House Passes Bill Limiting Fundraising
The House of Delegates passed a bill, 83 to 12, that would ban donations made using untraceable prepaid credit cards that could mask a contributor's identity.
Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) said he introduced the bill after learning that then-Sen. Barack Obama (D) allowed donors to use the cards during the presidential campaign last year.
"It's not a looophole,'' Marshall said. "It's a grand cavern of exceptions for anonymous donations."
Twelve Democrats voted against the bill. Republicans are now expected to use the cards as an issue in this November's House elections, trying to paint a picture that Democrats are corrupt and do not mind illegal donations.
Obama's campaign had to explain why campaign finance reports included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro, according to a Washington Post story. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to try to contribute to Obama by using prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.
The cards make it impossible to tell whether foreign nationals, donors who have exceeded the limits, government contractors or others who are barred from giving to a federal campaign are making contributions. Virginia has no limits on contributions.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said this week on his monthly call-in show on WTOP radio that Republicans who support such a ban are jealous of Obama's record fundraising.
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