October 5th, 2008
04:19 PM ET
13 years ago

RNC to seek audit of all contributions to Obama campaign

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/05/art.boberlin1005.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Obama's July speech in Berlin drew tens of thousands. Now the RNC wants an audit to determine whether the federal ban on contributions from foreign nationals may have been violated."]
(CNN) – The fund-raising prowess of the Obama campaign may be put under a microscope, if the Republican National Committee has its way.

The RNC announced that it plans to file a complaint with the Federal Election Committee Monday that seeks an audit of the more than $450 million donated so far to Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

The complaint will address two issues highlighted in a recent Newsweek report about the Obama campaign’s fund-raising. First, the RNC will ask the federal agency responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws to audit and inquire into whether the Obama campaign accepted any money from foreign nationals, a contribution source prohibited under federal law.

“We believe that, based on the law, the Obama campaign has accepted contributions from foreign nationals and has knowingly done so through at least its failure to reasonably investigate where all this money is coming from,” RNC Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross told reporters Sunday.

Listen: RNC announces plans to ask for an audit of Obama camp's fund-raising

The FEC defines foreign nationals as foreign governments, foreign political parties, foreign corporations, foreign associations, foreign partnerships, individuals who are foreign citizens, and immigrants to the U.S. who do not have a “green card,” showing they are permanent residents or are lawfully admitted to the country.

Second, the RNC plans to ask for an audit of possible excessive contributions to the Democratic nominee. “The Obama campaign has a track record of accepting these,” Cairncross told reporters, referring to recent FEC requests directed at the Obama campaign to explain what appear to be multiple small donations from single donors listed in the campaign’s finance reports which violate the contribution limits when aggregated.

The Obama campaign was quick to turn the McCain camp's critical eye back onto McCain's own fund-raising. “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," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement Sunday. "We look forward to a thorough investigation into whether John McCain’s campaign has returned all of the money it raised from foreign nationals," Burton added.

The Obama campaign also responded to the RNC's claims that it may have received some contributions prohibited by federal law. "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,” Burton said.

As the primary season ended and presidential race turned to the general election phase, Sen. Barack Obama announced that he had decided not to take public financing – a declaration that appeared to go back on his earlier commitment to work out an arrangement about public financing with the Republican nominee.

Watch: I'm opting out, Obama says

Sen. McCain, however, decided to take public financing during the general election race and is now limited to spending the $84 million given to his campaign by the federal government. Because Obama declined public funds for the general election, his spending is not limited by federal law.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • FEC • John McCain • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (701 Responses)
  1. Mohammad, LA CA

    Don't let the republican psychos poison your minds.

    October 5, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. s.positive

    I guess we need to also file a complaint to check the lobbist and arab oil men who have pumped money into the RNC. Let the game begin, we'll see who has the biggest dirt...

    October 5, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. R. Squibbs

    Boy.....can the GOP look any more desperate?

    Face it, folks: you're losing because you don't have the message or the policies to deal with the real problems we're facing.

    October 5, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. A CANUCK

    It's October ....4 weeks to election....it's "funny time" !!!!!!

    October 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. No Hillary = No Obama

    I think it's about time – when the sky is the limit – this is another deregulation issue and we all know what happens with deregulation – it opens the doors to greed and corruption. That's exactly what Obama did when he turned his back on campaign finance limits. He did the same thing he is accusing the Republicans of doing – gee when it benefits him it's ok, but when it meltdowns Wall St. it isn't. This guy talks out of both sides of his mouth. Let the audit begin and lets see where 600 million dollars really came from.

    October 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Dan, Newport

    Keep up the lies, McCain, with the help of Sara "Harry Potter" Palin.

    Obama 50% McCain 42% Go figure.

    October 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Patrick

    They should investigate...I am concerned how Obama can get 9 million from a Hollywood party and I am only allowed to donate 2300 for the primaries and the another 2300 for the general election..Something is not right. Also, how can someone pay 10,000 for a ticket to an Obama concert and that be legal???

    October 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. betsy

    How pathetic the RNC and Palin and McCain are. They're losing, so they are grasping at straws...sad.

    October 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. kathy

    Petty petty people. My parents were republicans, I used to be a republican but this election has caused me to sever those ties forever.
    These two nuts plus the RNC have destroyed the republican party for me. Sadly, i'm not the only one that feels this way. I've never seen two nastier mud slinging people in my life. McCain doesn't have the 'nads to look a man in the eye – he thinks he's above us. They can both take their better than thou attitudes and stuff them. My God you just can't poke enough fun at these people – they don't get that the world is laughing at them, not with them. McCain doesn't have a clue where he is from one day to the next. Why won't they test this man for the early stages of alzheimers. There should be psychological testing for anyone running for the presidency and vice presidency of this country. Instead the republican party has a couple of loons trying to take over this country. The RNC should be tending to the problems it has let get out of control within its own party instead of poking their nose in Obama's business. They created this mess, they should be cleaning it up.

    October 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Kat

    Gee it's October and all of a sudden the GOP wants an audit of Obama's donations.....hmm what could have made them wait this long?

    October 5, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Susan

    Well now, let's return the favor. All thos big corporations and lobbyists that mcCain loves so much!

    October 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Linda31

    The desperation of the RNC/McCain campaign is stinking up this race!!!!

    October 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Syymone

    The McCain campaign will do anything to try and distract from this election.It's so clear that he has a blind ambition to claim the title of President but he has no ambition at all in actually bring the president.

    October 5, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Ron from Baltimore

    Flailing, really flailing. Rhymes with... could be out sailing? Ailing? Baling? ... Failing?

    Hey RNC:

    Erratic, inconsistent ...

    Synonyms: antagonistic, capricious, conflicting, contradictory, disagreeing, discordant, discrepant, dissonant, divergent, fickle, fox, immiscible, incoherent, incompatible, incongruous, inharmonious, irreconcilable, irregular, mccain, paradoxical, repugnant, uncongenial, unpredictable, unstable

    Ya betcha!

    October 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Independent in America

    I wonder will the RNC also show their contributions to the public.

    October 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Mike

    Desperation is a stinky colonge.

    Anything to take the voters eyes off what is important in this election.

    No more, Eight is Enough!!!

    October 5, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. Pete, St. Augustine, FL

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If the RNC wants to investigate Obama's contributions, there should be an investigation into all contributions going into both the McCain and Obama campaigns.

    Fair is fair, right?

    October 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Ben

    RNC and JM camp are beyond shameless. These people are worthless. If you have ANY honor, fight in an honorable way. JM is a disgrace to POWs and veterans.

    October 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. Legal_Permananet_Resident

    I think Obama is going to be president !

    October 5, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. hurriCAIN PALIN

    nobama = desperation.

    quit drinking the kool aid

    October 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Chris

    Pathetic, Obama has raised more money than any politician. It is statistically obvious that some people would donate more than allowed. How is this a reflection on the campaign? I think the DNC should start an audit of McCain’s contributions, I’m sure we will see the exact same thing.

    October 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. pat C.

    what a shame mccain has resorted to this. they just can not believe that people just like me donate 10. to 25.oo as often as we can to help him become an outstanding president that can bring us out of the sewer. funny how they whined when palin was being investigated but they want to jump on this. they are such a joke to the united states now. poor mccain will go down in history as a bungler and lier that was so power hungry he gave up his own integrity to get what he wanted. palin is the one mccain needs to be afraid of. she is going to take his job from him at all costs.

    October 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. Roz, IL

    GOP= losers. pack up and go home already. we the American people are sick of all the silliness.

    October 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. K.Somers

    Just grumpy grandpa McSame grasping at straws because he is out of ideas, out of patience and just about out of time.

    His support of failed government for the last 20+ years does not represent any form of "Change" I can believe in.

    October 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Quick2822

    And the throwing of the kitchen sink begins..

    October 5, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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