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"Overseas money flowing to presidential candidates"

The Hill reports: Record amounts of overseas money are flowing into the presidential campaigns, and finance experts say there is no sure way to rule out that foreigners are making illegal donations.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who spoke to an adoring crowd of 200,000 in Berlin last week, has already received twice as much money from abroad as President Bush and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) did together during the entire 2004 campaign.

While only American citizens by law may donate to the campaigns, finance experts say it would not be that difficult to circumvent the safeguards that have been put into place to prevent foreigners from giving to U.S. presidential campaigns — if they are willing to make false statements and risk legal trouble in the U.S.

“An individual can easily donate online and otherwise, and if they’re dishonest or overenthusiastic, they can lie about who they are and what their status is to make an unlawful contribution,” said Jan Baran, an elections and ethics lawyer with the firm Wiley Rein. -- TheHill.com - Overseas money flowing to presidential candidates

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