GOP Questions Obama's Campaign Money

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The Republican National Committee wants an audit of Barack Obama's presidential campaign contributions, after claims that he may be accepting illegal donations.

Conservative news site Newsmax.com reported last Monday that more than half of the contributions made to Obama's campaign come from small donors who remain unknown.

Now the RNC is asking the Federal Election Commission to look into all foreign and small donor contributions to the senator's presidential race.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded that monitoring contributions can be difficult and that even John McCain can attest to that.

"John McCain has had to return over $1.2 million to donors who potentially violated the law with their contributions," he said.

Burton added that Obama's campaign has "shattered" fundraising efforts "without accepting a dime" from lobbyists and that they do all they can to weed out dishonest donations.

"While no organization is completely protected from Internet fraud, we will continue to review our fundraising procedures to ensure that we are taking every available to step to root-out improper contributions," Burton said.

Still, the RNC remains suspicious.

"It seems to the RNC that the Obama campaign knew (the donations) were excessive, yet they appear to have taken no action on their own," RNC chief counsel Sean Cairncross said.

Committee rules say neither campaign can accept more than $2,300 from a single small donor and that contributions from citizens of foreign countries are not allowed.

Cairncross believes Obama has violated both.

"We see a lack of control, a lack of willingness on the part of the Obama campaign to ask relevant questions," Cairncross said.

Campaigns are not required to report donations below $200, but federal law requires they keep a tally on smaller donations and report them once they exceed the $200 mark.

Because Obama does not accept public financing, the election commission will have to vote whether to conduct an audit. This will likely not take place before the Nov. 4 election.

Sources: Associated Press, Newsmax, Reuters, Wall Street Journal

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