. . . it would be running a story on Obama’s campaign finance irregularities on the front page* and relegate stories on Sarah Palin’s clothing to the middle of the paper.
Yep, the story about the Republican National Committee buying clothes for the Vice Presidential nominee made the front-page of the New York Times. A story on fraudulent donations to the Obama campaign last made the dead-tree edition of the paper on October 10 on page A24 of the New York edition.
There, the Old Gray Lady reports:
An analysis of campaign finance records by The New York Times this week found nearly 3,000 donations to Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee, from more than a dozen people with apparently fictitious donor information. The contributions represent a tiny fraction of the record $450 million Mr. Obama has raised. But the questionable donations â€” some donors were listed simply with gibberish for their names â€” raise concerns about whether the Obama campaign is adequately vetting its unprecedented flood of donors.
Since the questionable donations raised such concerns, you’d think the paper would investigate. Yet, a search of the Times web-site (terms: “obama campaign fraudulent” or “obama donations fraudulent”) found that only its Caucus blog has covered the story since October 10.
As several readers of conservative blogs have found out recently (e.g. here, here and here), it’s easy to donate the Obama campaign using a fake name. Yet, when they try to give to McCain with a made-up moniker, they fail.
Apparently the Obama campaign has disabled the AVS [Address Verification Service] security system for online donations:
the AVS security checks most merchant processors use to screen out fraudulent transactions (and, incidentally, overseas customers) were intentionally disabled by the Obama campaign – and thus their web donation page enables fraudulent (and/or foreign) donations. The McCain campaign retains the AVS system used by other online retailers and thus rejects fake names and fake addresses.
Emphasis added. Even after the news broke about Doodad Pro and Good Will giving thousands of dollars to the Obama, his campaign still has not reenabled those security checks.
As Patrick Ruffini puts it:
But you’d think they [the Obama campaign] would have taken measures to step up their donor security in the aftermath of the revelations. Having AVS turned on would have stopped or significantly deterred the fraudulent donations (or, at a very minimum, made them easily detectable). By turning this basic setting off, the Obama campaign invited this kind of fraud and has taken no steps to correct it.
Mark Halperin thinks that if a Republican had not taken public financing and had raised all that money,
We’d also see a lot of stories about his going back on his word saying that he would accept the public money and would reach out to Senator McCain to try to work out a deal. So I think this is a case of a clear, unambiguous double standard, and any reporter who doesn’t ask themselves, why is that, why would it be different if it’s a Republican? I think is doing themselves and our profession and our democracy a disservice.
And this before the latest stories broke about the fraudulent donations.Â Recall that Obama had long pledged to take public financing, even back in 2007, challenging Republican candidates to do the same.Â In November 2007, he wrote, “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.â€
Not only did he break that promise, but he didn’t take precautions to ensure he was not violating federal law in doing so.
But, the New York Times would rather try to make a scandal out of Sarah Palin’s wardrobe. No wonder Standard & Poors had just downgraded the paper’s credit rating.
*And given the significance of the story, would assign a investigative team to look into it and follow it over several days.