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If the New York Times were the paper it once was . . .

. . . 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 — some donors were listed simply with gibberish for their names — 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.

Read the whole thing as Patrick helps walk you through how AVS works (Via Glenn Reynolds and Jim Geraghty).

As Jim puts its, “The press has been telling us about Obama’s amazing online donations for more than a year now. There is absolutely no excuse for not digging into this story.“  No, there’s not.

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.  Recall that Obama had long pledged to take public financing, even back in 2007, challenging Republican candidates to do the same.  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.”

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.

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9 Comments

  1. Sounds like we have found the real Juan and Evita Peron . . . and the money kept rolling in . . .

    Comment by Al — October 24, 2008 @ 10:46 am - October 24, 2008

  2. And now we know why New York Times stock is trading at junk bond prices.

    And now we know why the MSM is all-in for Obama. They think the Fairness Doctrine will shutdown the opposition media, and they’ll be the only game in town again.

    Comment by V the K — October 24, 2008 @ 12:16 pm - October 24, 2008

  3. If this was a blog, wouldn’t it have done a mea culpa on the completely fabricated, racist story made up by the McCain supporter about getting a B scratched into her face by an enraged black man over her bumper sticker? I’m just wondering…

    And, again, it is pretty simple: Sarah Palin claims to be a hockey mom and a reformer and against spending, also, loves America and the real American parts of…oh, I slipped into Palinese. Anyway, she’s a hockey mom in high end clothing. Something a little more than $400 haircuts (remember those? you had fun with those…). She’s, how shall we say, about as authentic as the story about the B scratched into her face.

    Comment by jimmy — October 24, 2008 @ 2:51 pm - October 24, 2008

  4. And jimmy sprays his rhetoric all over the place without coming anywhere near the topic. I would hate to be the guy who has to use a bathroom after him.

    Comment by V the K — October 24, 2008 @ 4:24 pm - October 24, 2008

  5. jimmie/gilly or jimmy/gillie or jilly/gimme:

    Will you promise to stick around and trash Sarah when she is sworn in on January 20 as the heartbeat away from making your world a better place? You have such an interesting way of showing your intellectual faculties.

    Comment by heliotrope — October 24, 2008 @ 4:33 pm - October 24, 2008

  6. The New York Times IS the paper it always was. Just ask Walter Duranty.

    Comment by Attmay — October 24, 2008 @ 5:07 pm - October 24, 2008

  7. That’s because silly jimmy is too much of a coward to state publicly that he supports Obama’s campaign finance fraud.

    Man up, jimmy, and admit it. After all, since Barack Obama is black, he can’t commit a crime, right? Taking money from foreign donors isn’t a crime when Obama does it, just like falsely registering people to vote.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 24, 2008 @ 5:30 pm - October 24, 2008

  8. Is jimmy’s last name ‘Carter’ by any chance?

    Comment by V the K — October 24, 2008 @ 7:11 pm - October 24, 2008

  9. On the other hand, some gays should remain in the closet.

    Comment by Quentin — October 25, 2008 @ 12:23 pm - October 25, 2008

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