Obama’s Secret Money Smear

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In an effort to limit the damage from what promises to be a political tsunami in November, President Obama and his surrogates are smearing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republican candidates for accepting “secret foreign money,” according to a DNC ad, and contributions from “foreign-owned corporations,” according to the president.

This is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot—and one overflowing with a toxic mix of hypocrisy and cynicism—for lots of reasons. But here are just a few.

First, in the president’s smearing of the Chamber’s legitimate involvement in the political process and in his deriding of money from “the oil industry” and “the insurance industry” as “a threat to our democracy,” there is an implication that money in politics is inherently evil and that he somehow has transcended this sin.

We’ll address the latter in a moment, but on the matter of money in politics, it pays to recall that money and what it can buy have always played a role in U.S. politics.

In 1757, as he ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses, George Washington spent a small fortune on rum and whiskey. The book Money Matters estimates that he bought more than a quart of liquor per voter in that first campaign. He won, thanks in part to this special campaign expense. James Madison refused to follow Washington’s example in his bid for re-election to the same body. Perhaps predictably, he lost.

Money Matters also notes that long before the Constitution was ratified, individuals and political parties alike were using “money to purchase newspapers and other printed materials to publish their partisan writings.” The resulting clash of ideas produced such influential works as The Federalist Papers and The Anti-Federalist Papers, laying the groundwork for a political system controlled not by the government, but by the people and the candidates they supported. In many respects, it’s a system we have never abandoned.

Second, the president’s somber intonations that the “American people deserve to know who’s trying to sway their elections” carry no weight coming from a man who raised hundreds of millions from undisclosed donors. As Newsweek reported in October 2008, tens of thousands of dollars poured into the Obama campaign from “individuals” with names like “Doodad Pro” of Nunda, New York, and “Good Will” of Austin, Texas. Pamela Geller of the blog Atlas Shrugs reported on this earlier in the 2008 campaign season.

“Good Will,” Newsweek observed, “listed his employer as ‘Loving’ and his occupation as ‘You,’ while supplying as his address 1015 Norwood Park Boulevard, which is shared by the Austin nonprofit Goodwill Industries.” As for Obama-backer “Doodad Pro,” he/she/it listed no occupation and no employer. And his/her/its address was Lloyd and Lynn’s Liquor Store, which knew nothing about the donations.

How’s that for “secret” money?

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  • bubba4

    "We’ll address the latter in a moment, but on the matter of money in politics, it pays to recall that money and what it can buy have always played a role in U.S. politics."

    Yes, but is that a good or bad thing? It's like if you were excusing a burglar by stating that "burglary has a proud tradition in America".

    The US Chamber of Commerce (not your local chamber of commerce) can and does accept a lot of foreign money. Since they are already unleashing $75 million into ads that can now directly target individual candidates (thanks Supreme Court), I think concern of where all this money came from is well founded.

    Obama raised more money from individual contributions than any candidate in history. If you don't like a man, does he actually have any achievements?

    While Clinton really has nothing to do with this, let's look at these examples…money returned because of where it came from, finance violations prosecuted, and people caught funneling foreign money indicted.

    OK…well none of that can happen with the US Chamber of Commerce because they never ever have to disclose where the money came from and aren't bound by any of the rules and regulations that made those Clinton examples possible. So all the demanding of evidence is like flipping your accuser the bird knowing that they can't "prove" anything.

    “We accept the vice president’s challenge here and now, and are happy to provide our answer: Zero. As in, ‘Not a single cent,’” the Chamber’s Tom Collamore said in response.

    Really? That does it for you Dowd? Case closed…nothing to see here? Wow. It's disturbing that FPM would advocatse for these very unAmerican laws (or lack their of as far as campaign finance is concerned) and the unconstitutional ruling that corporations are "persons". A real magazine of the little guy ain't ya? Disgusting.

    • BenZacharia

      Sinced you have such an aversion to foriegn money, please educate us on how much foriegn money is flowing into the DNC/Leftist PACs' from the various INTERNATIONAL labor unions, such as SEInternationalU, AFL/CInternationalO, International Laborers Union, International Longshoremens Union, et al. Hmmm? Or do they get a pass? "Union thuggery has a long, bloody and proud tradition in america."

      • bubba4

        While unions aren't required by the FEC or IRS to disclose donors, a separate piece of federal law, the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, requires that unions disclose all sources of income that adds up to more than $5,000, a requirement overseen by the Department of Labor. As a result, unions disclose more than many political groups about their internal operations, and certainly more than than do 501(c)(4) nonprofits like Crossroads GPS or 501(c)(6) groups like the Chamber.

        As to what you imagine what is going on…or what you assume as just the way things are, I can't speak to those things.

    • Rifleman

      Your sudden concern is touching bubba.

    • Ret. Marine

      First off get your facts straight there. The true amount of these contributions, as per laws specify, was $100,000.00, not the 75 million you suggested and touted by the fly-by media. Not if you want to continue this conversation and have facts available form sources other than the fly-by gansters known to many as the media, let's start there, other wise no one is going to believe anything you posted from that point on, but good try nonetheless..

      • bubba4

        "these contributions" which? WTF are you talking about? 75 million is the total the chamber is spending in this election cycle on national elections..

        The true amount as per law? Which law? Try being coherent. Mongo angry you make poopy talk. Mongo smash.

        • USMCSniper

          bubba4 is concerned about George Soros of course, because he and bubba4 are COMRADES for the greater glory of chairman Obama,

          • bubba4

            oh my god…it's speaking…

  • hijinx60

    Union have always had a part in elections for as far back as I can remember.

  • Andres de Alamaya

    Taking into consideration the deepest bow in history by any head of state to a towel head king, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to someday learn that some of the funds that helped our liar-in-chief win the election came from Saudi petrodollars.

    • bubba4

      Really? Because that would surprise just about everyone else.

      • tagalog

        Maybe Osama bin Laden will endorse him.

      • pagegl

        Why, with the torrent of undisclosed contributions to his campaign, do you think it is impossible he got any foreign money?

        • bubba4

          I'm not sure what you mean? What undisclosed contributions…his website? The Obama campaign took in 100 million over the internet from individual contributions. They all had to be reported..and an individual can't give but a maximum of $2000 I think it is. The McCain campaign complained at the time, but they also took donations the same way and had similar problems (a small fraction of donations) because either someone used another person's card or they gave over the limit or whatever the problem, but in the grand scheme of things those are just statistics. All of that took place within the various campaign finance laws and disclosure rules.

          So all those "undisclosed" donations? Apples and Oranges pagegl.

          • billbacon

            Just as these contributions took place within the various campaign finance laws and disclosure rules.

          • bubba4

            No. No they didn't and they don't have to. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT….

            Christ…I understand the kneejerk " I'm for whatever Obama's against" but can you at least $Y$(@) read and understand the issue….

          • billbacon

            Hello pot, I'm kettle!

            If you are claiming, and you seem to be doing so, that the Chamber has broken any existing campaign finance laws, then please make your case for that claim. Include evidence, not simply White House talking points.

            Currently the law (actually a Federal Election Commission Advisory Opinion) states that corporate entities receiving foreign revenue may participate in the electoral process as under applicable law provided (1) their contributions represent domestic-only revenues; (2) a U.S. citizen makes the contribution decisions; and (3) an appropriate accounting system can segregate the funds.

            Please, provide proof that any of those provisos have been violated in this instance. I'd even accept a preponderance of the evidence standard here, as opposed to the "reasonable doubt" standard used in criminal cases.

            You may not like the existing law. That's irrelevant. Prove that they broke it.

          • bubba4

            Huh? I'm not sure how what I said was hypocritical…whatever.

            "If you are claiming, and you seem to be doing so, that the Chamber has broken any existing campaign finance laws, then please make your case for that claim. "
            Oy. I don't think anyone has made that claim. I know I didn't. The whole point is that thanks to the Supreme Court ruling and the classification of the US Chamber of Commerce, they don't have to disclose their donors….by law…THEY DON'T HAVE TO DISCLOSE…

            They didn't break campaign finance law…they aren't bound by campaign finance law. GET IT? Now large amounts of money can flow through the USCOC and we will never know where it came from.

  • billbacon

    Yet the rules concerning entities such as the Chamber require that they have accounting systems that segregate foreign revenue from their political expenditures. The Chamber, according to all reports, has such a system. It's only the White House and its political allies which claim, without providing any evidence, that "foreign money" is influencing the election and require (as per the Axelrod quote in the article) that the Chamber prove its innocence, contrary to the concept of justice most of us subscribe to in this country. Then, again, perhaps this is the "hope and change" that Obama promised us.

    • bubba4

      What rules are you talking about? Internal rules? They could disclose and put and end to the worry.

      The faith some of you extend in excusing away Republicans is matched only by your steely resolve in being skeptical about anything Democrats do….and saying "skeptical" is being generous….

  • therealend

    It's getting harder and harder to find anything to defend President Obama with. If he plans to to make a habit of lying, he should ask WJ Clinton to coach him.

    • http://imataxpayertoo.wordpress.com kathy

      Does the president need coaching from anyone on lying? It seems to me that he is perfectly at home with it….sort of like the rationale of Islamic taqquiya which, come to think of it, goes hand in hand with Saul Alinsky's leftist thinking that the "end justifies almost any means".

      • therealend

        I didn't mean that he was a stranger to deception. It's that someone with so much experience with it should be better at it by now. This was such a clumsy lie.

        • http://imataxpayertoo.wordpress.com kathy

          I see. Well, perhaps he can't be "good" at everything. ;=) I once dated a guy who lived in a world of major deception of his own making…the main problem was, he was extremely convincing….so much so, that I think he actually believed his own lies. Perhaps our president falls into this camp….he is so persuaded of his own rhetoric, he has repeated it so many times, he cannot see the clumsiness of it all that others see.

          • Sprinklerman

            Oh, you must have dated my brother

  • WSG

    Would any rational person expect a Ayers/ Alinsky/ Wright apostle NOT to lie through his teeth when it means political gain ?
    BHO is a LIAR and a THUG and being in the Oval Office doesn't change that in the least.

    • Sarge3012

      The thug is our enemy within!

  • http://www.moderatesunited.blogspot.com Barry Cooper

    What we are seeing is actually a "teaching moment". The Chamber of Commerce, in every community where it exists, is intended to support the growth of local business, and especially small business. It's agenda is to do what it can to create a hospitable climate in which investment takes place, job growth happens, and ensuing tax revenues work to strengthen the local government.

    What our socialist President can't understand is why such a group would oppose him so vigorously. Maybe I'm speaking out of school here, but is it just possible that it's because they see him as ANTI-BUSINESS?

    And is he not validating that bias beyond any chance of misunderstanding in demonizing the very people who are best positioned to create jobs, and who are throwing everything they have to his opponents?

    • bubba4

      You realize that the US Chamber of Commerce isn't some national organization of which your local Chamber of Commerce is a chapter…right? It isn't.

      Again, you seem to be missing the point. No one is railing against the "vigor" with which an organization wants to oppose the President. Where did the money come from?

      Why is everyone against disclosure? Do you not care if you think the money is helping your "side" or something?

      • Fiddler

        "Where did the money come from?"

        Why are Obama's records sealed? We have been waiting MONTHS for that answer.

        • Fiddler

          "Why is everyone against disclosure?"
          As to Obama's ultimate legitimacy as sitting president, I quite agree!

        • bubba4

          If you are going to assert something…actually assert it and tell me wtf you are talking about. What records? For what?

  • Kendrick1

    Were I POTUS and my party had the majority in both houses of Congress, I would see that money was raised by borrowing from nations such as China. Of course there would be interest to pay on this money, but what better way to ingratiate myself and my party to a foreign nation and let our taxpayers pay the bill. This money could then be used for vote-buying pork, earmarks, and stimulus projects funded by $111,000,000 which produced only 55 jobs, but produced many votes for my party. Then, there is other money spent for we don't know what. "He who lives in a glass house should never throw stones."

  • LESTER82ND

    ONLY THREAT TO OUR FREEDOM IS THAT BUM AND HIS FRIENDS.

  • http://www.shugartpoliticalaction.shugartmedia.com/index.html Tar_n_Feathers

    You don't suppose that the US CoC actually wants to influence the outcome of elections? (I believe the technical term is "campaigning") Perhaps they even favor certain candidates, and specific policies that would bring prosperity to the U.S. Fortunately we have the Obama administration to oppose such a nefarious agenda.

  • http://logistory.blogspot.com/ noway2no

    Barry is a proven liar. Any rational person would never believe anything he says without corroboration.

    Sorry obots it is that simple. He is a liar and a fraud.

  • wesley69

    This President continues to surprise as to how low he will sink to achieve a goal. Smears without any supporting facts are typical of disciples following the ideas of Saul Alinsky – any means to secure an end. One thing our Philosopher-in-chief should not do is throw stones when his own house is made of glass. But will the compliant-Obama worshipping media have the nerve to ask questions about the questionable funding for his 2008 campaign, or comment on for his self-righteous attitude? Doubtful!!! The good thing is that the smear did not go unchallenged. Many jumped to the defense of the Chamber of Commerce. The problem is that it plants a seed of doubt in those who are uninformed and believe this President is a paragon of the truth.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • watchful

    I personally have no doubt that Obama collected Mega-Money from foreign (Islamic) sources.