxy, which is owned by

147 Later, server hosting was changed from Japan Global Media Online to

Hostmonster/Bluehost.com, a company based out of Utah.

Administration of the page was taken over by a small company with only four employees

listed on its website.
149 Wicked Global, of Waterville, Maine, registered to a 25-year-old former

Harvard student named Derek Dorr.
150 Another Dorr, Gregory, is listed as “Lead Marketing” for

Wicked Global and lists additional work for himself on LinkedIn: fundraising and program

director for Peace Action Maine and as a “private consultant” with Maine Voices for Palestinian

151 Confirming Wicked Global’s association with Obama.com is simple enough. First,

the Google Analytics account registered to Obama.com is registered to Wicked Global as well.

Second, when someone forces an error on Obama.com they are prompted to contact Wicked

153 Who arranged for Wicked Global to oversee Obama.com, and why that was done is


It remains unclear whether or not Roche himself continues to own Obama.com.

Nevertheless, the site continues to aid the Obama campaign, regardless of ownership.

147 Several consulting experts have mentioned separately that this is not necessarily indicative of an ownership change. A domain’s registration

can be changed to private at any time.

148 http://www.domaintools.com/research/hosting-history/?q=obama.com, Registration Required.

149 Wicked Global, http://wickedglobal.com/about/team, last accessed August 25, 2012.

150 Corporate filing with Maine Secretary of State, no. 20110462D.

151 Wicked Global, http://wickedglobal.com/about/team, last accessed August 25, 2012; Gregory Dorr on Linked In,

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/gregory-dorr/30/823/b3; Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights is an “affiliate” of Peace Action Maine. See

http://www.mvprights.org/ last accessed on August 25.

152 This can be verified using free online search tools such as reverseinternet.com; see for instance

http://reverseinternet.com/domain/obama.com. As can be see Wicked Global operates other websites as well and uses the

same Google

Analytics account for several of them.

153 Anyone with an Internet connection can type in obama.com and a non-existent file name into their browser in this manner:

www.obama.com/tv. This will cause an error and the following message will appear: “Please contact the server administrator,


and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have

caused the error.”

Robert Roche

In an effort to understand the evolution of Obama.com, the Government Accountability

Institute researched Robert Roche’s background. Mr. Roche was born in 1962 and grew up in

the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, Illinois. Roche attended Illinois State University and

graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Japanese Studies.
154 He earned a J.D. at

Denver University’s Sturm College of Law and gave a $3 million gift to the college in 2010 to

establish the Roche Family International Business Transactions Program.
155 In 1983, he traveled

to Japan as an exchange student and would return after college to do business.

Roche met his Japanese wife during his time as an exchange student in Japan.
157 After

graduation they moved to Japan where Roche taught English and worked in the importing

158 In 1993 Mr. Roche founded his first company, Oak Lawn Marketing.159 Oak Lawn

went on to great success, as an infomercial company selling everything from stain removers to

vacuum cleaners.

In 1998, Roche cofounded Acorn International, a company registered in the People’s

Republic of China. The Shanghai based company primarily deals in infomercials, producing

commercials selling cell phones, cosmetics, fitness equipment, breast-enhancement products, and

other items on Chinese State television.
160 According to Acorn International’s prospectus, issued

when the company made its public offering of securities in May of 2007, the company had

become “the largest TV direct sales operator in China,” where it aired infomercials on “four

nationwide China Central Television or CCTV, channels, 28 national [state controlled] TV

channels, four international satellite channels operating in China and eight local channels.”

154 “People: Acorn International Inc (ATV),” Robert Roche’s biography,


http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyOfficers?symbol=ATV last accessed August 25, 2012.

155 Roche Bio; See the official press release from the Sturm College of Law, http://www.law.du.edu/documents/news/roche-du-press-releasedec-


156 Michael A. Lev, “Japan’s King of the Infomercial,”

Chicago Tribune. May 18, 1999. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1999-03-


157 Ibid.,

158 Tom Dellner, “An Entrepreneur’s Tale,”

Electronic Retailer Magazine, August 2009, 44.

159 “Company Overview of Oak Lawn Marketing,”

Bloomberg Businessweek, August 31, 2012,


160 Acorn’s chinadrtv.com.

161 Acorn Prospectus, May 2, 2007, Registration no. 333-141860, Securities and Exchange Commission, 1.

Though Roche remains a U.S. citizen, his operations in China are exclusive to that

country. As a result, enforcing judgements or bringing actions in China based on U.S. laws

against Acorn International or its officers would be difficult. As Acorn makes clear in company

filings, “We conduct all of our operations in China and all of our assets are located in China. In

addition, all of our directors and executive officers reside within China…Moreover our PRC

legal counsel, Haiwen and Partners, has advised us that the PRC does not have treaties with the

United States or many other countries providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement

of judgment of courts.”
162 To “comply with PRC laws imposing restrictions on foreign

ownership in direct sales, wholesale distribution and advertising businesses,” Acorn’s ownership

includes Roche and several Chinese citizens. Acorn has licensing agreements with two

companies “currently owned by two PRC citizens, Don Dongjie Yang, our president and one of

our directors, and David Chenghong He, one of our executive officers.” These men “hold the

licenses required to operate our direct sales and wholesale distribution business.”
163 Acorn

continues to use this organizational structure.

162 Prospectus, 37.

163 Prospectus; The Chinese government requires investors to qualify through the Chinese government as a “qualified foreign institutional

investor.” Naomi Rovnick, “Talks on to open up private equity funds; Beijing lobbied to allow foreign firms to invest,”

South China Morning


, September 22, 2009.

164 See exhibit for SEC F20-F, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1365742/000119312512176144/g304412g85o89.jpg.; Relationship

Chart taken from Acorn’s 2012 20-F SEC Filing, pg 63.

According to the company’s prospectus, it “operate[s] [its] direct sales and advertising

businesses in China under a legal regime consisting of the State Council, which is the highest

authority of the executive branch of the PRC central government, and several ministries and

agencies under its authority…”
165 “Our business depends on our access to TV media time to

market our products and services in China,” it reports.
166 The prospectus also says that several of

the company’s Chinese subsidiaries receive tenuous, “preferential tax benefits” from the Chinese

government that can be taken away. “PRC law is vague and is subject to discretionary

interpretation and enforcement by PRC authorities…Loss of these preferential tax treatments and

subsidies could have material and adverse effects on our results of operations and financial

167 Given the nature of its product and the Chinese business climate, Acorn’s

business model is wholly dependent on the company having an excellent relationship with the

Chinese government.

Acorn’s prospectus states that “since commencing [its] operations in 1998, [the company

has] formed close and strong relationships with various CCTV and national satellite

168 As evidence of this strong relationship, Roche’s company’s legal representation

in Beijing is the powerful Haiwen and Partners legal firm, a politically connected Chinese firm

started in 1992 that does business exclusively in China. Haiwen does underwriting and legal

representation work for many of China’s largest state-owned companies, including the Industrial

and Commercial Bank of China, China Coal Energy Company, China Construction Bank, China

Life Insurance, China Air Limited, etc.

Acorn has signed contractual agreements that allow it to sell the products of several large,

state owned or affiliated companies.

Through a 2006 agreement, Acorn began selling cell-phones and digital cellular services for

the Chinese telecommunications giant Unicom.
170 Unicom is one of the largest

165 Prospectus, p 136.

166 Ibid.,

167 Prospectus, 34, 35.

168 Prospectus, 18, 98.

169 Prospectus, 145; Haiwen and Partners, http://www.haiwen-law.com/Haiwen%20Brochure%202009E.pdf.

170 See Acorn's 12/31/11 Form 20-F filing with the

SEC, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1365742/000119312512176144/d304412d20f.htm.

telecommunications providers in China and, like any “strategic industry,” is controlled by the


Acorn also sells the mobile phones of the Chinese state-owned telephone company CEC

Telecom through a “joint sales agreement.”

In 2008, Acorn International purchased Yiyang Yukang, a cell phone manufacturing

company incorporated in China.

In 2007, Acorn signed a marketing agreement with China Pacific Insurance, a state-owned

insurance company, to sell insurance products to the Chinese public.

It is important to keep in mind that even important industries that are listed on foreign

stock exchanges remain under direct government control in China.
Financial Times reporter

Richard McGregor notes that for state-owned enterprises, Communist Party meetings are held

before corporate board meetings and Party officials make management decisions.
174 He writes

that Party “control over personnel appointments has been inviolate.”

Telecommunications isn’t the only politically sensitive industry in which Acorn does

business in China. In the mid-2000s, Acorn began to flounder. According to the company’s own

SEC filings, it began to open up a new line of business in “third party bank channels.” Acorn has

ties with “four established domestic [state-controlled] banks through which we directly market

products through specialized catalogues to credit card holders at these banks. As of March 31,

2009 we have established relationships with 13 domestic banks.”
175 This allowed Acorn to gain

revenue through credit card transactions with Chinese banks. Between 2007 and 2010, the

revenue stream from that line of business grew 180%.

Many of the current and former senior executives and board members that work with

Roche at Acorn come from Chinese state television and other state-run enterprises.

David Chenghong He, until recently vice-president of Acorn, owns the licenses that allow the

171 Prospectus, 99, 102.

172 See Acorn's 12/31/11 Form 20-F filing with the

SEC, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1365742/000119312512176144/d304412d20f.htm.

173 Prospectus, p 97.

174 Richard McGregor, “The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers,” (New York: Harpe

firm to operate. He was previously vice-president of finance at TVS, a state-owned television


Kevin Guohui Hu, vice-president of Acorn, was general manager of TVS.

James Yujun Hu, Acorn’s CEO and Chairman of the Board, was executive vice-president at


Ella Man Lin, vice-president of Acorn, was a manager at TVS.

In 2007, Acorn International issued a public offering of its securities and was listed on

the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
177 Despite its status as an NYSE company, very little

trading of the stock is done. The vast majority of the company’s ordinary shares are held by Mr.

Roche, trusts controlled by Mr. Roche, and his Chinese partners. The firm has few outside

investors, the largest owning one-tenth of 1%.

In 2005 SAIF Partners, headed by Andrew Yan, invested $43 million in Acorn

179 Yan sits on Acorn’s board. Yan and his firm are partners with state-owned

China Development Bank and China’s National Social Security Fund, which are Chinese

government institutions.
180 He also sits on the board of other state-owned firms like China

Offshore Services Limited, and China Resources Land Ltd.
181 Yan previously worked for the

Chinese State Commission for Economic Restructuring of the State Council of the PRC.

Politically, Robert Roche is well-connected and actively contributes to the Democratic

183 He is currently a co-chair of the Technology Initiative for the Obama campaign, an

effort designed to raise money from and with the assistance of the Technology and Information

184 He is a past president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. In 2008, he

176 Prospectus, 118-120.

177 “China’s Acorn International IPO priced at $15.50/ADS,”

Reuters, May 3, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/05/03/acornshareoffering-


178 Morningstar website, “Acorn International, Inc. ADR ATV,” http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholdersoverview.


179 Acorn website, “Milestones,” http://ir.chinadrtv.com/index.php?s=65.

180 “SAIF Partners to launch RMB fund with CDB, NSSF,” May 30, 2011, Chinaknowledge.com.

181 Wing-Gar Cheng, “China Oilfield Considers Selling Shares in China (Update5), December 19, 2006,


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aZfjWr4ywU9I&refer=asia http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-


182 http://www.sbaif.com/people/andrew-y-yan

183 Open Secrets, Opensecrets.org.


Anupama Narayanswamy, “Big donors to Democratic sup

bundled for Obama and has committed to bundle $500,000 for the Obama campaign in 2012. As

of August, Roche has bundled over $384,000.
185 In the wake of 2008, Roche was appointed by

President Obama to the U.S. Trade Advisory Board for China. He has contributed $100,000 thus

far to the pro-Obama “Super PAC” Priorities USA.

Roche has high-level access to the executive branch and visits the White House regularly.

According to White House Visitors Log, Roche made nineteen visits since 2009, although he

lives in China.
186 His visits have included:

1. 12/21/2009: Private visit with President Obama in the Oval Office.

2. 7/1/2009: Meeting with Catherine M Whitney, Executive Assistant to the Council of the

President, in the West Wing.

3. 7/27/2010: Meeting with Kristen J Sheehey, Deputy Chief of Staff, in the West Wing

4. 9/27/2010: Meeting with John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science, in the New

Executive Office Building.

5. 9/20/2011: Meeting with Pete Rouse, Assistant to the President, in the West Wing.

6. 2/17/2011, 6/24/2011: Meetings with then White House Chief of Staff William Daley, in the

West Wing.

The following page contains a diagram showing the most basic level of relationships between

Mr. Roche, his Chinese business interests, and the Obama White House.

185 “Obama’s Top Fund-Raisers,” The New York Times, September 13, 2012,


186 “White House Visitors Database,”

WP Politics, http://apps.washingtonpost.com/svc/politics/white-house-visitorslog/


187 SEC’s Edgar, http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm; White House Visitor Access Records, http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefingroom/


A Seat of Power

Roche’s pull and status in both Beijing and Washington is evident from the seating

arrangements at the 2011 State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House. In

addition to President Obama and the First Lady, the head table where Roche was seated also

included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, Senate Foreign

Relations Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, former

President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and then White House Chief of

Staff William Daley.
188 Obviously, any corporate executive would prize sitting at the table. The

only corporate executives seated at the head table were General Electric’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt,

Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, and Robert Roche.
Those in attendance who failed to get such a prestigious seat include Goldman Sachs

CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former Secretary of Commerce

188 “Hu comes to Washington (Jan. 18 to 21): Seating Arrangement at Chinese State Dinner,”

Washington Post, January 19, 2011,

and current Ambassador to China Gary Locke, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, JP

Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, CEO of Disney Robert Iger, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Mr. W.

Boeing CEO James McNerney, President and CEO of Intel Paul Otellini, etc.
189 How Roche, a

businessman running infomercials on Chinese State Television, ended up at the table is puzzling.

189 The Reliable Source, “Guest List for Chinese State Dinner,”

The Washington Post, January 19, 2011,

Examples of Foreign Links to Obama.com

There are numerous links to Obama.com that have been placed on foreign websites. Some

are probably mistakes; others might be efforts by foreign webmasters to capitalize on the Obama

name and increase traffic to their own sites. But for other links, the motivation is unclear. These

were the majority of the links uncovered by the investigation. Below is an example from a

commentator, “Psdealer” writing about posting links to Obama.com. In separate threads,

Psdealer goes on to describe his questionable strategy for increasing the search engine ranks of

the websites to which he links.

The Government Accountability Institute found numerous links to Obama.com on

foreign blog sites and forum boards. These links increase the probability that foreign

nationals will try to donate to the Obama campaign, a campaign whose online security tools

are lacking.

1. A Chinese gaming site features comments where an anonymous contributor has posted 860

comments and lists Obama.com as his profile homepage. Because it is listed as his

homepage, anytime he posts a comment on the gaming site, it will create another link.

This poster was active on the forum from summer 2009 until at least November 15, 2011.

2. On a South African website in 2009, a commentator named Phillipa Lipinsky has her name

hyperlinked to Obama.com.
192 This might be a mistake, but the same commentator with the

191 See Screenshot 8 in Appendix D.

192 Charlene Smith, “Every 26 seconds in SA a woman gets raped, it was my turn last Thursday night,”

Thought Leader, November 24, 2009,

same hyperlink shows up at other times as well.
193 Indeed, there are more than fifty

comments from “Phillipa Lipinsky” that hyperlink to Obama.com.


A comment poster named “Barack” makes numerous posts on a Brazilian site.194 The

hyperlink on his name leads traffic to Obama.com. Barack also appears in five posts in

Portuguese on another Brazilian site.
195 Barack makes another appearance on a Spanish

language site where his name continues to link to Obama.com. There are thirty-seven

comments from him that day, and many appear to be automated.

4. A Romanian website, covering Romanian military issues, includes commenters that link to

197 There are more than a dozen comments with links.

5. A Pakistani blog includes blog comments by an “Obama” which links to Obama.com.

6. A commenter named Titus Jacob uses the link Obama.com as their identifying link. It

appears on a Swedish server.
199 Many of his comments appear to be robo-comments,

generated randomly without regard for the context of the webpage and similar to the SEO

practices to which Psdealer referred.

7. Another Chinese website’s forum has user “-___-” using his signature as a backlink to

Obama.com. The same exact technique is used at another Chinese website as well.

193 The Sumo, “Dinner with Dandala,”

Thought Leader, April 20, 2009, http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/thesumo/2009/04/20/dinner-withmvume-

dandala/; See Screenshot 9 in Appendix D; “public utility vehicle pasahero,” March 9, 2009, http://puvpasahero.blogspot.com/.

194 Chongas, http://www.chongas.com.br/2009/01/quadrinho-pensamento-masculino/?replytocom=19416; See Screenshot 10 in Appendix D.

195 Fred Burle no Cinema, http://www.fredburlenocinema.com/2009/12/atividade-paranormal.html?showComment=1259996616607.

196 Blog Comment Poster: The Little Tool for Big Results, http://www.post-comments.com/, is an example of such software.

197 “InfoMondo Militar: You are in the army now!” http://militar.infomondo.ro/opinii/umilirea-armatei-nationale-scrisoare-deschisa-catreviitorul-

presedinte-al-romaniei-adresata-de-generalul-maior-r-iordache-olaru.html/comment-page-1;See Screenshot 11 in Appendix D.

198 “What is Mutta or Muttah by Shia,”

shia celebrates muttah or mutta on eid ghadeer or ghadir, April 10, 2009, http://shia-muttamuttah.

blogspot.com/2009/04/what-is-mutta-or-muttah-by-shia.html?showComment=1239366120000; See Screenshot 12 in Appendix D.

199 “Sata tells conference climate change delegates that whiskey pollutes the environment,”

Zambian Watchdog, June 21, 2012,



200 Q+ Web, http://cdc.tencent.com/?p=4740

Obama’s crooked campaign cash-o-matic machine revisited; Updated
By Michelle Malkin • October 7, 2012 11:49 PM
In advance of the new Obama donor scandal story that many conservatives have been buzzing about and which is purportedly set to hit the pages of Newsweek/Daily Beast tomorrow morning, I’m reprinting a selection of my previous blog posts over the last four years that exposed various aspects of the Obama crooked campaign cash-o-matic machine.
I hear that the new story/investigation will delve deep into online/credit card vulnerabilities and donations from foreign nationals — both subjects which this blog and many other conservative websites have covered extensively since the 2008 campaign. (Update: See Twitchy for links/round-up to all the latest breaking news.)
Here’s your refresher course in preparation for the latest developments.
APRIL 20, 2011
All the president’s funny money
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2011
Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching. President Obama’s perpetual campaign cash-o-matic machine kicks into high gear again this week as the celebrity-in-chief heads to Hollywood for several high-priced fundraisers. But while the Democrats’ 2012 re-election team stuffs its hands into every liberal deep pocket in sight, questions about the Obama 2008 campaign finance operation still fester.
Last week, the laggard watchdogs at the Federal Election Commission announced an audit of the Obama 2008 campaign committee — which raised a record-setting $750 million. White House flacks are downplaying the probe as a “routine review.”
But there’s nothing routine about the nearly $3 million Obama has spent on legal expenses to address federal campaign finance irregularities and inquiries. Roll Call reports that Obama’s campaign legal fees have exceeded all other House and presidential campaign committees, including members of Congress under ethics investigations.
There’s nothing routine about the whopping $6 million that Team Obama has refunded to individual donors since Obama took office.
And there’s nothing routine about the 26 warning letters to Obama for America totaling “more than 1,500 pages of questions and data that outlined compliance concerns — including the longest one ever sent to a presidential candidate,” according to Roll Call.
Among the Obama 2008 campaign committee’s shadiest transactions that have gone unpunished:
Foreign funny money. Federal election law bans foreign nationals from contributing to American candidates. But during 2008, the Obama campaign was forced to return an illegal foreign donation worth $31,100 made by two brothers in the Gaza Strip, and even mainstream news outlets reported that candidate Obama’s money-handlers had routinely failed to verify citizenship by checking donors’ passports. As the Associated Press reported at the time: “One donor, Tom Sanderson of Canada, made clear his $500 contribution came from a foreign source. He included a note that said, ‘I am not an American citizen!’ Obama’s campaign took the money anyway…”
Another illegal foreign donor, Australian Richard Watters, contributed $1,000, “entering a fake U.S. passport number — a random jumble of numbers and letters” onto the Obama donation website. “He said he also checked a box stating that he was an American living overseas, ‘because I could see it wasn’t going anywhere if I didn’t do that.’”
Obama raked in at least $2 million in overseas donations.
Online donor credit-card fraud. Weeks before the 2008 presidential election, investigative journalist Ken Timmerman blew the whistle on rampant phony straw contributors slipping through the Obama donation site. Just one example: “Mr. Good Will” from Austin, Texas. Mr. Good Will listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You.” Timmerman’s analysis of 1.4 million individual donations to the Obama campaign discovered “1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25. In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375. Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 — still well over the $4,600 limit.”
Subsequent digging by conservative bloggers found that the Obama campaign’s donor website appeared to intentionally disable security protocols and facilitate illegal donations with bogus names, shell addresses and untraceable credit cards. Among Obama’s online “donors”: Bart Simpson, Family Guy, Daffy Duck, King Kong, O.J. Simpson, Mr. Doodad Pro, John Galt, Della Ware, Crazy Eight and Adolfe Hitler.
Social justice funny money. In 2008, the Obama campaign wrote checks totaling more than $800,000 to a nonprofit offshoot of ACORN called Citizens Services Inc. The campaign claimed the money went to nonpartisan get-out-the-vote services. But receipts showed the funds paid for polling, advance work and event staging supplied by a nonprofit that supposedly does simple canvassing work on behalf of low-income people. The FEC allowed Obama to wave his magic wand and amend the records to change political expenses into non-political ones. As a Republican National Committee staffer commented at the time: “For a candidate who claims to be practicing ‘new’ politics, his FEC reports look an awful lot like the ‘old-style’ Chicago politics of yesterday.”
On a related front, ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief filed announced plans to file an FEC complaint last year over illegal coordination between ACORN and the Obama campaign. MonCrief publicly released Obama donor lists supplied to ACORN affiliate Project Vote, which were allegedly used to target maxed-out presidential donors. The scheme involved converting the expenditures by Project Vote, ACORN and ACORN-affiliated entities to illegal, excessive corporate contributions to the Obama presidential campaign, in violation of federal law.
Nothing to see here, move along? The only “routine” business as usual being conducted here is Chicago-style self-exemption business as usual: Rules are for fools. Let the crooked cash flow in.
OCTOBER 11, 2010
Newly nativist Democrats and their own foreign funny money

(Photoshop credit: Sean via Doug Powers)
The Obama White House has been an echo chamber for the Soros-funded Center for American Progress from Day One — from bashing Fox News, attacking talk radio, and pimping “media justice” and the Orwellian Fairness Doctrine, to crusading for the government health care takeover using Astroturfed doctors and taxpayer-funded operatives installed in the health care bureaucracy.
Team Obama has gotten away with its left-wing myna bird routine. Until now.
Mimicking the Center for American Progress attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Soros suck-up-in-chief himself accused Republicans last week of benefiting from “money from foreign corporations” — which liberals claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling into political ads. Democrat clown prince Al Franken is leading a Senate inquisition against the Chamber. Endangered Democrat candidates across the country are dutifully parroting the line. From here in my home state of Colorado:
Democrats are swinging hard at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for potentially spending foreign money to support Republican campaigns across the country, including Ken Buck in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race.
The chamber has spent more than $400,000 in Colorado on ads attacking Sen. Michael Bennet, according to campaign-finance records.
Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid called on Buck’s campaign to reject the chamber’s help and disavow the ads allegedly made with “tainted foreign money.”
“Why won’t Ken Buck stand up against the practices of these shady special interests orchestrating attacks on his behalf?” Kincaid said.
It’s triple-snort-worthy to see the party that cries “RAAACISM” whenever conservatives question their shady foreign funny money suddenly sounding the alarm over non-U.S. campaign cash. Guess we are all “nativists” now, eh, President Obama?
But I digress. The Bennet campaign and every other endangered Democrat candidate preparing their CAP-approved attack press releases might want to get with the times. You see, a funny thing happened on the way to this desperate smear of American businesses exercising their political free speech: Liberal media outlets have called the Obama demagogues out. And now, Obama himself is backpedaling faster than high-wire clowns on a quadricycle.
The New York Times concluded on Friday that “there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents. In fact, the controversy over the Chamber of Commerce financing may say more about the Washington spin cycle — where an Internet blog posting can be quickly picked up by like-minded groups and become political fodder for the president himself — than it does about the vagaries of campaign finance.”
And via Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters, liberal CBS journalist Bob Schieffer castigated White House senior adviser David Axelrod for the pathetic attack — which Schieffer derided as “peanuts:”
CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Sunday mocked President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod for echoing last week’s unsubstantiated charge by a liberal website that the Chamber of Commerce is funneling foreign money to support Republican candidates.
“The New York Times looked into the Chamber specifically and said the Chamber really isn’t putting foreign money into the campaign,” said the Face the Nation host.
“This part about foreign money, that appears to be peanuts,” chided Schieffer.
When Axelrod continued to press the issue, Schieffer said almost laughing, “If the only charge, three weeks into the election that the Democrats can make is that there’s somehow this may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign, is that the best you can do?”
Oh, I’m sure they’ll sink even lower. Three weeks is plennnnnty of time to get to the bottom of the barrel.
In the meantime, GOP candidates who face this ridiculous onslaught must remind voters of all the shady foreign cash that the Democrats and their deep-pocketed donors have pumped into the political system. Strike back twice as hard:
Remember Obama/Hillary/Democrat top fund-raiser and convicted fraudster/campaign finance crook Norman Hsu.
Remember Obama/Hillary/Democrat top fund-raiser and convicted fraudster/campaign finance crook Hasan Nemazee.
Remember soft-on-China Obama Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, shady Buddhist temple cash collector.
Remember Senate Democrats raising funds in Canada.
Remember Obama’s presidential campaign soliciting foreign donations on its website (via Doug Ross):

Remember: Obama’s Foreign Donors: The media averts its eyes.
Obama’s campaign said it would refund the money to the foreign donors the AP identified.
One donor, Tom Sanderson of Canada, made clear his $500 contribution came from a foreign source. He included a note that said, “I am not a American citizen!” Obama’s campaign took the money anyway, even publishing Sanderson’s cautionary statement about his citizenship in its official finance reports.
Obama has raised at least $2 million abroad, far more than McCain’s total of at least $229,000, according to the AP’s review of campaign finance records…
…The AP analyzed 1.27 million campaign contributions to Obama and McCain to identify 6,948 contributions from people who appeared to live outside the United States and who were not obviously in the U.S. military. The AP contacted 123 donors in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland and interviewed them about their citizenship and donations.
Obama has far more overseas donors than McCain, and that was reflected in the number of interviews: the AP was able to reach 116 Obama supporters, six McCain backers and one donor who gave to both.
Australian Richard Watters gave Obama’s campaign $1,000 over the Internet, entering a fake U.S. passport number — a random jumble of numbers and letters — so the site would take his money. He said he also checked a box stating that he was an American living overseas, “because I could see it wasn’t going anywhere if I didn’t do that.”
Watters was surprised when a reporter told him it was illegal for foreigners to donate to U.S. presidential campaigns, but he said he was still glad he gave.
…Swiss citizen Gilles Massamba gave Obama at least $436 and received campaign souvenirs. He said the campaign didn’t ask whether he was a U.S. citizen.
Remember: FEC Issues Record Fines In Democrats’ Scandals; Commission Faults Players in 1996 Foreign Fundraising.
And don’t forget this fun fact: “The outrage over the Chamber is especially amusing considering the role of foreigners in U.S. labor unions. According to the Center for Competitive Politics, close to half of the unions that are members of the AFL-CIO are international.”
Distraction. Deflection. Projection. Yup, it’s the best they can do.
NOVEMBER 7, 2008
www.change.gov smells like a fund-raising front

Government domain names (“.gov”) for websites are supposed to be restricted to eligible government organizations and programs.
Does Barack Obama’s transition website, www.change.gov — which is basically a souped-up version of his campaign site — qualify? As Ed Morrissey pointed out yesterday, “The incoming administration technically has no status as a government organization or program until January 20, 2009. The “Office of the President-Elect” doesn’t exist within the government.”
The primary goal of the transition site seems to be to collect e-mail addresses and personal information — for future fund-raising and political organizing projects. More on that in a moment.
Did the GSA, which administers the rules governing .gov websites, vet this site? One industry exec doesn’t think so, and has sent a complaint:
To whom it may concern,
Recently a new .gov domain name was registered. The name of this domain was http://www.change.gov. This appears to be a violation of the Domain Naming Conventions Summary located at https://www.dotgov.gov/dnc.aspx. The domain does not appear to meet the criteria outlined on that page. It is my belief that the name was granted without the proper review, due to the current political climate and may in fact have been a political favor which is a clear violation of federal law.
What is the process to file a complaint regarding improper use of the .gov TLD?
Thank you for your time and cooperation.
Charles Wyble
Chief Technology Officer
Known Element Enterprises – Corporate
Let’s look at who’s operating Obama’s .gov site. It’s being run by Blue State Digital, the left-wing Internet fund-raising company that presided over the credit card fraud-friendly Obama campaign site. A tipster traced the IP address:
CustName: Blue State Digital
Address: 1000 Vermont Avenue, NW
Address: Suite 1000
City: Washington
StateProv: DC
PostalCode: 20005
Country: US
RegDate: 2007-11-21
Updated: 2007-11-21
NetRange: –
NetHandle: NET-69-25-74-128-1
Parent: NET-69-25-0-0-1
NetType: Reassigned
RegDate: 2007-11-21
Updated: 2007-11-21
RTechHandle: INO3-ARIN
RTechName: InterNap Network Operations Center
RTechPhone: +1-877-843-4662
Blue State Digital (BSD) is a leader in online fundraising, advocacy, social networking, and constituency development programs for nonprofit organizations, political candidates and causes, and corporations. Since our founding in 2004, we’ve delivered successfully on the promise of the Internet to over 200 satisfied clients, including Obama for America, Wal-Mart Watch, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and the Communications Workers of America, raising over $200 million in contributions to date and generating tens of millions of online signups and actions.
Walks, talks, and smells like a fund-raising front to me.
Meantime, readers have been sifting through the site. Here are screenshots of two creepy items to keep an eye on. America Serves…or else!

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

Unofficial motto of Obama-Biden ’08.
NOVEMBER 3, 2008
“I have never seen such flagrant disregard for online security as I have seen on Obama’s Website and ACTBLUE (DNC PAC)”

Over the past two weeks, I’ve noted the excellent work done by bloggers and investigative reporter Ken Timmerman on Barack Obama’s lax credit card/donation policies. The MSM grudgingly picked up on some of the Internet detective work, but it’s the tip of the iceberg.
Yesterday, I heard from an industry insider who says the problem goes beyond Obama — extending to nearly three dozen Democrat congressional candidates and a prominent left-wing fund-raising PAC site called ACTBLUE, which brags about raising $81,330,769 online since 2004.
My source writes:
I work for the credit card processing company that is culpable for allowing the DNC and the Obama Campaign to get away with rampant online donor fraud.
In a deliberate attempt to evade campaign financing laws, the Obama Campaign turned off certain security features on their online contribution page, which basically enables anyone in the world with a Visa/Mastercard to make donations in almost any amounts.
I have over 7 years experience in the payment services industry, and I have never seen such flagrant disregard for online security as I have seen on Obama’s Website and ACTBLUE (DNC PAC). In an age of identity theft and rampant online fraud, it is unconscionable for anyone to maintain an
ecommerce site without the basic security features. Yet, the majority of Democrats do. (McCain’s website and the Republican sites are in compliance with security regulations.)
I have followed the trail from the DNC to a PAC called ACTBLUE, which is responsible for the ecommerce portion of Democratic Party websites. ACTBLUE contracts the online fundraising portion to a company called, AUBURN QUAD. Auburn Quad has developed a software program, called Indigo, to make fund raising quick and easy. The secret sauce of Indigo appears to be the part of the program that turns off the Address Verification and CVV2 security features, which allows for untraceable, unlimited online donations.
There is no plausible explanation for these security violations other than wanting to skirt around campaign finance rules. I would vigorously argue that a large portion of Obama’s $579 million in individual contributions is in violation of campaign finance laws. Many donations may have been made by non US citizens, made in excess of the $2,300 individual limit, and made on
stolen credit card numbers.
This fraudulent donation scandal goes deeper than just the presidential election. 33 Democratic Candidates running for Senate have sites that are out of compliance. And a large number of Democratic House seats as well.
There needs to be an investigation into these online donations. The People need to know where the money is coming from. Elections should be won on ideas and not bought off by illicit campaign funds.
Glenn Reynolds writes today in the NYPost: “WHETHER or not Barack Obama wins election tomorrow, his campaign has exposed some gaping weaknesses in the electoral process – and some even more serious problems with today’s mass media. The question is whether the political establishment will be willing to do anything about them.”
More from National Journal’s Neil Munro and Obama Shrugged.
OCTOBER 22, 2008
Obama’s donor credit card fraud problem
More than a week ago, a north Kansas City couple blew the whistle on credit card fraud benefiting the Obama campaign.
Investigative journalist Ken Timmerman has uncovered more:
What do Bart Simpson, Family Guy, Daffy Duck, King Kong, O.J. Simpson, and Raela Odinga have in common?
All are celebrities; and with the exception of Odinga and O.J. Simpson, they also are fictional characters. And yet, all of them gave money earlier this month to the campaign of Barack Obama, without any apparent effort by the campaign to screen them out as suspect donors.
…The Obama campaign has turned a blind eye to the possibility of donor fraud. Reportedly, during the heated primary battle with Hillary Clinton, the Obama campaign “turned off” many of the security features on its online donor page, allowing any person with a valid credit card number to donate using any name or address.
Typically, card merchants require a cardholder’s name to match critical personal details, such as an address or, at the least, a ZIP code.
Though in recent months the Obama campaign has tightened up security and restored some of the security features used by merchants to weed out fraud, it still has left open easy ways for potential credit card fraud, including techniques similar to those employed by terrorists and drug traffickers to launder illicit funds.
For example, on Oct. 14, an individual using the name “O.J. Simpson” participated in Obama’s latest small-donor fundraising drive, making a $5 donation through the campaign’s Web site.
Giving a Los Angeles address, he listed his employer as the “State of Nevada” and his occupation as “convict.” The donor used a disposable “gift” credit card to make the donation.
The Obama campaign sent O.J. a thank-you note confirming his contribution, and gave him the name of another donor who had agreed to “match” his contribution.
Four minutes earlier, an individual using the name “Raela Odinga” also made a $5 contribution, using the same credit card.
The real Raela Odinga became prime minister of Kenya in April and has claimed to be a cousin of Obama’s through a maternal uncle…
“Good Will” and “Doodad Pro” have already been accounted for; no word yet on whether Mickey Mouse has charged his Visa yet for Hope and Change.
OCTOBER 1, 2008
Homeless Ohioans for Obama registering in droves; Plus: Meet Mr. “Good Will” and “Mr. Doodad Pro”
Oh, dear Lord. We are so screwed. Watch this:

The guy promoting the free taxi program to register the homeless in Ohio exults: “It’s a perfect opportunity for them to come in, register at a temporary address like a homeless shelter or a YMCA or something like that. They can register at that address because they don’t know where they’re going to be tomorrow or next week.”
Another woman describes trolling bus stops and picking up prospects: “I asked ‘em if they’re registered to vote and if they weren’t, I said ‘Get in the car, I’m bringing you!’”
A homeless thug now registered to vote comments: “They picked me up. They seen me walkin’ around. So day said, ‘You wanna vote?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll vote.’ (laughs) Day said, ‘We’ll take you anywhere you want.’ I said, ‘Dat’s cool’…If day say ‘sign the ballot,’ just give ‘em and do exactly what they want you to do.’ I mean, hey, dis is America, you know?” (laughs).
Who does this new voter support?
“Barack! I mean, I want him to do his thang. You know, do his thug thizzle. You know. That’s how I like it to be. You know. (laughs).”
Organizers hoped to sign up 1,000 like him by the end of the day yesterday — and more all week.
Palestra reporter Shelby Holliday who intervewed the goons has a blog post on her encounters here.
ACORN, as you know, is heavily involved in these fraud-riddled voter registration efforts in Ohio.
Ohio-based blog Third Base Politics adds:
An unnamed source…related a heartwarming story of a 15 passenger van dropping off a load of drunk, homeless guys at Vet’s Memorial in Columbus. The organizers were just trying to allow these men to exercise their right to vote, but it seemed that they were all too drunk to get in line. What commenced was a “homeless rodeo” where the organizers had to wrangle the men from the parking lot and load them back in the van.

Speaking of voter fraud, Ken Timmerman sifts through Obama’s campaign donation records and finds some very phony baloney contributors:
In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as “Will, Good” from Austin, Texas. Mr. Good Will listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You.”
A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25. In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.
Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 — still well over the $4,600 limit.
There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama’s Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.
In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there’s no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.
Similarly, a donor identified as “Pro, Doodad,” from “Nando, NY,” gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as “Loving” and his profession as “You,” just as Good Will had done. But in some of them, he didn’t even go this far, apparently picking letters at random to fill in the blanks on the credit card donation form. In these cases, he said he was employed by “VCX” and that his profession was “VCVC.”
Following FEC requests, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro in February 2008. In all, about $8,425 was charged back to a credit card. But that still left a net total of $11,165 as of Sept. 20, way over the individual limit of $4,600. Here again, LaBolt pledged that the contributions would be returned but gave no date.
In February, after just 93 donations, Doodad Pro had already gone over the $2,300 limit for the primary. He was over the $4,600 limit for the general election one month later. In response to FEC complaints, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro even before he reached these limits. But his credit card was the gift that kept on giving. His most recent un-refunded contributions were on July 7, when he made 14 separate donations, apparently by credit card, of $25 each.
Just as with Mr. Good Will, there can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed the contributions, since its Sept. 20 report specified that Doodad’s cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $10,965.
Andy McCarthy sums up:
Bottom line: the would-be President of the World is raising goo-gobs of money from foreigners outside the United States (a violation of federal law), and matching goo-gobs of money inside the United States from phantoms who are blowing out the individual contribution limits by, among other devices, making up identies and breaking up contributions in amounts less than $200, for which reporting requirements are less rigorous.
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Unaccountable: PAC ActBlue Tops Political Donors with Online Donations
Original FReeper research | 09/16/2012 | FReeper Fedora
Posted on Sunday, September 16, 2012 2:33:37 AM by Fedora
If you asked Americans who carries the most clout in political funding, liberals would typically answer corporations, while conservatives might name labor unions, and both would have a point, but few would probably think to mention a PAC called ActBlue. In fact, however, since its launch in June 2004, this PAC has become America's top political donor, ahead of both the AFSCME and AT&T in contributions made between 1989 and 2012, according to data compiled from FEC sources by the Center for Responsive Politics. According to ActBlue's own website, the organization had raised over $290 million in contributions as of September 16, 2012. Per the Center for Responsive Politics' most recent tallies, over $18 million of this total was raised during 2011-2012, with leading chunks going to California Democratic Congressional candidates, among others.Where is this money coming from? Well, here's the interesting part: anyone can donate online. ActBlue functions as a clearinghouse for donations raised from other sources. If an individual or organization wants to raise money through other online or mobile channels, they can funnel it through ActBlue.The Direct Route: A Soros ConnectionSometimes the donations are made directly, if quietly. For example, one investigator was able to document an instance of ActBlue receiving a donation from George Soros, whose fundraising organization Democracy Alliance has maintained a behind-the-scenes relationship with ActBlue. (For more on this, see Andrew Stiles' article "The Soros Summit -FB exclusive:Inside the secret Miami meeting-George Soros’s liberal conspiracy ", posted on FR with commentary by STARWISE.)The Indirect Route: Another Soros ConnectionSometimes the donations are more indirect. For example, one fundraising partner of ActBlue is the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), another PAC dedicated to electing what it characterizes as "bold progressives."The PCCC was cofounded by Adam Green, former Strategic Campaigns and Civic Communications Director for Soros' funding vehicle MoveOn.org, and Stephanie Taylor, who worked for the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO before joining Green at MoveOn.org. Using channels such as former Congressman Alan Grayson and actions like the Wisconsin Recall, the PCCC has pushed Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration to support an even more radical agenda, with an insistence so confrontational and uncompromising that more establishment-oriented fundraisers like former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have labeled it tactically "retarded."This official contempt, however, has not stopped the PCCC from contributing significantly to Democratic coffers. Riding the coattails of Elizabeth Warren's warm-up for Bill Clinton's speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the PCCC placed ads on Google and Facebook, the latter using ActBlue to sell t-shirts and bumper stickers displaying the slogan "I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party."Where's the Accountability?The PCCC is operating openly here, but what's to stop anonymous contributors and front groups from using channels like, say, PayPal to send donations to external sites for funneling through ActBlue? Apparently nothing. In November 2008 Michelle Malkin followed up on the research of Kenneth Timmerman by quoting an insider source who opined:
I have over 7 years experience in the payment services industry, and I have never seen such flagrant disregard for online security as I have seen on Obama’s Website and ACTBLUE (DNC PAC). In an age of identity theft and rampant online fraud, it is unconscionable for anyone to maintain an ecommerce site without the basic security features.. .There is no plausible explanation for these security violations other than wanting to skirt around campaign finance rules. I would vigorously argue that a large portion of Obama’s $579 million in individual contributions is in violation of campaign finance laws. Many donations may have been made by non US citizens, made in excess of the $2,300 individual limit, and made on stolen credit card numbers. . .This fraudulent donation scandal goes deeper than just the presidential election. 33 Democratic Candidates running for Senate have sites that are out of compliance. And a large number of Democratic House seats as well.
That was 2008. Has anything changed in the last four years? Perhaps, but if so, the updates went far enough below the radar that I did not find anything about them while writing this piece. As far as I know, the donations remain unaccountable. But to be sure, not uncounted.

To: Fedora; RedMDer; trisham; TheOldLady; musicman; vox_freedom; JoeProBono; The Cajun; FReepers; ...
Thanks, Fedora.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
FEC to Investigate 2008 Atlas EXCLUSIVE: Obama’s Secret Campaign Cash: Millions from Foreign Sources
Newsmax is reporting that the Federal Election Commission is finally investigating the story I broke back in 2008 on all of the improper campaign contributions, foreign money and illegal donations to the Obama campaign. Newsmax cites Ken Timmerman’s article, but I broke the story that Timmerman writes about (all posts here), and it was well documented in my book: The Post American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.
Obama’s 2008 campaign finance records are full of riddles, mysteries, and unanswered questions. Contributing nearly $25,000 to the Obama campaign was Monir Edwan, who was listed on FEC documents as contributing from the city of Rafah in the state “GA.” Georgia? No – there is no Rafah in the Peach State. Monir Edwan sent money to Obama from Rafah, Gaza.
Rafah is a Gaza refugee camp.
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) “prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly.
It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.”[i]
Yet no one has found it noteworthy that Barack Hussein Obama himself appears to be in violation of this statute.
According to the FEC, contributions to the Obama campaign from three brothers, Osama, Monir and Hosam Edwan, all from Rafah, totaled $33,000.[ii] And they weren’t alone. Al-Jazeera reported on March 31, 2008 that Gazans were manning phone banks for the Obama campaign.[iii]
The brothers were vocal in their “love” for Obama – which in itself spoke volumes to Obama’s campaign. The media showed no interest, but Obama pricked up his ears. He smelled trouble; even though no reporters asked him about these contributions, he answered anyway.
The Obama campaign contended in the summer of 2008 that they had returned $33,500 in illegal contributions from Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza – despite the fact that records do not show that it was returned, and the brothers said they did not receive any money. And indeed, Obama’s refunds and redesignations on file with the FEC show no refund to Osama, Hossam, or Monir Edwan in the Rafah refugee camp.
One of the Gazan brothers, Monir Edwan, claimed that he bought “Obama for President” t-shirts off Obama’s website, and then sold the shirts in Gaza for a profit. All purchases on the Barack Obama website are considered contributions. The brothers allegedly claimed that they were American citizens – so said the Obama camp.
They listed their address with the zip code 972 (ironically, the area code for Israel) and entered “GA,” the state abbreviation for Georgia, as their location, while actually living, as we have seen, in a Hamas-controlled refugee camp. If Obama’s people thought they were dealing with American citizens from Georgia, why did they ship the t-shirts that Monir Edwan ordered to the correct address in Gaza?
Shipping overseas to a Gaza refugee camp is vastly different from sending a package to the state next door.
On Watchdog.net, a site that monitors campaign contributions, Monir Edwan is listed as Barack Obama’s Top Contributor, giving $24,313 between October 27, 2007 and November 11, 2007.[iv] Intriguingly, however, although it gives zip codes and other details for the other four of Obama’s top five individual contributors, it provides no additional information at all for Monir Edwan – and Edwan’s link is the only dead one on the Watchdog page.
Why did Palestinians in a Gaza refugee camp have such love for Obama in the summer of 2008? Did they know he was going to run a jihad presidency?
Did Jamal M. Barzinji know the same thing?
Jamal M. Barzinji gave the Obama campaign $1,000.
Dr. Jamal M. al-Barzinji is a noted American businessman and political operative. He has most recently been associated with, notably, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). The IIIT is linked to the international Islamic organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a May 22, 1991 document entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” the Brotherhood lays out a plan to do nothing less than conquer and Islamize the United States. The Brotherhood’s success in America would ultimately further the even larger goal of establishing “the global Islamic state.”[v]
The Brotherhood memorandum includes “a list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends,” with the appended note: “Imagine if they all march according to one plan!!!” Among these organizations are some of the most prominent “moderate Muslim” organizations in the U.S. today, including the IIIT as well as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); the Muslim Students Association (MSA); the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT); the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA); the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), out of which emerged in 1994 the most prominent Muslim group in the United States, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA); and many others.
The memorandum also explains that Muslim Brotherhood operatives “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”[vi]
According to the Wall Street Journal, Jamal Barzinji also has business ties to a Muslim Brotherhood activist, Youssef Nada.[vii] And the destruction of Israel is high on the jihadist agenda. After 9/11, federal agents raided Barzinji’s office and home. An affidavit filed in federal court charges that “Barzinji is not only closely associated with PIJ (as evidenced by ties to al-Arian, including documents seized in Tampa), but also with Hamas.”[viii]
PIJ is the jihad terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Just as disturbing were the phone banks in Gaza campaigning for Obama. Muslims in Gaza methodically worked the phones in Internet cafes, calling Americans and doing everything they could to influence the vote.[ix]
When New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler was confronted with the Gaza phone banks issue while campaigning for Obama in South Florida in early November 2008 said that if there “really were phone banks in Gaza, that would be a major campaign issue.” He said it would be all over the media and be a major problem for the campaign. And he laughed at the idea that Obama was receiving campaign contributions from Gaza. The mainstream media laughed along with him, continuing its refusal to cover this explosive story.
If there had been just one questionable tie, one link to jihadist entities, one link to groups advocating the destruction of Israel, Barack Obama might have merited the free pass he got from the mainstream media about this. But there were so many.
And to this day they have never been explained.
ANYone EVER heard of the results of this so-called FEC investigation???
6posted on Sunday, September 16, 2012 9:56:44 AMby STARWISE(The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)

To: Fedora; RedMDer; trisham; TheOldLady; musicman; vox_freedom; JoeProBono; The Cajun; FReepers; ...
By An Authorized Committee of a
Candidate For the Office of President or Vice President
(Summary Page, FEC FORM 3P)
PO Box 8102
Chicago, Illinois 60680
2. FEC Committee ID #: C00431445
3. This report contains activity for a Primary Election
4. Report Type: August Monthly
For election on 11/06/2012
Filed 08/20/2012
Presidential Campaign Finance Summaries
Sign-up to receive e-mail notification when Presidential summaries are updated. Sign-up to receive e-mail notification when Presidential summaries are updated.
Documents on this page in [EXCEL] format can be viewed using Excel from Microsoft.
Those documents here in [PDF] format can be viewed using Acrobat Reader from Adobe.
Odd-Year Presidential Activity | Even-Year Presidential Activity
Note: Summary data contained in the spreadsheets and PDFs below were calculated by adding columns A from the Detailed Summary Pages of FEC Forms 3X of presidential candidates across all filings for the relevant election cycle. Please be aware that these spreadsheets and PDFs were produced immediately after filing deadlines and therefore, amended reports filed by committees at a later time are not reflected in the data below.
Even-Year Presidential Activity

To: Fedora; piasa; All
Welcome ..
2008 Politics
Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed.
This Story
Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.
In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for Obama’s accounting team as it has tried to explain why campaign finance filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to further test Obama’s finance vetting by giving money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.
The problem with such cards, campaign finance lawyers said, is that they make it impossible to tell whether foreign nationals, donors who have exceeded the limits, government contractors or others who are barred from giving to a federal campaign are making contributions.
“They have opened the floodgates to all this money coming in,” said Sean Cairncross, chief counsel to the Republican National Committee.

To: Fedora

Thanks Star.

Par for the course of corrupt democrat party politics.

1996 United States campaign finance controversy
The 1996 United States campaign finance controversy, also known as Chinagate, was an alleged effort by the People's Republic of China to influence domestic American politics during the 1996 federal elections.
The issue first received public attention in early 1997, with news that a Justice Department investigation had uncovered evidence that agents of China sought to direct contributions to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in violation of U.S. laws regarding foreign political contributions.[1] The Chinese government denied all accusations. Twenty-two people were eventually convicted of fraud or for funneling Asian funds into the United States elections, and others fled U.S. jurisdiction. Several of these were associates of Bill Clinton or Al Gore.
17posted on Sunday, September 16, 2012 5:11:57 PMby RedMDer(https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93destr)

Great find with that Post article! It highlights a few of the key issues: said Sean Cairncross, chief counsel to the Republican National Committee. "I think they've made the determination that whatever money they have to refund on the back end doesn't outweigh the benefit of taking all this money upfront.". . .SNIP Lawyers for the Obama operation said yesterday that their "extensive back-end review" has carefully scrubbed contributions to prevent illegal money from entering the operation's war chest. "I'm pretty sure if I took my error rate and matched it against any other campaign or comparable nonprofit, you'd find we're doing very well," said Robert Bauer, a lawyer for the campaign. "I have not seen the McCain compliance staff ascending to heaven on a cloud.SNIP When asked whether the campaign takes steps to verify whether a donor's name matches the name on the credit card used to make a payment, Obama's campaign replied in an e-mail: "Name-matching is not a standard check conducted or made available in the credit card processing industry. We believe Visa and MasterCard do not even have the ability to do this. "Instead, the campaign does a rigorous comprehensive analysis of online contributions on the back end of the transaction to determine whether a contribution is legitimate."Juan Proaño, whose technology firm handled online contributions for John Edwards's presidential primary campaign, and for John F. Kerry's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2004, said it is possible to require donors' names and addresses to match those on their credit card accounts. But, he said, some campaigns are reluctant to impose that extra layer of security. SNIP Campaign finance lawyers said there is a long history of debate within the FEC about how to ensure that donors use their own credit cards.Election lawyer Brett Kappel said the FEC has never grappled with the question of cash cards. "The whole system is set up for them to accept the payment, then determine whether it is legal or not. And if it's not, send it back. That's what the statute requires," he said. So to sum up minus the evasions, the campaign financing lawyers' position in plain English is: 1. It's okay to accept illegal contributions before the election as long as you refund them after the election. 2. It's okay to accept illegal contributions as long as you can accuse the other guy of doing the same. The Democrats' lawyers are on the record in the above article advocating these positions in not so many words. Does the Obama administration endorse this message? If not, what steps have they taken to correct the above abuses? This is the same kind of thing Woodward and Bernstein were all over the RNC for during Watergate. Four years later, where's this story from 2008? If the Post won't follow up on its own reporting, let's do it for them.
18posted on Sunday, September 16, 2012 8:00:46 PMby Fedora

To: Fedora
They could care less about adhering to any rules .. it’s all about grabbing as much $$$ as possible and dealing with the consequences later. Same as 2008.
In CC transactions (I used to do them), when you swipe the card, you have to put in all kinds of info about the buyer/contributor. Obama’s team skirted those spots, leaving the source location a mystery. I’ve NO doubt they’re skirting the law today. Probably getting bushels from the muslim brotherhood, PLO, Gaza residents, Saudi Arabia, Arab and other islamists, etc.
The Prohibition
The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
Who is a Foreign National?
The following groups and individuals are considered “foreign nationals” and are, therefore, subject to the prohibition:
Foreign governments;
Foreign political parties;
Foreign corporations;
Foreign associations;
Foreign partnerships;
Individuals with foreign citizenship; and
Immigrants who do not have a “green card.”
See how simply $25, $50, $100 cash cards make it to scam and foul our elections?
19posted on Sunday, September 16, 2012 8:13:32 PMby STARWISE(The overlords are in place .. we are a nation under siege .. pray, go Galt & hunker down)

I wonder if any specific foreign national donations can be identified. On that note, here's a piece from April 2012 by the same author who originally broke the ActBlue story in 2008, Pamela Geller. Geller reports that illegal credit card contributions continue this year, answering the question poseed at the end of my article: Obama Campaign Contribution Fraud Continues: Donor Adolf Hitler, 123 Nuremburg Way, Berlin, GermanyA number of Atlas readers and FB friends have advised me that the credit card fraud is in full swing again. Adrian Murray went to barackobama.com and donated $3 using the name Adolph Hitler, 123 Nuremburg Way, Berlin, Germany, and for good measure put in Dictator of Nazi Party as employer. Got an email back saying Dear Adolph, Thank you for your generous donation….Because the Obama campaign does not require the CVV 3-digit security code for credit card charges, anyone can donate to Obama’s campaign from anywhere.The media, in its continuing act of perfidy and criminally corrupt silence, says nothing, does nothing and refuses to report on these blatant election fraud abuses. And it's happening again. Now.
20posted on Sunday, September 16, 2012 8:51:19 PMby Fedora

Another good piece on this from 2008, adding the observation that illegal contributions would probably not be returned (so were they?): The Obama Campaign’s Credit-Card Crack-upThe campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has been and may still be accepting credit-card and prepaid-card contributions from overseas. It has done so in a way that may very likely prevent it from refunding the contributions to “donors,” many of whom may have had their credit cards used without their consent. It’s virtually impossible that the system for accepting card contributions was inadvertently set up without adequate controls, and almost certain that existing controls were instead deliberately disabled to create untraceability. Finally, it is likely that the total dollar amounts involved run in millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars.And the comments include this very interesting item: Hillary brought up the same complaints about the Obama contribution schemes when she was running against him. In that instance they found many $2K contributions from non-English speaking Chinese working at a laundromat. And the MSM brushed it aside as they do now.
22posted on Sunday, September 16, 2012 9:01:23 PMby Fedora

To: Fedora
There were jillions of intentional, fraudulent campaign donations:

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