For today’s cash-strapped presidential candidates, every dollar counts

Forget ideas, values, and experience: The key to winning the White House is cold, hard cash. With candidates scrambling for every last penny, is there anyone whose money they won’t take? This week, the Clinton campaign answered in the affirmative, returning $850,000 dollars collected by Norman Hsu, a naturalized citizen from Hong Kong who was a fugitive from justice for 15 years before his arrest this month. The campaign also announced it will begin running criminal background checks on large donors.But maybe they should be running them on small donors as well: Last month, Radar made $5 donations to the Clinton, Giuliani, Obama, and Romney campaigns in the names of JonBenét Ramsey obsessive John Mark Karr; Joe Power, outspoken president of the North American Man/Boy Love Association’s California chapter; and Sam G. Dickson, race-baiting lawyer for the Council of Conservative Citizens, an infamous white separatist group.
Dear John Mark:
Thank you for your contribution of $5 to the Romney for President campaign. … [It] will help Governor Romney spread his positive message to even more Americans.
 Contributions were made through the candidates’ respective websites using customized gift cards. In each case, we supplied each donor’s real name, address, employer, and position. The conclusion: All four candidates accepted our dirty money without a second thought.On the bright side, our attempt to set up a similar account in the name of Osama bin Laden was foiled when his name tripped up a computer at the gift card company. “When any name like that comes through it sends up red flags,” explained an alert customer service rep when asked why Osama’s account had been frozen. It’s a lesson our aspiring presidents may want to take to heart.

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