Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked In Advance?

Is it normal to name lottery winners before the entry deadline?

We previously reported that the Obama campaign has, on at least three occasions, conducted what are allegedly illegal lotteries. The E-mail and online solicitations included:

  1. Payment of consideration, in the form of a donation of at least some money.
  2. An element of chance
  3. A prize (expenses-paid trip to have dinner with Obama or meet Obama at the Democratic National Convention

Only after Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety (law enforcement) complained to the Obama campaign that it was running a potentially illegal lottery did the campaign allow people to enter the most recent one without making a donation. The change that the campaign made at its Web site was cosmetic, perfunctory, and the apparent minimum necessary to avoid trouble with the law.

Now the question arises as to whether at least one lottery picked its winners at random. An E-mail from the campaign announced a winner before the entry deadline, and a cynic might speculate as to whether all the “winners”–people who would make good photo appearances with the candidate–were picked in advance.

Note that the following was sent on July 31, before the deadline for entering the lottery in question.

From - Tue Jul 31 12:25:01 2007
X-UIDL: 8498-1156627068
X-Mozilla-Status: 1001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Received: from mta-inap3.bluestatedigital.com ([70.42.50.185])
 by vms169131.mailsrvcs.net
 (Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2-6.01 (built Apr  3 2006))
 with ESMTP id <0JM100JTOT7PEIU0@vms169131.mailsrvcs.net> for
[our E-mail address]; Tue, 31 Jul 2007 09:50:15 -0500 (CDT)
Received: by mta-inap3.bluestatedigital.com (Postfix, from userid 501)
 id 4B67A4EDCB3; Tue, 31 Jul 2007 10:50:13 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 10:50:13 -0400
From: Barack Obama <info@barackobama.com>
Subject: Dinner invitation
X-Originating-IP: [70.42.50.185]
To: [our E-mail address]
Reply-to: info@barackobama.com
Message-id: <6410a68c11e0cea969d3dd947ed112f6@localhost.localdomain>
MIME-version: 1.0
X-Mailer: PHPMailer [version 1.72-blue_mailer]
Content-type: multipart/alternative;
 boundary=b1_6410a68c11e0cea969d3dd947ed112f6
X-Priority: 3
X-maillist-id: 4v-kVvgUkok
X-maillist-guid: CgdXWAJtUkJIWGZDVjBYDggw

--b1_6410a68c11e0cea969d3dd947ed112f6
Content-Type: text/plain; charset = "iso-8859-1"
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Make a donation by 11:59 pm tonight, Tuesday, July 31st, and you could join us for our
second Dinner with Barack:

https://donate.barackobama.com/dinner

Dear Bill,

A couple of weeks ago I sat down to dinner with four supporters like you.

Christina, Haile, Margaret, and Michael each made a small online donation,
and we flew them across the country for some good food and good conversation.

What I enjoyed most about this dinner was the opportunity to listen to the
stories and concerns of ordinary Americans in a relaxed environment. Out on
the campaign trail, there isn't always time for that kind of interaction.

Last week we started planning our second dinner, and on Friday evening at 6:42 pm,
 a woman named Dorothy Unruh of Lakewood, Colorado made a donation.

I'm pleased to announce that Dorothy will be one of my guests for the second dinner.
You could join us if you make a small donation before 11:59 pm tonight, July 31st:

https://donate.barackobama.com/dinner

Here's what Dorothy told us about herself:

"I'm a senior citizen fed up with the current state of our government.
I'm sad that our great nation has lost its stature in the eyes of the rest of the world.
I have been a registered Republican for years, but recently officially changed parties so
I can attend the Democratic caucus and help elect Senator Obama. He is like a breath of
fresh air to my husband and me."

Dorothy has never taken part in a political campaign before, but she and millions of
other voters who want change are going to be the key to Democratic victories up and down
the ballot next year.

I'm looking forward to having dinner with Dorothy, but there are still three seats left
at the table. Will you be in one of them?

If you make a donation by 11:59 pm tonight, Tuesday, July 31st, you could join us for 

dinner very soon:

https://donate.barackobama.com/dinner

We'll pay for your trip and the meal -- all you need to bring is your story and
your ideas about how to make this a better country for all Americans.

Small donations from ordinary Americans have set our campaign apart and allowed us to
reject the influence of Washington lobbyists and special interest groups. Not only is
your support the key to our success, it's essential to reclaiming a government that
is of the people, by the people, and for the people.

I hope you will make a donation now and participate in this opportunity. Take ownership
of your part in this campaign and strengthen your role in our movement.

Together we can put an end to pay-for-influence politics. We can turn the page in Washington,
and it all begins with you.

Thank you for your support.

Barack Obama

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paid for by Obama for America

Is it usual for lotteries to announce winners before the entry deadline? It is clear that Dorothy Unruh had a four out of whatever chance of winning (assuming that she was really selected at random–if not, her chances may have been four out of four), while subsequent entrants had only a three out of whatever chance to win.

Now, here is the page to which the solicitation linked (it was still online as of July 20 2008, although the “March 31″ date seems incongruous. (We are having trouble with the image uploader: see http://www.stentorian.com/cartoons/2008/dinner_with_barack.jpg until we get this fixed.)

Note that this Web page seems to contain all the elements of a lottery:

  1. Payment of money by the entrants (note that the page does NOT say that you can enter without giving at least some money, nor does it have a link for doing so)
  2. An element of chance, assuming that winners were really picked at random
  3. A prize (dinner with Barack Obama)

Here is another such solicitation we received from the Obama campaign, and a screen shot of the page to which it linked.

From – Tue Jun 12 18:35:18 2007
X-UIDL: 7197-1156627068
X-Mozilla-Status: 0001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Received: from mta1.bluestatedigital.com ([207.234.208.131])
by vms050.mailsrvcs.net
(Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2-6.01 (built Apr 3 2006))
with ESMTP id <0JJJ00G0RK65HWV0@vms050.mailsrvcs.net> for
[our E-mail address]; Tue, 12 Jun 2007 16:10:55 -0500 (CDT)
Received: by mta1.bluestatedigital.com (Postfix, from userid 502)
id AA5403F8E45; Tue, 12 Jun 2007 17:10:53 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 17:10:53 -0400
From: “David Plouffe, BarackObama.com”
Subject: Video: Dinner invitation from Barack
X-Originating-IP: [207.234.208.131]
To: [our E-mail address]
Reply-to: info@barackobama.com
Message-id:
MIME-version: 1.0
X-Mailer: PHPMailer [version 1.72-blue_mailer]
Content-type: multipart/alternative;
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X-maillist-guid: CgdXWAJtUkVVZkF4BhVQUFMw

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Join Barack Obama for dinner:

https://donate.barackobama.com/dinnerforfive

Dear Bill,

Ever received a dinner invitation on video?

Barack Obama has recorded a brief message for you — check it out here:

https://donate.barackobama.com/dinnerforfive

There’s still one day left to be a part of Barack’s Dinner for Five, and already this effort is proving exactly what kind movement we’re building together.

At a time when money from Washington lobbyists and special interests is polluting the political process more than ever, the question for campaigns isn’t just whether they can compete financially — it’s how they do it.

Thousands of people have given whatever they could afford — even $5– to be part of something big.

If you make a donation in any amount by 11:59 pm EDT tomorrow, June 13, you could be one of four people chosen to dine with Barack. In about a month, you could sit down and share your reasons for joining this campaign and your ideas for how to keep the momentum building.

When you make that donation, you will become part of a movement of Americans ready to take back the political process and make our democracy work for the people again.

Join the movement and make your donation now:

https://donate.barackobama.com/dinnerforfive

Who knows, you could find yourself representing that movement one night soon — sitting across the table from Barack Obama.

Thank you,
David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

—-

Paid for by Obama for America
This email was sent to:

Here is the most recent solicitation–the one to which Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety took serious exception.

From – Wed Jul 16 12:35:57 2008
X-UIDL: 3554-1200724588
X-Mozilla-Status: 1001
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Received: from mta-inap4.bluestatedigital.com ([70.42.50.186])
by vms172051.mailsrvcs.net
(Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2-6.01 (built Apr 3 2006))
with ESMTP id <0K4300HLDQQU3ZKG@vms172051.mailsrvcs.net> for
[our E-mail address]; Wed, 16 Jul 2008 08:57:01 -0500 (CDT)
Received: by mta-inap4.bluestatedigital.com (Postfix, from userid 501)
id A41969558FDBD; Wed, 16 Jul 2008 09:56:55 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 09:56:55 -0400
From: “Steve Hildebrand, BarackObama.com”
Subject: Backstage with Barack?
X-Originating-IP: [70.42.50.186]
To: [our E-mail address]
Reply-to: info@barackobama.com
Message-id:
MIME-version: 1.0
X-Mailer: PHPMailer [version 1.72-blue_mailer]
Content-type: multipart/alternative;
boundary=b1_e47328055699778bf17bac7bb4c11e60
X-Priority: 3
X-maillist-id: 7a9da75793623cde
X-maillist-guid: CgdXWAJtUVVcV1ECBFIKUlULA1FQUmw=

–b1_e47328055699778bf17bac7bb4c11e60
Content-Type: text/plain; charset = “iso-8859-1″
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Bill –

I’m out here in Denver, Colorado visiting the site of the Democratic National Convention, and there is excitement in the mountain air.

Folks are working hard on Barack’s plan for a truly open convention. It will be a historic event, and you can be a part of it.

If you make a donation in any amount before midnight on July 31st, you could be selected to travel to Denver for the last two days of the convention, including the final event — Barack’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for President before 75,000 people.

Ten supporters will be selected from all over the country, and each will be able to bring one guest. We’ll provide airfare, accommodations, and two days of convention activities — including a private meeting with Barack before his historic speech.

Our team shot a short video of the stadium to give you a sense of the event. Watch the video and make a donation of $25 today, and you could go Backstage with Barack:

https://donate.barackobama.com/backstage1

Supporters like you are the reason this campaign has been possible. We are thrilled that some of you will be able to celebrate what you accomplished with us in Denver.

But we have a long way to go, and Barack can’t do this without you.

Thanks,

Steve

Steve Hildebrand
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Donate: https://donate.barackobama.com/backstage1
———————————————————————
Paid for by Obama for America

Here is the Web page to which it links. Note the minimal, perfunctory, and cosmetic change the campaign made to avoid trouble with various law enforcement agencies. (We are having trouble with the image uploader: see http://www.stentorian.com/cartoons/2008/backstage.jpg until we get this fixed.)

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22 Responses to “Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked In Advance?”

  1. mikeinnc Says:

    Why are the first two emails from 2007? (Why would Obama be asking for money last year?)

  2. wingedhussar1683 Says:

    He began his Presidential campaign last year. The first E-mail I have on record from him is February 2007. In June 2007, he abused his church’s tax exempt resources by making a campaign speech at its annual synod in Connecticut.

  3. Obama Campaign Censors Illegal Lottery Allegations « The Husaria Says:

    [...] We reported previously that the Obama campaign, in response to complaints from Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety, modified its fundraising lottery to allow people to enter without making a donation. It was the opinion of Minnesota law enforcement that, prior to this change, the need to make at least a small donation in exchange for a chance toan expenses-paid trip to the Democratic National Convention constituted an illegal lottery. There is also a question as to whether the winners were really picked randomly, noting that a previous lottery winner was announced before the entry deadline. [...]

  4. Barack and Michelle Obama’s Dishonest Fundraising Solicitations | Grizzly Groundswell Says:

    [...] this is not bad enough, there is also a question as to whether everyone who entered a previous “Dinner with Barack&#82…. Sphere: Related [...]

  5. Barack and Michelle Obama’s Dishonest Fundraising Solicitations « The Husaria Says:

    [...] If this is not bad enough, there is also a question as to whether everyone who entered a previous “Dinner with Barack&#82…. [...]

  6. Israpundit » Blog Archive » Barack and Michelle Obama’s Dishonest Fundraising Solicitations Says:

    [...] this is not bad enough, there is also a question as to whether everyone who entered a previous “Dinner with Barack&#82…. Posted by Bill Levinson @ 1:00 am [...]

  7. Israpundit » Blog Archive » Obama Received Illegal Contributions from Palestinians Says:

    [...] Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs deserves enormous credit for exposing the Obama campaign’s acceptance of illegal campaign contributions from Palestinians in “Rafah, GA.” That’s Gaza Strip, not Georgia. Here is her screenshot of the Obama campaign’s report to the Federal Election Commission, and we are thinking of filing an official complaint to the FEC. This requires a notarized (sworn) statement, which costs $5 or so in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, we remind our readers of Obama’s illegal and possibly rigged fundraising lottery, noting that …. [...]

  8. Barack Obama’s Unethical and Possibly Illegal Fundraising Practices « The Husaria Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  9. Israpundit » Blog Archive » Barack Obama’s Unethical and Possibly Illegal Fundraising Practices Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  10. click Says:

    click…

    You are right I think you have said it very well…

  11. Israpundit » Blog Archive » (Copy, Paste, and Circulate) Obama’s Creative Campaign Financing Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  12. (Copy, Paste, and Circulate) Obama’s Creative Campaign Financing « The Husaria Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  13. (Copy, Paste, and Circulate) Obama’s Creative Campaign Financing | Grizzly Groundswell Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  14. Husaria Scholarship on the Failed Campaign of Socialist Squirrel Obama and all those nuts he surrounds himeself with! | Grizzly Groundswell Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  15. Husaria Scholarship on the Failed Campaign of Socialist Squirrel Obama and all those nuts he surrounds himself with! | Grizzly Groundswell Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  16. Obama’s Illegal Fundraising Methods, Misuse of Tax Exempt Money, Reinforce ACORN Scandal | Grizzly Groundswell Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  17. Obama’s Illegal Fundraising Methods, Misuse of Tax Exempt Money, Reinforce ACORN Scandal « The Husaria Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  18. Israpundit » Blog Archive » Obama’s Illegal Fundraising Methods, Misuse of Tax Exempt Money, Reinforce ACORN Scandal Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  19. Obama’s Illegal Fundraising Methods, Misuse of Tax Exempt Money, Reinforce ACORN Scandal « Thoughts Of A Conservative Christian Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  20. Obama, America is not for sale! « Jyoti’s Political Cuisine Says:

    [...] Were Obama’s Lottery Winners Picked in Advance? [...]

  21. Another Obama lottery with a predetermined winner « The Husaria Says:

    [...] Obama must realize in turn, however, that fundraising through rigged online lotteries (this one is legal because it provides a way to enter without making a donation) undermines his credibility and reinforces negative expectations. This is not, incidentally, the first time this has happened. [...]

  22. boudicabpi Says:

    Very good, I never heard of your site before today, but I will visit more often. Post more often.
    Bob A.

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