updated 4:24 Chicago time with Obama campaign react…
WASHINGTON–The Republican National Committee is hosting a conference call right now outlining the Federal Election Commission complaint it will file Monday accusing the Obama campaign of taking contributions from foreign nationals who are banned by U.S. law from giving to U.S. federal candidates.
“A wide scale problem for the Obama campaign,” said RNC Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross.
The Obama team said McCain has his own problem with foreign donors.
From the Obama campaign…..
“Because of campaign finance issues, John McCain has had to return over $1.2 million to donors who potentially violated the law with their contributions. We look forward to a thorough investigation into whether John McCain’s campaign has returned all of the money it raised from foreign nationals, as they have admitted McCain-bundler Harry Sergeant has done. Without accepting a dime from the Washington lobbyists or corporate PACs that have funded John McCain’s campaign, our campaign has shattered fundraising records with donations from more than 2.5 million Americans. We have gone above and beyond the transparency requirements by disclosing our bundlers and the levels of contributions they raise. We constantly review our donors for any issues and while no organization is completely protected from internet fraud, we will continue to review our fundraising procedures to ensure that we are taking every available to step to root-out improper contributions,” said Obama-Biden spokesman Bill Burton.
The McCain campaign has refunded more than $1.2 million: According to the FEC reports filed by McCain 2008, the campaign has refunded to donors $1,231,005.16. [McCain 2008 FEC reports: total of transactions on line SB28 (contribution refunds) designated for the P2008 (primary 2008) election]
In August, McCain refunded $50,000 solicited by a foreign national, possibly contributed by foreign nationals: In August 2008, McCain’s campaign refunded about $50,000 in donations solicited by Jordanian Mustafa Abu Naba’a, acknowledging questions “about how much a foreign national may have contributed.” Other donors were sent a letter “reminding them that it is illegal for a foreign national to contribute to a U.S. political campaign.” [New York Times, 8/8/08 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/us/politics/08mccain.html?_r=1&oref=slogin]
Independent Group Files Complaint Over McCain Raising Money from Foreign Nationals: “A watchdog group said Monday it filed a complaint with U.S. election officials over a fundraiser Republican presidential hopeful John McCain held in London. Judicial Watch argues that providing a venue for the event free of charge was an illegal in-kind contribution from two foreign nationals, The Hill reported. The newspaper identified the two donors only as Lord Rothschild OM GBE and The Honorable Nathaniel Rothschild.” [UPI, 4/28/08 http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/group-files-complaint-over-mccains-london-fundraiser-2008-04-28.html]