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Illegitimate donors? Meh ...
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jake Tapper covers the "why won't the Obama campaign release the identities of their $200 donors" story. Essentially the McCain campaign is questioning the source(s) of much of the money the Obama campaign has raised, implying that much of it may be illegitimate.

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis says:
“it brings up though, an important, an important question for this campaign. From Day One, Barack Obama said he was going to bring in a new style of politics, he talked about being the most transparent campaign seen today, in fact, has challenged other people on their transparency throughout the course of the election, whether it was his primary opponents or others, and what is most amazing is that regardless of repeated calls and questions in the media about his contributions and what he's done, he has refused to— to this point release any of his donors under two hundred dollars a person."
Well, the short answer is he doesn't have too. Apparently a loophole in the law doesn't require they be revealed. That, of course, doesn't mean it isn't fodder for speculation as to why he won't release them - and that's precisely what the McCain campaign is doing. And it certainly isn't difficult to imagine that sort of loophole would and could be exploited. But as Davis says, $150 million is an extraordinary amount for a month and would require at least a million new donors. The question is, did a million new donors actually make the donations, and, were they all from the US.

Jake Tapper concludes and asks:
Davis said that he has “no doubt that ,you know, the vast majority of those are probably legitimate. But they're being kept secret by the Obama campaign, for no good reason.”

I myself haven't heard a good reason as to why Obama is refusing to disclose the names of these donors, unlike the McCain campaign.

Have you heard one? Do you care?
I can't imagine a good reason for not disclosing the names other than "we don't have too". Nor do I think this matters. It certainly won't have any effect on the election. None.

If they're smart, the Obama campaign won't reveal the names in the next two weeks (and they will reveal them after the election but before the inauguration). If they find people who gave over the $2,300 limit with multiple $200 dollar donations or find foreign donations, so what? At best, and especially if he wins, there will be an outcry concerning the donors, the Obama campaign will feign ignorance (they've had a lot of practice doing that) and, at most, the law will be changed for next election requiring all donors of any amount be revealed for inspection.
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