The Corner

Hypocrisy on Those Foreign Campaign Contributions

I noted earlier Peter Schweizer’s comprehensive report on the vulnerability of the Obama campaign, among others, to foreign and fraudulent campaign contributions. 

That the Obama campaign has left itself wide open to contributions from foreign nationals is particularly galling given the concern the president and his senior advisers have expressed over such contributions. In his 2010 State of the Union Address, the president slammed the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision because, “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”  Let’s go to the tape: 

The issue arose again when the Obama Administration alleged, during the 2010 elections, that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republican Super PACs were bankrolled by foreigners. David Axelrod led the charge, but mustered no proof for his case; rather, he demanded that the Chamber prove it was not funded by foreigners. Making the rounds on the Sunday shows, Axelrod asked Bob Schieffer

Do you have any evidence that it’s not, Bob? The fact is that the Chamber has asserted that, but they won’t release any information about where their campaign money is coming from. And that’s at the core of the problem.

Regarding Super PACs, Axelrod told ABC’s Christianne Amanpour

I mean, if you — they’re spending tens of millions of dollars. In some districts, they’re spending more money than the candidate — candidates themselves on negative ads from benign-sounding Americans for Prosperity, the American Crossroads Fund. No. These are front groups for special interests. These are front groups for foreign-controlled companies…and they don’t want the American people to know, and the American people ought to be alert to that.

As Axelrod noted, neither the Chamber nor the Super PACs were obliged to disclose their sources of funding. Likewise, the Obama campaign is not obligated to disclose the names of donors who contribute less than $200. But, given the findings of Schweizer’s report, I think “the American people ought to be alert to that.” 

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