Friday, October 31, 2008

Facilitating Fraud by Disabling Online Contribution Security ... Mark Udall, Too?

Apparently the disabling of basic security settings on online contributions isn't isolated to the Barack Obama campaign. According to Ed Sealover in the Rocky Mountain News, an intrepid Coloradan tested Mark Udall's contribution system:
Schaffer campaign manager Dick Wadhams said that because Udall accepts money from sources such as prepaid credit cards that allow users to be anonymous, he can skirt campaign-finance limits and laws....

Wadhams said that after he'd gotten a tip that Udall, a Democrat, allowed the same practice, a Schaffer supporter made two $1 donations under the name of Steve Mason and included a fake address without questioning from Udall's Web site. The unnamed supporter tried the same thing with Schaffer's site but was prohibited from doing so, Wadhams said.

Schaffer finance director Janel Domenico said the Republican's Web site requires credit card users to input their billing ZIP code and rejects anyone whose ZIP code does not match with the cards. This is standard practice among stores, too, and a campaign would have to disable part of its security settings to accept prepaid cards without a billing address, she said.

Without any proof of who the donor is, a campaign could take money from individuals who want to give more than the $2,300 limit or from foreign residents who are banned from donating, Wadhams said.

"It opens the door for fraud," Wadhams said. "I don't understand why they would do it."
Nor do I.

Is this in the Democratic playbook for 2008? Congratulations if they've found a legal loophole whereby they can disable basic security and collect funds from who knows where. I'm sure once they're in power over all branches of government, closing the loophole will be at or near the top of their reform agenda.

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