It’s Easy AND Illegal for a Foreigner to Donate to Obama

-By Warner Todd Huston

There have been quite a lot of stories of late proving that Barack Obama is getting millions of dollars in illegal donations from foreign sources. A fellow I know that posts on one of the websites I am connected with decided to experiment to see if he, as a Briton, could donate to the Obama campaign via the Internet and credit card. We’ll call him Jack for the purposes of this piece.

Of course, it is illegal for a foreigner to donate money to an American political candidate. But there have been many violations of this restriction by the Obama campaign thus far. Obama’s finances have been under fire for well over a year. Have they learned anything after all these illegal donation scandals? To put this to the test, Jack decided to see how easy it would be for him to donate to Obama and MCcain from England.

Jack writes to me about his experiment:

As an online test, a couple of hours ago I clicked onto the Obama website, entered my credit card details, and used a friend’s old New York address, which obviously did not match my UK Mastercard address.

There were NO checks on my citizenship. And the Obama site instantly told me that my $5 had been successfully processed.

There were no red flags about the addresses, no questions of citizenship on the Obama website in the offing.

Jack wanted to contrast that with the same experiment with the McCain website. He found a very different result.

On the McCain site, my credit card address has to match my postal address, and mine is in England. So that was out.

I also have to enter a US passport number as validation of citizenship if donating from abroad. Which I left blank, as I do not possess a US passport.

So although the McCain site instantly thanked me for my support, it did not indicate that my $5 has been successfully processed. No mention of that at all.

I suspect it will be declined when my details come to light.

Is this not revealing? The Obama campaign had absolutely no stops put into place with their on-line donation system to stop foreign donations from pouring in to his campaign. But the McCain campaign went to pains to provide requirements for a foreign donation to comply with FEC rules.

What with all the continuing finance scandals in the Obama campaign, I can’t say it’s surprising that Jack’s experiment shows that Obama is still thumbing his nose at the law.

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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