Why has President Obama's campaign disabled the Address Verification System that is used to prevent fraudulent credit card transactions?

It has been reported that the Obama campaign this year, as in 2008, has disabled or chosen not to use AVS in screening contributions made by credit card.

That doesn't sound very important. But it's evidence of a modus operandi that strikes me as thuggish.

AVS stands for Address Verification System. It's the software that checks whether the name of the cardholder matches his or her address.

If a campaign doesn't use AVS, it can wind up accepting contributions from phony names or accepting contributions from foreigners, both of which are illegal.

The 2008 Obama campaign pocketed money from "John Galt, 1957 Ayn Rand Lane, Galts Gulch CO 99999" and $174,000 from a woman in Missouri who told reporters she had given nothing and had never been billed. Presumably she would have noticed an extra charge of $174,000.

The Obama campaign is evidently happy to pocket the money.

The bolding is mine. If a particular transaction is shown to be fraudulent then Obama will be forced to return the money, but there's no one systematically verifying the millions of transactions and there's no potential penalty. There's no reason not to take money from everyone and then return the handful of donations that are later investigated and found to be fraudulent or foreign. The returned money will be a drop in the bucket compared to the fraudulent and foreign donations that escape detection and are kept by the campaign.

(HT: Powerline Blog.)

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