The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Small Contribution

Assume for just a moment that an investigative reporter for say, The New York Times, uncovered a set of campaign contributions totaling $24,321.41 for John McCain from a individual loosely associated with an anti-Semitic, violent group based in Georgia. The campaign contributions are shown to be demonstrably real, listed as part of data submitted by the campaign at the Federal Elections commission website. Do you think (1) the NYT would print the story, (2) that the story would be picked up widely by broadcast media, (3) there would be questions asked of the McCain campaign, and (4) there would be demands that the money be returned? I’d say you could safely bet your life that all four things would happen.

But that isn’t the story.

Rather, Pamella Geller has exhaustively documented a set of contribnutions totaling $24,321.41 from one Monir Edwan of Rafah GA to the campaign of Barack Obama. The contribution is listed in FEC data submitted by the Obama campaign. Problem is, there is no Rafah, GA, at least in the USA. The donation originated from the Rafah “refugee camp” (actually a small city) in the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip (that’s the same anti-Semitic, violent Hamas that is listed as a terrorist group by the US, the EU, and others). The fact that personal donations are generally limited to $2,300 and more importantly, that donations from foreign nationals are expressly prohibited by FEC rules make this story quite juicy. Have you heard about it in the MSM? Didn’t think so.

Now, it’s reasonable to assume that the Obama campaign made a simple clerical error that can be easily cleared up and the money returned. But it hasn’t been, and no one in the MSM has asked Obama or his people why. It might also be telling to ask why the Obama campaign thinks residents of Hamas-controlled Gaza feel compelled to donate money to their guy in a US Presidential election. Their answer would be interesting. Guess questions on subjects like this are simply a “distraction,” at least when Barack Obama is the focal point.

Update (8/7/08)

USA Today breathlessly reports an illicit McCain campaign contribution.
WASHINGTON (AP) — John McCain's campaign began on Thursday to review donations brought in by the prominent head of a Florida oil trading company following disclosures that his business partner, a foreign citizen, also may have engaged in fundraising.

The campaign is looking into hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to make sure that they are appropriate, a spokesman said.

The campaign sent a letter spelling out legal requirements to all donors who sent their contributions through Harry Sargeant III, the finance chairman of the Florida Republican Party.

It's illegal for foreigners to contribute their own money to U.S. campaigns.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Sargeant allowed a longtime business partner, Mustafa Abu Naba'a, to bring in some $50,000 in donations in March from members of a single extended family, the Abdullahs, in California, along with several of their friends.

USA today also mentions Hillary Clinton and her relationship with Norman Hsu, who "was indicted for making contributions to various political candidates in the names of others."

But the illegal campaign contribution to the media's Chosen One noted in the body of this post. Not a mention by either USA Today or the NYT. Hmmmm.