If the term “Doodad Pro” doesn’t mean anything to you, get up to speed so that you have the background needed to appreciate this new story if/when it drops. Start with Patrick Ruffini’s post from the end of the 2008 campaign explaining how lax security on Obama’s campaign donation website created an opportunity for fraudulent donations. The Washington Post picked up the story a few days later, reporting that the campaign not only was accepting money from untraceable prepaid credit cards but that it “had chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged.” Team O’s defense at the time was that they preferred to manually eliminate any bogus donations that flowed in by scrutinizing their books afterward and rejecting the ones that looked suspicious. Why they’d prefer a time-consuming process like that when they could screen donations before they were accepted with online security measures, as many other campaigns do, wasn’t clear.
Fast-forward four years, when the campaign once again had to decide which measures to take to prevent online donation fraud. Time to learn a lesson and institute front-end screening? Apparently not: A video posted to YouTube in April suggested that they’ddisabled their donation security measures again. (The measures may since have been reinstated. I’m not going to donate to find out.) No way to tell yet if this sort of thing is what the forthcoming scandal story is about, but the description in the excerpt sure sounds familiar. And if it is the same thing, then it’s essential to understand that people have been complaining about it for years. Team O is fully aware of the objections by now; if it’s still happening, it’s because they didn’t care enough to stop it. And if I’m wrong about all this and the story has to do with some entirely different donation scam, well, that’s even more interesting. To raise $150 million in a month, you need an awful lot of donors. And we know that when it comes to donors, Obama’s not picky.