Are Democrats finding ways around campaign finance laws?
Obama For America took out a $15 million loan from Bank of America last month, according to the campaign’s October monthly FEC report. The loan was incurred on September 4 and is due November 14, eight days after the election. OFA received an interest rate of 2.5% plus the current Libor rate.
Warren Buffett, Obama donor and namesake of the infamous “Buffett Rule,” invested $5 billion in Bank of America last year in an effort to help the ailing financial institution. . . .Surely this is a fairly high risk loan and it doesn't seem like the interest rate on this loan comes anywhere near to close to covering that risk. To judge whether this loan is fair, it would be interesting to know what type of collateral has been offered to secure it. This certainly seems like one way to get around the campaign finance rules.
Contrast this loan with a loan to the Democratic National Committee:
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) now owes $15 million to the union-owned Amalgamated Bank of New York,campaign finance records show.
The DNC received a $7 million loan from the bank in September, in addition to the $8 million loan it took out the previous month, neither of which has been paid back. The loans account for the majority of the committee’s $20 million in total debt.
The DNC paid Amalgamated Bank more than $18,000 in loan interest for the month of September, the records show.
Amalgamated Bank, often described as “America’s Labor Bank,” is a national entity, the majority of which is owned by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a large, politically active union with deep ties to the Democratic Party. . . .
The Obama re-election campaign has accepted at least one foreign donation in violation of the law — and does nothing to check on the provenance of millions of dollars in other contributions, a watchdog group alleges.UPDATE: Here is another example of inkind donations: "
Chris Walker, a British citizen who lives outside London, told The Post he was able to make two $5 donations to President Obama’s campaign this month through its Web site while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney cash was rejected. It is illegal to knowingly solicit or accept money from foreign citizens.
Walker said he used his actual street address in England but entered Arkansas as his state with the Schenectady, NY, ZIP code of 12345.
“When I did Romney’s, the payment got rejected on the grounds that the address on the card did not match the address that I entered,” he said. “Romney’s Web site wanted the code from the back of card. Barack Obama’s didn’t.”
In September, Obama’s campaign took in more than $2 million from donors who provided no ZIP code or incomplete ZIP codes, according to data posted on the Federal Election Commission Web site. . . .
In addition to Dr. Fox, the consortium included Susan T. Fiske of Princeton University; Samuel L. Popkin of the University of California, San Diego; Robert Cialdini, a professor emeritus at Arizona State University; Richard H. Thaler, a professor of behavioral science and economics at the University of Chicago’s business school; and Michael Morris, a psychologist at Columbia. . . .UPDATE: The benefits from these donations just seem to go on and on. From the Washington Post:
If you voted this election season, President Obama almost certainly has a file on you. His vast campaign database includes information on voters’ magazine subscriptions, car registrations, housing values and hunting licenses, along with scores estimating how likely they were to cast ballots for his reelection.
And although the election is over, Obama’s database is just getting started.
Democrats are pressing to expand and redeploy the most sophisticated voter list in history, beginning with next year’s gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and extending to campaigns for years to come. The prospect already has some Republicans worried.
“It’s always hard to play catch-up,” said Peter Pasi, a Republican direct marketer who worked on Rick Santorum’s presidential primary campaign.
“It can be done by 2016. I’m much more doubtful it can happen by 2014.”
The database consists of voting records and political donation histories bolstered by vast amounts of personal but publicly available consumer data, say campaign officials and others familiar with the operation. It could record hundreds of pieces of information for each voter. . . .