Saturday, June 14, 2008

Overseas Political Contributions: Legal? Illegal?

On my blogs, I get many visitors from "overseas," paticularly Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Mexico, New Zealand, and Portugal, and Eastern Europe. I even had one from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. One of my loyal visitors is pro-McCain (and pro-Palin) Australian Jim Fryar. You can find his blog at: http://jimmunro.blogspot.com. I very hope you'll visit Jim's site regularly.

Many of my non-U.S. visitors want to support John McCain, and I get asked if they can make contributions to http://JohnMcCain.com. For example, I got the following comment from a French Canadian, Tym, who blogs at: http://tymachine.blogspot.com.:

Stephen:"Is it legal for Canadians and people from other countries to financially contribute to the John McCain campaign?"I see that Barack has managed to gather 3 times more money than John did. Does that do him any good to his [Obama's] tarnished image?"


The short answer to Tym's question about people from outside the U.S. contributing directly (key word) to McCain is: No. It's against U.S. law for non-U.S. citizens to donate to political campaigns (key phrase) under the control of candidates.

However, if a committee or group is outside the control of a presidential candidate, foreign national can contribute. Such donations would be similar to ones made, for example, to the American Red Cross or a U.S. church.

In my previous column, I strongly urged all people supportive of John McCain -- Republicans, Democrats, Independents, foreign nationals, and U.S. citizens -- to join one of the (many) groups of Hillary Clinton Supporters for McCain. I specifically mentioned http://clintons4mccain.com. That's a group (nearly 1300 members and growing fast) that opposes the election of Barack Obama -- and backs the election of John McCain.Why can foreign nationals send contributions to Clintons for McCain? Because it's a group not under the control of McCain's "official" campaign, donating to that group (which I urge you to do) would be no different than contributing to me (which I urge you NOT to do).

Clintons for McCain is not a group fixated on debating the pros-and-cons of Mrs. Clinton's views. In fact, it's a group where most members -- although not all -- agree with Sen. Clinton on her political positions. Instead, Clintons for McCain is dedicated to preventing the election of Barack Obama and encouraging the election of John McCain.

Thus, I urge what we call "foreign nationals" to contribute as much as they can to such groups. I'm sure a $10 contribution (which I've made) would be welcome. I bet larger contributions might be even more welcome.

CNN noted today (what took them so long?) that there's tremendous interest outside the U.S. in this country's presidential election. I hope a lot of that interest will translated into contributions to organizations supportive of McCain -- but not under the control of his campaign. Clintons for McCain would be a great place to start.

1 comment:

admin said...

No one has ever contributed even one red cent to clintons4mccain.com, because we don't take any monetary donations whatsoever. We are not a NPO, and we want your time, not your dime.

Though we appreciate your blogging about us, it's an outright lie to claim you have donated. Again I'll stress: WE DO NOT TAKE MONEY FOR ANY REASON.

You might be inclined to somewhat modify your blog posts.

admin@clintons4mccain