According to federal election law, any presidential campaign that participates in public financing is automatically audited after an election. When Barack Obama broke his promise to the American people by forgoing the public financing system, his campaign became the first since public financing became law to have a chance of not being audited. Federal law does still allow the Federal Election Commission to audit a presidential campaign that doesn’t participate in public financing, but at least four of the six FEC commissioners must first vote to pursue an investigation “for cause.” No doubt there is great “cause” to be concerned about Obama’s fundraising efforts.

Late last month, the venerable and independent National Journal tested reports that the Obama campaign’s online fundraising system was built to facilitate fraud. Veteran journalist Neil Munro bought two pre-paid American Express gift cards worth $25 each to donate to the Obama and McCain campaigns online. Munro purchased the cards with cash and then accessed the Obama and McCain campaign websites from a public library in Fairfax, Va. The Obama campaign’s site accepted the $25 donation, but the McCain campaign’s site rejected it. Contacted by National Journal, the McCain campaign explained its system rejected the donation because American Express could not verify that the donor lived at the address given with the online contribution.

Contacted to explain why its campaign accepted the donation despite the existence of any safeguards, the Obama campaign replied by e-mail: “Name-matching is not a standard check conducted or made available in the credit card processing industry. We believe Visa and MasterCard do not even have the ability to do this.” But Juan Proano, whose technology firm handled online contributions for John Edwards’ presidential primary campaign, told the Washington Post it is possible to require donors’ names and addresses to match those on their credit card accounts. But some campaigns are reluctant to impose that extra layer of security. “Honestly, you want to have the least amount of hurdles in processing contributions quickly,” Proano said.

Obama’s donation fraud facilitation does not end there. Pressed by National Journal to explain why the campaign failed to identify hundreds of thousands of low-dollar donors, the Obama campaign responded that it “would be a pretty hard thing for us to be able to process.” National Journal responds:

But there is much widely used and inexpensive technology that allows Republican and Democratic campaigns to sort and identify millions of donors and to highlight or exclude overseas contributors. The technology is offered by companies that complete credit card transactions, by banks that provide credit cards to customers, by telecommunications companies that maintain digital networks, and by a variety of smaller firms that track Internet activity. … [A] five-minute phone call to Bank of America’s merchant-services department showed how a campaign could sort transactions to identify any credit cards that were used to make small donations under fake names and fake addresses. The campaign could download transaction data from the bank’s Web site and transfer the file into a database, such as Excel, said the Bank of America employee. “Then highlight all your transactions and click your sort button,” the employee said.

So there you have it. Instead of making a 5-minute phone call to protect the integrity of U.S. elections, the Obama campaign did nothing. This is exactly the same approach the campaign has taken toward ACORN’s massive and well-established voter registration fraud campaign. Hear no evil, see no evil. ACORN takes a zero-effort approach to preventing vote fraud during its registration drives. Nate Toller, who headed an ACORN campaign against Wal-Mart in California until 2006, told John Fund: “There’s no quality control on purpose, no checks and balances.” And Anita MonCrief, another ACORN whistleblower, agrees: “It’s ludicrous to say that fake registrations can’t become fraudulent votes. I assure you that if you can get them on the rolls you can get them to vote, especially using absentee ballots.”

Already Obama and Democrat staffers have been forced to resign for registering and casting ballots in more than one state. If Americans are ever to trust the electoral process again, a full investigation and audit of Obama and ACORN are an absolute necessity.

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