Sen. Barack Obama's campaign contends it returned $33,500 in illegal contributions from Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza, but the donors told WND today they have not received any money.Do the Edwan brothers have any ulterior motive to lie about the money not being returned to them?
The Wall Street Journal reported it spoke to Obama officials who said the donations from three Palestinian brothers were received between Sept. 20 and Dec. 6 last year, and virtually all of the money was returned by Dec. 6. The campaign said, however, the refunds were not reported to the Federal Election Commission due to a technical error.
The Obama camp insisted the remaining $2,500 was refunded Monday and all of the refunds will be reflected soon in an amended report. The campaign said new controls are in place to prevent any similar attempts in the future.
But WND asked two of the brothers – Monir and Hasam Edwan – to respond to the campaign's claims.
"No, we did not receive any money back from the Obama campaign at any time," said Monir Edwan.
The Edwans continue to maintain – as they told WND earlier this week – that the financial transactions made on Obama's campaign website were not actual donations but purchases of "Obama for President" T-shirts. The transactions, however, were listed as donations in U.S. government election filings. - Read the rest
Well, if they did receive their money back from the Obama campaign, that would obligate them to reimburse the campaign for the T-shirts they received. However, WND already pointed out that the brothers couldn't possibly have received the T-shirts, since Israel imposed a tight closure of the Gaza Strip from June 2007 until June 2008, when the Israeli government agreed to a cease-fire with Hamas. Plus, keep in mind that earlier this week the brothers told WND that they were concerned this whole story might damage Barack Obama's campaign.
"They will try to use this story to let Obama fall," Monir said. "We don't want to cause any damage to Obama's campaign... Not just the people in Gaza but people from all over the world are rooting for this great man."
If they are indeed lying, they're certainly not helping the man they're so passionately rooting for.
Nevertheless, the Obama campaign's claim [as reported yesterday in the Wall Street Journal] that "virtually all of the money... was returned by December 6. But the refunds weren’t reported to the Federal Election Commission due to a technical error," sounds a bit strange to me.
Even if we were to assume that they did return the money to the Edwan brothers, was the failure to report the refunded money to the FEC really a technical error, or were they afraid that if they reported it to the FEC, the FEC would begin scrutinizing the rest of Obama's campaign contributions? Hmmm......
As to why the remaining money wasn't returned till now - a conundrum indeed - ponder this thought:
The Obama campaign felt that as long as they returned most of the money and stayed within the legal limit [although it was actually $200 over the limit], no one would notice that Monir Edwan's donations came from Rafah - except for a curious blogger who realized there aint no Rafah in GA. Hmmm... Something to ponder, indeed.....