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Resource ID: #23892
Subject: Campaign Finance
Source: Associated Press
Date: 2008-08-20



The Associated Press investigated whether any donors to presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain with foreign addresses were illegal foreign donors; whether the two campaigns were guarding against illegal foreign money by asking overseas donors for copies of their current U.S. passports as the Federal Election Commission instructs; and to what extent the two campaigns were failing to disclose basic information about donors such as their employers and occupations. The AP reviewed hundreds of thousands of donations from around the globe and found evidence that both campaigns took money first and asked questions later. The reporters found a smattering of illegal foreign donations to Obama as well as missing details in federal paperwork the law requires from Obama and McCain. During interviews with 123 donors in 11 countries, The AP found that Obama accepted illegal contributions from at least three foreigners. In one case, a Canadian noted with is donation that he was not an American; the Obama campaign accepted his money anyway, and the Canadian's note about his foreign citizenship actually appeared in Obama's campaign finance report. A donor in Australia admitted to the AP that he entered a phony passport number when making an Internet contribution to Obama. Just five donors, three for Obama and two for McCain, told the AP that the campaigns asked to see copies of their current U.S. passports.

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