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Published: Saturday, 10/4/2008

Hunting Mr. Good Will

WHO is "Will, Good"?

Mr. Good Will - who lists his employer as "Loving" and his profession as "You" - has contributed 1,000 times to the Barack Obama campaign.

All the contributions have been in amounts of $25 or less. But they add up to $17,375 - far more than the legal limit of $4,600. That's $2,300 each for the primary and general election campaigns.

Kenneth Timmerman, a reporter for NewsMax, a conservative Web site, discovered Mr. Good Will when he reviewed 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest Federal Elections Commission master file for the Obama campaign.

Mr. Good Will said he was from Austin, Texas. When I called directory assistance, they could find no listing for him.

Mr. Doodad Pro made 786 contributions for a total of $19,500. Like Mr. Good Will, Mr. Pro lists his employer as "Loving" and his profession as "You." Mr. Pro said he is from Nunda, N.Y. Directory assistance found no listing for him either.

Mr. Obama has raised a whopping $223 million in contributions of less than $200. Candidates are not required to disclose the names of those who contribute less than $200, and Mr. Obama has not. John McCain has made his complete donor database available online.

But the Federal Elections Commission does require campaigns to keep a running tally of contributions and to disclose the identity of donors once their total contributions exceed $200. This is how Mr. Good Will and Mr. Doodad Pro came to light.

If there are more suspicious donors to the Obama campaign, we won't know until long after the election as long as their aggregate contributions are below the legal limit. Mr. Timmerman was particularly curious about 11,500 contributions from overseas totalling $33.8 million.

Mr. McCain and Hillary Clinton required foreign donors to provide proof of citizenship. Until very recently, Mr. Timmerman said, the Obama campaign did not. "More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address," Mr. Timmerman wrote. But they accounted for only 12 percent of Mr. Obama's overseas donors, and the aggregate total of their contributions was just $201,680.

"In July and August, the head of Nigeria's stock market held a series of pro-Obama fund-raisers in Lagos," Mr. Timmerman said. "At one event, a table for eight went for $16,800. Nigerian press reports claimed sponsors raked in an estimated $900,000."

Making contributions on credit cards via the Internet - as both Good Will and Doodad Pro did - makes it easier for foreigners to contribute. Web logger Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) reported three Palestinians living in a refugee camp in Gaza tried to donate $33,500 to the Obama campaign last year. They were caught only because the amount was far above the legal limit. If foreigners donate in amounts less than $200, their illegal involvement would be virtually undetectable.

If Mr. Obama were a Republican, the news media would be demanding he disclose the names of all of his donors - as er, the Republican has done - so we can see if there are among them other Good Wills and Doodad Pros.

CNN recently sent a reporter to Little Diomede Island, the westernmost part of Alaska (2.4 miles from Russia) to determine whether Sarah Palin had ever been there to see Russia with her own eyes. But CNN - and the rest of the media - have been incurious about the Obama campaign's fund-raising.

"Off the record, every suspicion you have about [the mainstream media] being in the tank for O is true," said an e-mail to Web logger Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) from someone he knows at a major news organization. "We have a team of four people going through Dumpsters in Alaska and four in Arizona. Not a single one looking into ACORN, Ayers, or FreddieMae [sic]. Editor refuses to publish anything that jeopardizes the election for O, and betting dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. The fix is in, and it's working."



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