The campaign to re-elect Barack Obama has raised almost $950 million dollars this election cycle. How much of that is illegal?
The Daily Caller is reporting that the Obama campaign "illegally solicited" foreign donations through a social media site:
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has been soliciting foreigners for donations, an explosive report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute (GAI) shows. Those foreign donors are allegedly visiting the Obama campaign's donation solicitation Web pages through a social media website the campaign controls, and through an outside website that serves mostly Internet users from outside the United States.
About 20 percent of visitors to the "my.barackobama.com" social media website "originated from foreign locations," the report found. That Web address is owned and controlled by the Obama re-election campaign.
"At no point during the [website's] subscription process is a visitor asked whether he or she can legally donate to a U.S. election," GAI notes.
"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."
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," GAI explains. But Obama's campaign "employs various techniques to gather email and other data on the friends and associations of [the site's] members to further the campaign's fundraising efforts."
Washington Examiner writer Paul Bedard reported last week that a fundraising scandal would soon hit the Obama campaign, and may have been one reason why the president bumbled his way to failure during Wednesday's debate against Mitt Romney.
Federal law prohibits "a foreign national, directly or indirectly," from making "a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value ... in connection with a Federal, State, or local election. The same section of law makes it a federal crime to "solicit, accept, or receive" such campaign contributions.
The Obama campaign was accused of doing the same thing in 2008, but the FEC exonerated them of those violations. This time, there appears to be a concious and concerted effort to solicit funds from overseas.
The FEC almost certainly will not act before the election. An investigation will take months. But perhaps Romney and the Super Pacs can bring this to the voter's attention and ask just to whom Obama is working for?