By Scotty Reid, 7/30/2012, news, politics, opinion
If traveling to a foreign country and committing the United States to another war is not enough to be a cause of concern, the GOP is getting ready to nominate a man who could quite possibly be breaking U.S. campaign finance law. Not only is Mitt Romney blatantly pandering for the Israeli vote, and you thought only U.S. citizens voted in our elections, but he is openly pandering for campaign donations from wealthy Israelis. In order to get around the law, it is possible for Israelis who have dual American citizenship, to be the conduits to launder illegal campaign cash.
Bloomberg Business Week is reporting that during Romney’s latest stop on his overseas tour to shore up his foreign policy credentials includes hitting up wealthy donors for cash in Jerusalem.
“Having publicly pledged "a solemn duty and moral imperative" to protect Israel, Mitt Romney will spend his final hours in Jerusalem courting wealthy donors before heading to Poland, the final leg of a three-nation overseas tour designed to bolster the Republican presidential candidate's foreign policy credentials.”
At a time when Americans are facing massive cuts to the country’s social safety nets while unemployment is in double digits for certain groups, President Obama pledged another 7 million dollars on top of the 3 billion in U.S. made weaponry to Israel. While giving away billions of U.S. taxpayer’s money to a foreign country during an economic depression and so many temporarily needing assistance right here at home can be classified as un-American and immoral, it is not exactly illegal.
However, accepting donations from foreigners is illegal and Mitt Romney's decision to fly to a foreign country, pledge American blood and treasure in yet another war that would have nothing to do with US national security could turn out to be another political blunder. It just looks suspicious to American voters who put their country first and growing tired of subsidizing the entire world with their tax dollars while Americans are being kicked off Medicaid and Food Stamps during the midst of a weak economic recovery.
2 USC § 441E - CONTRIBUTIONS AND DONATIONS BY FOREIGN NATIONALS
It shall be unlawful for—
(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—
(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.
(b) “Foreign national” defined
As used in this section, the term “foreign national” means—
(2) an individual who is not a citizen of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 1101 (a)(22) of title 8) and who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence, as defined by section 1101 (a)(20) of title 8.
A Supreme Court order issued in January of this year upheld the ban on political donations from foreigners that has been in effect since 1966. The first presidential election that was impacted by the ban of foreigners using cash to influence our elections would have been the 1968 elections when Mitt Romney’s father was running to secure the Republican presidential nomination. As illustrated by his refusal to follow his father’s example of releasing several years’ worth of tax records, Mitt Romney is nothing like his father George Romney when it comes to political and social issues.
Back in May, supporters of presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul who has yet to drop out of the race and still challenging for delegates in several states, warned delegates not to accept any foreign money for campaigns and those who formed Super PACs supporting him to be wary of such donations. One of the arguments against non-disclosure of Super PAC donors in the Citizens United case was for this very reason.
Kathleen Gee wrote,
“There are NO circumstances under which a Ron Paul Delegate should accept any funds from a foreign source, either directly or indirectly. Foreigners are NEVER allowed to spend money in connection with U.S. elections. It is also against the law for U.S. Citizens to accept foreign funds in connection with U.S. elections.”
The key word is indirectly and if an Israeli company or citizen gives money to one of their agents who has dual citizenship that would be in violation of the law and again would amount to money laundering. You can not put anything past a man who hides money in countries known as overseas tax shelters and then refuses to release more than 1 year of past tax records.