Patterico's Pontifications

10/21/2012

Obama Campaign Provably Accepts Foreign Donation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:09 am



While Mitt Romney rejected it:

The Obama re-election campaign has accepted at least one foreign donation in violation of the law — and does nothing to check on the provenance of millions of dollars in other contributions, a watchdog group alleges.

Chris Walker, a British citizen who lives outside London, told The Post he was able to make two $5 donations to President Obama’s campaign this month through its Web site while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney cash was rejected. It is illegal to knowingly solicit or accept money from foreign citizens.

Walker said he used his actual street address in England but entered Arkansas as his state with the Schenectady, NY, ZIP code of 12345.

“When I did Romney’s, the payment got rejected on the grounds that the address on the card did not match the address that I entered,” he said. “Romney’s Web site wanted the code from the back of card. Barack Obama’s didn’t.”

All the people who told us that this was impossible because Obama was verifying the addresses (hi, “Geek, Esq.”!) will have to come up with a new argument. It’s only $10! It happened only once, I mean twice. Fill in lame argument here.

Big Media will ignore this. Which is why Mitt Romney can’t let them.

Why, this sounds an awful lot like a foreign policy issue. If only there were some high profile event coming up very very soon where foreign policy would take center stage . . .

55 Responses to “Obama Campaign Provably Accepts Foreign Donation”

  1. Time for some quotes from Geek, Esq.

    Start with this one:

    Note that AVS systems are used by credit card companies, and that the Obama online donation form requires a US address. So, the only kind of fraud that could slip through the cracks is identity theft situations where someone commits wire fraud in order to make small donations.

    Comment by Geek, Esq. — 10/8/2012 @ 10:27 am

    Patterico (8b3905)

  2. Then this one:

    If you give an address that doesn’t match your address on file with the bank who issued your credit card, it’ll get rejected. This is web commerce 101.

    Comment by Geek, Esq. — 10/8/2012 @ 10:30 am

    Web commerce 101, people!

    Patterico (8b3905)

  3. Or this one:

    The problem is that there is no problem. You need a US address to donate, and that address needs to match the credit card information. Otherwise, the transaction will get kicked.

    Comment by Geek, Esq. — 10/8/2012 @ 10:42 am

    Uh-huh.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  4. It’s impossible:

    1. The Obama campaign form requires a US address. Go ahead, try and submit something with an address in China or Russia or even Mexico. Note that “State” and “Zip code” are required fields in the form entry.

    2. Merchants have to use credit card network security protocols. That includes asking for addresses for online transactions. The Obama campaign would not be given the option by credit card issuers or networks to opt out of AVS.

    Comment by Geek, Esq. — 10/8/2012 @ 10:56 am

    I’m going to stop now, but there are easily five more comments along the same lines in that thread from Geek, Esq.

    Who is going to come in and call the guy in the story a LIAR!!!!1!! because it is IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!!!!111!1! to beat the credit card verification that he just knows Obama has in place.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  5. Racist!

    Colonel Haiku (58a9e0)

  6. I will call Geek Esq a lying liar.

    JD (8a1df4)

  7. A lying liar who lies!

    htom (412a17)

  8. Obama must have received “faulty intelligence” about the credit card processing software. In a couple of weeks, Hillary Clinton will step up and take the blame, I’m sure.
    Anyhow, we can’t really trust this Obama person when it comes to technology. After all, he apparently just found out about ATMs in 2011 when he claimed they were displacing old-fashioned bank tellers, and thereby eliciting the unemployment rate to remain high during his tenure.

    If that guy in Britain wants to donate to the campaign, why doesn’t he just hop on the “intercontinental” railroad, and c’mon over to the States and donate the money without difficulty ?

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  9. it takes a willing
    suspension of disbelief
    are they not clowns? yes

    Colonel Haiku (58a9e0)

  10. Sounds like Obama’s CC verification system is not optimal and Romney’s contains binders of safeguards.

    Coldwhite Desiato (d9866b)

  11. _____________________________________________

    2. Merchants have to use credit card network security protocols. That includes asking for addresses for online transactions. The Obama campaign would not be given the option by credit card issuers or networks to opt out of AVS.

    The fact the credit-card system has been gamed for people logging on to Obama’s website, or at sites that accept contributions for him, indicates just how dishonest and tricky his crowd is.

    I’ve read previously about certain people’s credit-card statements showing a debit for the Obama campaign, even though such card holders don’t support him or ever made a contribution to his re-election. So that means some card numbers are being used fraudulently, coming and going.

    And liberals like Obama were up in arms when the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that limits on corporate campaign contributions weren’t constitutional? The phoniness and hypocrisy of such people are mind-boggling. Absurd and sickening beyond belief.

    Mark (d703a0)

  12. Anyone who had bothered to spend an hour reading merchant account terms would know that Geek Esq was fabricating.

    SPQR (da3cf0)

  13. It’s so funny to listen to the lefties lecture everyone about everything that’s wrong and fraudulent and unfair and corrupt about America—particularly within the narrow context of campaign contributions by evil corporations and diabolical rich people.

    Yet they’re completely relaxed and carefree and certain there’s simply zero chance of credit card fraud in campaign contributions made by people who intentionally type in a false address which does not match that of the cardholder, and the lefties also assert there’s zero chance of fraud in voting without photo ID, and there’s zero chance of fraud in facillitating welfare and food stamps.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  14. Beyond saying squirrel! Bindergate! etc., what are the leftard obama suppository sites saying about all this? I’m curious about the defense offered by the usual suspects, DU/CodePink/Kos/LGF/Moron.org. And What are the remedies anyway? I suppose just change the subject or say you’re desperate bitching about this, like you did calling out Candy Crowley for bias when you are losing. BTW, CNN has an ad out defending the vegetarian who apologized on low- ratings CNN afterwards.

    Calypso Louis Farrakhan (e799d8)

  15. you,you may say i’m a liar,
    and you’re not the only one.
    i hope one day you will join us,
    and re-elect Teh Won.

    John Lenin (403dff)

  16. This really, really needs to be fixed for the future. And Schenectady has a great zip code.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. Comment by SPQR — 10/21/2012 @ 11:50 am

    Anyone who had bothered to spend an hour reading merchant account terms would know that Geek Esq was fabricating. </i.

    He might just not be familiar with the facts. The whole point is that the usual credit card verification system is turned off by the Obama campaign. A person does apparently have to claim a state, but nothing verifies that the address exists or even that the Zip code is right for the state. Still less that the billing address matches the one on file for the credit card.

    In what cases are we talking about? When somone wants to contribute less than $200 to he Obama campaign (contributions of $200 or less do not need to be individually reported, not is other information asked fr)

    Now when it comes to buying trinkets from the Obama campaign, then the verification system is turned on.

    Sammy Finkelman (047868)

  18. ___________________________________________

    by evil corporations and diabolical rich people.

    And such liberals also shrug off the fact that Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury (and, in turn, head of the IRS) is a known tax cheat, along with some other members of the current White House.

    With such integrity-challenged people in positions of high power, it’s not a case of “vast leftwing conspiracy” paranoia to suspect the way the bureaucracy may have dealt with, may be dealing with, or will deal with anti-Obama people who are Republicans, conservatives or non-liberals.

    Mark (d703a0)

  19. @ Calypso Louis Farrakhan,

    They don’t seem to concerned at this point in time. Why should they be – IIRC, Palestinians donated 30k in 2008 and it didn’t cause them too much grief.

    They have little to say,

    An Obama campaign official told Fox News the claims were ‘baseless’ and insisted there were ‘robust safeguards’ in place to prevent improper donations.

    Dana (292dcf)

  20. He might just not be familiar with the facts.

    Apparently you did not actually read the prior thread, Sammy. This was pointed out to the pedantic Geek, who maintained the ostrich position in order to advance its sophistry.

    JD (8a1df4)

  21. During the 2008 election “a friend” tried to make a $5 donation with valid Mastercard number, false expiration date, false name (Osama binladen), false address (111 Cave Street), etc. It showed up on his next month’s statement.

    eclecticmn (e10a19)

  22. Forgot to mention. Regarding the 2008 election the $5 donation was to Obama.

    eclecticmn (e10a19)

  23. C’mon, George Soros needs to get that money to Obama somehow, why not a fraud ridden website?

    BeeKay (045e37)

  24. “If only”

    As Rubio said today, Urkel has given up on a concrete economic plans for a 2nd term. The one overarching interest of voters.

    He has thrown in the towel all but publicly.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  25. “what are the leftard obama suppository sites saying about all this? I’m curious about the defense offered by the usual suspects, DU/CodePink/Kos/LGF/Moron.org.”

    Calypso – As Dana points out, the Obama campaign claims there are rigorous manual quality controls in place to prevent unauthorized contributions. This is the same rigorous quality control BS excuse we heard from ACORN about bogus voter registration forms that got exploded to hell in one of the FBI investigations of the organization.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  26. Comment by Sammy Finkelman — 10/21/2012 @ 12:06 pm

    You are increasingly resembling a parody of yourself, Sammy.

    SPQR (768505)

  27. Posted my comment on the older thread.. oops. Pamela Geller conducted an investigation on this problem in the 08 election. Perhaps she would re-post her results. She found several large donations from foreign donors. Also, I’m not sure which blog was hosting all the experimentation. But I remember people posted that they donated as Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler to the 08 Obama campaign with no problems or ID check. One guy listed his name as Gobbels and address as ### Riechstag- and of course, his donation was accepted.

    GhostOnTheWind (bffd16)

  28. daleyrocks:

    As Dana points out, the Obama campaign claims there are rigorous manual quality controls in place to prevent unauthorized contributions.

    Like the “rigorous analysis of the impact of the path-breaking Recovery Act of 2009″ (a/k/a the Stimulus)? Or like “the need to use evidence and rigorous evaluation in budget, management, and policy decisions to make government work effectively”?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  29. It will be the same excuse they use with voter ID. It rarely ever happens and lots of Americans will not be able to contribute if they need to prove themselves. After all expats with foreign accounts blah blah blah . . .

    Dawnsblood (fbd76c)

  30. Over at Powerline, according to Iran’s mullahs, the GOP stole the 2000 and 2004 elections but were unable to do so in 2008. Seems romney minions control black-box apparatus to manipulate the votes. Apparently the whackjobs are panicking. 1980 election Redux? At least they’re not talking Zionist conspiracy.

    calypso louis farrakhan (e1062d)

  31. “Seems romney minions control black-box apparatus to manipulate the votes.”

    Calypso – Any idea if the Mullahs are funding Frad Briedman’s blog?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  32. DRJ – You’re on the right track! It’s also like the rigorous cost benefit analysis the EPA subjects its proposed regulations to prior to their issuance. To the left, it has become a word without meaning, but it sure sounds good to the uninformed.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. As an aside, my rule of thumb that people that refer to themselves in the 3rd person, or use the appellation of Esq to honor themselves is a consistent and accurate measure of a person – they are almost always mendoucheous twatwaffles. Geek Esq was just the most recent example.

    JD (318f81)

  34. At the least they may well be using his conspiracy theories about Bain. I guess Frad is an aging hippie, given his memories of Progressive icon McGovern. Hoping choom gets buried in a landslide and looking forward to Mittens Derangement Syndrome/Romney=Hitler.

    calypso louis farrakhan (a80db9)

  35. I am a web designer and developer and hae set up many ecommerce sites. The processor provides you with sample code to process payments that includes address matching. So what the Obama team did was throw away the code that was handed to them and set the security level down to only checking if it was a valid credit card and nothing else. There are all kinds of security check you can require … and disable. I have 15 years of experience in the field I’ll put up against “Geek, Esq.” all day long, any day of the week.

    The Armchair Pundit (030457)

  36. Oh, Geek! I remember him with exactly the same clarity and fondness with which I remember that bad case of measles I suffered through as a child.

    Beldar (1bf096)

  37. I’m pretty sure that Geek, Esq. will come in any moment now to defend himself. Really.

    JVW (f5695c)

  38. Silly rabbit, rules are for Republicans!

    Merovign (f827eb)

  39. You didn’t build that credit card verification system!

    No, seriously, you didn’t build it. What, did you forget or something? Kinda important, ya know.

    Icy (e24ec9)

  40. Look if it weren’t for fraudulent donors funneling money to Obama, he would have to use more government workers on government time in his campaign. While this might seem like a good thing at first blush, it would effectively mean that economy would shut down. For example it is illegal to sell gas from pumps which haven’t been inspected the state department of agriculture (varies by state but that’s a common one), if all the inspectors had been in the office placing calls telling people to vote for Obama, then no one will be able to buy gas. We should all thank Mr. Doodad Pro for being so generous and helping keep the economy chugging moving gasping along at the great pace it is.

    max (131bc0)

  41. The NYPost article goes on to quote Mr. Walker that he received 2 or 3 E-mails that same day from the Obama campaign asking him to donate up to $188 more to the campaign. Interestingly, that would keep his total under the $200 threshold for individual contribution reporting requirements.

    Taking foreign contributions AND borrowing money for the campaign? The stink of desperation is strong.

    Ralph Gizzipq (5ab3ea)

  42. I hope Patterico has never been assigned to prosecute credit card fraud cases. Because this post stinks of ignorance regarding how an AVS works. You’ll notice that there’s no record of the payment going through. Because that’s the stage–you know, money actually changing hands–where the AVS would flag the transaction.

    Erick Erickson did the exact same thing–entered bogus address, got payment accepted at website, but his donation wound up getting rejected before money changed hands.

    So, what we have here is the standard wingnut ignorance of the distinction between incomplete accusations and conclusory assertions on one hand and facts, evidence, and proof on the other.

    Man up, Patterico, and try your own $5 donation like this guy did. Then post appropriately redacted logs of your card being billed.

    Geek, Esq. (2815e9)

  43. Da geek do do (sic) insist. Obama has disabled provenance. All his site cares is, “I can haz the money?” That’s what Chris Walker proved, geek (sic).

    nk (875f57)

  44. Geek Esp is priceless.

    JD (318f81)

  45. Geek Esp is priceless.

    Does that mean he sells his services for free? Because that’s too cheap.

    Geek — how do you know there’s no record of the payment going through? And, actually, it’s the validation stage when the transaction would be rejected. Whoever told you that was either an Obama campaign official or a criminal.

    Have you never been hit by fraud and had your account locked? The transactions aren’t blocked later; they’re blocked at the moment of initiation.

    Rob Crawford (c55962)

  46. For Mitt tonight: “I admit that there are many people around the world who prefer President Obama to me. I guess that’s why his campaign web site accepts contributions from foreign citizens, even though that’s illegal.”

    Joshua (9ede0e)

  47. ______________________________________________

    So, what we have here is the standard wingnut ignorance of the distinction between incomplete accusations

    Have you ever personally adjusted an AVS system? I have, for a company I once worked for a few years ago. The AVS system that was integrated with their order-entry software originally had been configured to not accept transactions from non-US addresses. But when the business wanted to use the credit cards of certain customers residing in foreign countries (there were some customers in Europe, a few in Canada, a handful in South America, and perhaps a dozen in Asia), the settings were changed to begin accepting them. Until then, such transactions would be refused.

    At the very least, it’s a relatively simple procedure to modify the AVS system in order to ban transactions from accounts located in foreign locations.

    dailycaller.com, October 21, 2012:

    A soon to be released report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute shows that President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has increasingly collected more electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes throughout the 2012 campaign cycle. From February through June this year the GAI findings reported that the Obama campaign collected $175,816.26 in electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes. One month later, the campaign raised $411,369.55 through such donations and $197,464.59 in August.

    By the end of September, the Obama campaign raked in $2,199,204.38 – thanks to donations from non-existent ZIP codes.

    “A robust anti-fraud address verification system (AVS) would require an accurate zip code to process a credit card transaction,” the report reads. “The presence of large sums of donations without such basic address information suggests that some campaigns are using looser security settings than others.”

    GAI said an AVS system “compares the numerical portion of the address a donor enters to the numerical information on file with the credit card company for the card.”

    “For example, most pay-at-the-pump gas stations require customers to enter their zip code,” GAI added. “Enter the wrong zip code or none at all, the transaction is denied.”

    GAI said that when a political campaign uses such an AVS system, it’s “invisible to outsiders.”

    “This makes it impossible to definitively know whether campaigns are using the AVS,” GAI wrote. “Complicating the issue is the fact that the AVS system has multiple settings that allow a campaign to loosen the system to accept more donations with suspect addresses or zip codes, or tighten it to block any donation that lacks a correctly entered address or zip code.”

    Mark (d703a0)

  48. There is more robust AVS on gas station pumps than on the Obama fundraising site. Try to type in the wrong zip code at the pump and see how much gas you can buy.

    JD (8a1df4)

  49. When I try to order pizza online over here in the UK, if my address doesn’t match the one my bank has on file, the order is rejected right then. The online merchant tells me on the spot that my order didn’t go through. I can then correct it and get my order, or I can give up trying to order.

    Both the merchant AND the bank should protect the customer against fraud, both to protect the customer and itself.
    In Erickson’s case, the merchant (Obama’s campaign) didn’t protect the credit card holder by verifying the card details.

    And by waiting to catch the error until well after the time of the transaction, they lost the opportunity to ask the customer/donor to correct the card details and proceed with the order/donation.

    MayBee (4901b0)

  50. And by waiting to catch the error until well after the time of the transaction, they lost the opportunity to ask the customer/donor to correct the card details and proceed with the order/donation.

    And, hey, if the money shows up in their accounts for a while, then gets “refunded” when they “discover” it’s a fraud, well, the interest goes to the campaign, right?

    Rob Crawford (c55962)

  51. ==When I try to order pizza online over here in the UK, if my address doesn’t match the one my bank has on file, the order is rejected right then==

    Well sure, that’s one isolated example, MayBee. But tell us what happened when you tried to order steak and kidney pudding or fish’n chips.

    elissa (3ce65a)

  52. When I order steak and kidney pudding, they just assume must be British.

    MayBee (4901b0)

  53. 48.There is more robust AVS on gas station pumps than on the Obama fundraising site. Try to type in the wrong zip code at the pump and see how much gas you can buy.

    Comment by JD — 10/22/2012 @ 8:07 am

    Redbox, Netflicks, Amazon, Airport luggage carts at Dulles, and The Smithsonian Stores, The White House Souvenir Stand, the Store at the Lincoln Memorial and the Capital Cab company.

    EPWJ (4380b4)

  54. Someone needs to tell “Geek, Esq” about the PJMedia article with a scan of a bank statement showing the Obama campaign accepting illegal donations.

    Rob Crawford (c55962)

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