It's 'A National Plot': After Shocking Investigation From James O'Keefe, Matt Gaetz Takes Legislative Action To Prevent Campaign 'Zombie Donor' Fraud

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced a new piece of legislation on Wednesday meant to secure campaign donations. This legislation, called the Put Zombie Donors to Rest Act, seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require the provision of a billing address and credit verification value (CVV) for verifying a donor's identity for contributions to a political organization, according to the Daily Caller.

This legislative effort comes after an expose by the O'Keefe Media Group that documented a "national plot to utilize senior citizens matching a similar profile as vehicles to launder millions of dollars into political campaigns." The media organization uncovered that the method of wealthy donors used the identities of unsuspecting third parties to funnel their political contributions. 

Mr. Gaetz cited this report in his statement to the Daily Caller as inspiring his legislation. He said, "Through the diligent efforts of citizen journalists, O’Keefe Media Group has uncovered potentially millions of dollars in campaign donation fraud. Unidentified entities or individuals are using the identities of American citizens to perpetrate fraudulent campaign contributions. Termed as ‘zombie donors,’ these fraudulent transactions exploit payment methods that possess scant or negligible identity authentication mechanisms." 

The Florida lawmaker further explained, "The ‘Put Zombie Donors to Rest Act’ aims to amend the Internal Revenue Code and mandates the inclusion of both a credit verification value (CVV) and a billing address as mandatory requirements for confirming the donor’s true identity, cross-referencing it with the corresponding address or banking information." 

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The bill is two pages long and if passed would, in its own words, take effect at the"beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act." Gaetz further promoted his bill on social media. He tweeted, "Following a bombshell report by [James O'Keefe's O'Keefe Media] Group, I am filing the "Put Zombie Donors to Rest Act" today to prevent further campaign donation fraud by requiring a billing address and credit verification value (CVV) for contributions to political organizations."
 

The press office for Mr. Gaetz also released a statement. Within the statement was a favorable quotation from James O'Keefe. Mr. O'Keefe is cited as saying, "The corporate press, who regularly combs through publicly available FEC data, had an opportunity to uncover this but did not. It took citizen journalists to not just flag the data but to corroborate findings in states across the country."

"Rep. Gaetz’s bill is a reminder of what journalism can do when in the hands of the people," Mr. O'Keefe added. "If it weren’t for the citizen journalists inspired by O’Keefe Media Group’s Maryland investigation who hit the streets and highlighted this apparently fraudulent scheme in other states, we might not have arrived at this moment. This story, however, is far from over and questions remain. I look forward to transparency from Act Blue and other major credit card processors in our political system because through that transparency lies the answer of who may be the funders and architects of this scheme which targets senior citizens" 

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