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Barack Obama’s Interesting Campaign Donor’s

by @ 7:24 am on October 24, 2007. Filed under 2008 Election, Politics

It seems the junior Senator from Illinois is popular among some very junior citizens:

Elrick Williams’s toddler niece Carlyn may be one of the youngest contributors to this year’s presidential campaign. The 2-year-old gave $2,300 to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

So did her sister and brother, Imara, 13, and Ishmael, 9, and her cousins Chan and Alexis, both 13. Altogether, according to newly released campaign finance reports, the extended family of Williams, a wealthy Chicago financier, handed over nearly a dozen checks in March for the maximum allowed under federal law to Obama.

Such campaign donations from young children would almost certainly run afoul of campaign finance regulations, several campaign lawyers said. But as bundlers seek to raise higher and higher sums for presidential contenders this year, the number who are turning to checks from underage givers appears to be on the rise.

“It’s not difficult for a banker or a trial lawyer or a hedge fund manager to come up with $2,300, and they’re often left wanting to do more,” said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics. “That’s when they look across the dinner table at their children and see an opportunity.”

Asked about the Williams family giving, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, “As a policy, we don’t take donations from anyone under the age of 15.” After being asked by The Post about the matter, he said the children’s donations will be returned.

Quite honestly, stuff like this has been going on in politics for awhile. I remember working on campaigns, for Republicans, in the `90’s and seeing checks come in from husband, wife, and children on more than one occasion. Technically, it’s not a violation of any laws; in reality, of course, the money isn’t coming from the children, it’s just a way for parents to double up on their contributions.

Frankly, it doesn’t bother me since I don’t think there should be any limits on campaign contributions to begin with. If it’s okay for Mitt Romney to use $ 1 million of his own money for his campaign (and I see no reason it shouldn’t be), then why should there be any limit at all on the amount of money a private individual can contribute to a campaign ? At the very least, getting rid of the campaign donation limits, while requiring full disclosure of all donations, would at least get rid of the dishonesty of pretending that your 8 year old really thinks Fred Thompson is cool.

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