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.
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.
The Obama campaign says it “screens all credit-card contributions that originate from a foreign IP address” and requests proof of citizenship if questions arise.
But not only did Walker’s Obama donations go through, but he said he began receiving two to three e-mail solicitations a day to give more. The e-mails asked for $188 or more.
If Walker gave $188, his total contribution to Obama would be $198 — less than the $200 threshold at which campaigns have to identify the donor to the FEC.
“I have not had any e-mails asking for proof of identity,” Walker said.
The GAI report found the Obama campaign Web sites do not ask donors to provide their three-digit card-verification value, or CVV, numbers to ensure they are the legitimate holders of the card. Romney’s campaign asks for such information, which is considered a standard security measure.