Obama Shrugs?

The authors of this blog are concerned internet professionals who have worked in and around e-commerce and internet marketing for over a decade.  We’ve taken to writing this blog due to the media’s unwillingness to tackle what is potentially one of the largest cases of fundraising fraud in presidential campaign history.  And since this is a topic near and dear to our hearts, we felt like this blog could help shine a bright light on the murky world of Obama’s  online campaign fundraising machine.

Recently, it has become abundantly clear that the Obama campaign has deliberately made it easy for motivated Obama supporters to violate campaign finance law. The Obama campaign has for some reason intentionally deactivated basic credit card fraud filters on its website, thereby allowing contributors give donations with fake names and addresses.  What this has done is essentially create a loophole for folks to circumvent federal election contribution limits (they can give more than $2,300 and nobody will ever know!).  And it creates an added bonus: it is now much easier to give illegal foreign donations as well!

This is not just rumor-mongering.  Several citizens have already tested the Obama campaign website by using purposely incorrect names and addresses.  And the results are in…the Obama campaign has accepted these donations and the respective credit card accounts were charged.  These fraudulent donations were accepted as a direct result of the Obama campaign deliberately turning off the basic fraud checks that are used to verify a credit cardholder’s address. It is almost unheard of for an online merchant to turn off these filters.  Afterall, who wants to ship a product to the wrong address? Today, it remains unclear why the Obama camp turned these filters off.

What are the ramifications? Well, the Obama campaign can accept an almost unlimited amount of money from any contributor by allowing them to repeatedly use false names and addresses with the same credit card for any online credit card donations.  This can also feasibly allow non-US citizens (who are legally prohibited from donating to any US political campaign) to donate to the Obama campaign by simply making up a United States address.   Depressingly, there are few real legal mechanisms to prevent this as the FEC reporting requirements for donations under $200 are minimal and the law hasn’t caught up with regulating these donations online.

To be clear, there is not PROOF that the Obama campaign has received millions of dollars of unethical donations.  But the Obama campaign’s complete disregard for the spirit of the law and the recent findings of donor fraud sure don’t look good.

Given the lazy and confusing reporting the mainstream press has so far offered the public, we feel a compelling need to stay on top of this issue until it is proven that the Obama campaign  did not -and is not- systematically accepting fraudulent donations.

There’s a simple way for the Obama campaign to clear this matter up.  All Obama has to do is simply release his campaign’s donor records (as have the McCain and Clinton campaigns).  If he has nothing to hide, Obama should welcome the request.  Obama talks about how we need more transparency in government, so let’s see him walk the talk.

4 Comments to “Obama Shrugs?”

  1. PensiveGadfly says:

    Have you tried to contribute to John McCain the same way?

  2. Albert Fredrick says:


    This an interesting web-site title and reference to the book “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe her point in that book was to illustrate how society might react to an abusive government, where the productive workers are taxed in an extreme manner to redistribute the wealth. The premise, and title of the book, refer to the myth of Atlas, who carries the world on his back.

    She compares the productive people of this country to Atlas carrying the others, but when government decides to increase the burden the productive people, either individually or collectively, decide to simply shrug-off this burden because it has become too difficult to bear. That’s how I interpreted her book.

    Many productive people I’ve talked to have such a plan if Obama gets his tax/redistribute plans accepted.

    This spells the end of the US economy as we know it. All the ills that plague other countries that have tried socialisn will find their way here. It is a natural response. Huge underground economies will develop. Black markets will materialize for every imaginable product. The government will lose control of tax revenues and the economy will collapse. Crime will become rampant, and so commonplace that it is accepted as it is in Mexico, for instance. US citizens who think they are so exploited now will wish things were back the way they were in 2008.

    How does one prepare for this?

  3. Jazz says:

    I’ve seen this detailed at Power Line and other sites, but perhaps the authors of this site could detail how Obama’s apparent scheme works, i.e., the steps in disabling the AVS, the complexity of those steps, and the reasons why the credit card companies don’t want the AVS disabled. The intricacy of the act of disabling the AVS and the policy reasons for having an enabled AVS, especially when viewed in light of campaign finance laws, are illuminating, and they cast doubt on the Obama camp’s published rationale for engaging in this enterprise. The policy reasons for sn enabled AVS and the capabilities of the AVS also render Obama’s explanation nigh on irrational.

  4. John says:


    There is a good write-up on AVS at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Address_Verification_System

    In my experience, the steps to enable or disable AVS are quite simple. The ecommerce tool that I most recently used, it was a simply check-box to enable/disable AVS, and once enabled, I could determine which AVS codes were acceptable and which would cause the transaction to be declined. It’s actually quite flexible and can be configured to minimize the risk of fraud specific to your business. Of course, this assumes that the merchant account you have supports AVS – and most do.

    Hope that helped,


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