All safeties off

It appears that campaign fundraising this year has an example of ‘all safeties off’ meaning that the usual protections to prevent fraud and misuse of financial information have been bypassed in order to facilitate fund raising.

Bill Dyer notes (at Townhall.com) that

But for [candidate’s] undisputed and indisputable violation of his solemn oath to accept public campaign financing, there’s no way he could have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, including this hugely expensive cross-network TV buy.

But “paid for with broken promises” is the most charitable characterization.

The public campaign financing is from the checkbox you have on every year’s income tax return. It was a part of many post Nixon campaign finance laws intended to put transparency in campaign funding. These laws and regulations were one corner of the post sixties cynicism and paranoia about the evil influence of money and ‘bought politicians.’

Patterico had figured that reneging on promises to stick with public financing would create funding problems.

contributions over the summer did not seem high enough to reach a level at which it would have been worth the time and effort it would take to raise sufficient funds to have made it worth opting out of the public financing system.

But that $150 million raised in September was doing the ‘impossible’ by this analysis. How did that happen?

Two thirds of that September total were raised via the I’net and that means credit card transactions. In doing that, the campaign had turned all safeties off. These safeties are used by credit card companies and merchants to minimize the risk of fraud, identity theft, and misuse. But in this case, the:

campaign chose to disconnect all available anti-fraud mechanisms commonly used by merchants receiving credit card payments over the Internet — things like requiring the name and address of the person using the credit card to match the data base information for that credit card as verified through the company that issued the card.

Because there was no proper check for the name and address of the donor, adherence to campaign finance laws regarding transparency and donation limits became difficult.

In addition there is no mechanism — besides after-the-fact analysis by the campaign staff — to determine whether a contributor has given previously and whether the current contribution is in excess of campaign contribution limits

What all that comes down to is that not only are campaign finance laws are behind bypassed but there is also a possibility that money laundering is taking place. That means a financial transaction supporting unlawful activity that conceals the nature of the known unlawful transaction.

if he wins, will have done so largely as a result of employing a weapon against [his opponent] that he had by virtue of his willingness to disregard all pretense of ethics and good government

Meanwhile, in contrast to this kind of behavior on one side of the campaign, there is an assault on the other trying to make scandal of near any smear that comes along such as the firing of an at-will employee or the accommodation of family on state business. This is the worrisome nature of things, a defense and an offense in the campaign to win that both suffer morally and ethically. – anything to win, all safeties off, take no prisoners, the means justify the end, …

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