Scandals Cripple Obama Fundraising Efforts

Money dries up as scandals spread; campaign begs for $5 contributions to keep campaign afloat

Can you make a donation of $5 now to strengthen our movement for change?

So reads the latest pathetic appeal from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. Even though Obama’s Internet presence and network are far more sophisticated than John McCain’s–remember that it played a central role in Hillary Clinton’s defeat–Plouffe’s E-mail shows that it is no longer raising the kind of money the campaign needs. It is quite likely that Barack Obama’s own supporters are closing their checkbooks, wallets, and purses in response to the scandals that surround his campaign:

  1. Questionable fundraising methods such as Internet lotteries of questionable legality
  2. Misuse of tax exempt church resources for electioneering (Obama’s campaign-related speech to the United Church of Christ’s annual synod in June 2007)
  3. The campaign’s sanction of misogynist, anti-Semitic, and racist hate speech at My.BarackObama.com
  4. The campaign’s sanction of actual libel at My.BarackObama.com
  5. Obama’s refusal to accept Federal funding of his campaign (and corresponding spending limits) after he promised to do this.
  6. The fact that Obama accepted the endorsements of Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger–screenshots from BarackObama.com are available–before he rejected them.

The method in which the Obama campaign handled a complaint from Minnesota law enforcement agencies with regard to what is arguably a lottery–donate money in exchange for an expenses-paid trip to Denver to meet Barack Obama–underscores its lack of character and ethics. As reported by WorldNetDaily,

Doug Forsman, a special agent with Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety, had confirmed the illegality of the promotion.

He gave the campaign two options, the newspaper said, to void the contest where such bans exist or to change the rules to allow people to participate without gambling any of their money.

Forsman confirmed Kendall Burman, staff counsel at Obama’s Chicago headquarters, informed him the “donation,” which had been a requirement earlier, would be made optional.

The Obama campaign followed up on this promise by making changes that are at best perfunctory, cosmetic, and minimal. It is true that the page on which one actually makes a campaign contribution says–if one looks hard enough and carefully enough–that one can enter the lottery without any donation. We received, however, an E-mail from the Obama campaign at least a week after the campaign made this promise to Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety that asks for money in exchange for a chance to meet with Barack Obama, and the E-mail does NOT mention that one does not have to make the donation. In other words, it looks like the Obama campaign did the absolute minimum it had to do to stay out of actual trouble with the law. This does not speak very highly for the campaign’s ethics, and the former supporters who are slamming shut their checkbooks, wallets, and purses are reacting accordingly.

The use of allegedly illegal lotteries to raise money is entirely consistent with Barack Obama’s own misuse of tax exempt church resources to support his campaign. In June 2007, Obama gave a pre-written (thus showing malice aforethought) campaign related speech called “A Politics of Conscience” at the United Church of Christ’s annual synod in Hartford CT. This resulted in an IRS investigation of the church, thus showing that Obama has no conscience whatsoever. The church is on record as telling Obama and his campaign ahead of time that no campaign related activity could take place at a tax exempt church event. Obama and his people are on record as understanding and agreeing to these rules. Then Obama deliberately, knowingly, and willfully wrote and delivered a speech whose campaign-related content violated these rules. He broke his word to his own church, thus showing him to be totally without honor, ethics, or character: a liar and a promise breaker.

Obama also lied about his intention to accept Federal matching campaign funds (and corresponding spending limits) once he realized that he could raise far more money through his Internet campaign machine. As his disgruntled, disillusioned, and betrayed supporters begin to cut him off, though, he is probably having third thoughts about this decision.

It has also been well established that My.BarackObama.com is under the editorial control of Obama’s campaign staff, which can and does delete comments and blog entries it finds “offensive” or “disrespectful.” Reams of anti-Semitic, misogynist, and even racist hate speech whose presence the campaign staff welcomed at the site has been re-posted all over the Internet, and this is doubtlessly cutting into the campaign’s ability to raise money.

It has also come out that the campaign sanctions–as shown by its failure to delete the entries even after they were brought to its attention–libelous material such as false accusations of crimes against individual and corporate “persons.” This is doubtlessly something with which prospective donors do not wish to be involved.

In any event, Obama’s campaign is now in serious trouble, and David Plouffe’s latest E-mail shows it.

I have some big news we want to share with you.

In the month of June, supporters like you helped raise $52 million. And together with the DNC, we now have nearly $72 million in the bank. That’s a very strong financial position to be in.

But we remain at a massive disadvantage to our opponents.

As I mentioned in my video message earlier in the week, the McCain Campaign and the Republican National Committee finished June with nearly $100 million in the bank.

We can’t stop now. It’s going to take everything we’ve got to defeat John McCain and his allies in November.

Can you make a donation of $5 now to strengthen our movement for change?

Two months ago, Obama was eager to opt out of matching Federal campaign funding because he thought his Internet network could easily raise enough money to swamp McCain with advertising. Now the widening scandals that surround his campaign have reduced it to the equivalent of begging, “Brother, can you spare a dime?”

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3 Responses to “Scandals Cripple Obama Fundraising Efforts”

  1. Tom Ryberg Says:

    Hello,

    It strikes me as a little disingenuous to suggest that the Obama campaign, in asking its supporters for more money, is doing some kind of “begging” that, say, McCain and the RNC are above. I think one reason it seems like that is because Plouffe’s email to you asks for a donation of $5.

    Well, that’s because that sum most closely approximates the amount of money you must have given in order to even get on that email list. The email I got from Plouffe has the exact same text – but a totally different donation amount requested, because I evidently donated a different amount than you did. So…what exactly is the problem here? What is the Obama campaign doing here that is so unique as to be worthy of scorn?

    Just one more thing. You write: Then Obama deliberately, knowingly, and willfully wrote and delivered a speech whose campaign-related content violated these rules.” Well, this letter (pdf) from the IRS states categorically that no wrong-doing took place at that event. Where are you getting this idea that Obama “violated” the rules?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  2. goodtimepolitics Says:

    Also Obama has lied to the moveon.org group which formed alot of his base. He voted for the warrantless phone tap bill after telling his far left support that he would not support it! He has flipped back and forth on where to pull the troops out of Iraq within 16 months, he has backed himself into a hole and can get out!

  3. wingedhussar1683 Says:

    Re: “Well, this letter (pdf) from the IRS states categorically that no wrong-doing took place at that event.”

    The IRS’s letter says that the CHURCH did not commit any wrong-doing, a conclusion with which I agree. As stated in the article above, the church told Obama & Co. ahead of time that no campaign-related activity could take place, and Obama & Co. agreed. In other words, the CHURCH did what it was supposed to do. It was OBAMA who chose, with malice aforethought, to violate the rules to which he had agreed.

    Also, I never asked to be put on Obama’s E-mail list; his campaign added my personal E-mail address after I sent an E-mail criticizing Obama.

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