OCTOBER 24, 2007
For the second time in two months Illinois Senator Barack Obama has returned hefty contributions made by young children, including a toddler in diapers who donated $2,300 to his 2008 presidential campaign.
Obama returned the money after the media exposed the child contributors, which include 7 and 8-year-olds cutting checks for thousands of dollars as well as thousands more from preteens and teenagers with wealthy relatives who happen to support the Democrat Illinois senator.
The toddler who recently made the $2,300 donation happens to be the niece of a wealthy Chicago financier (Elrick Williams) who donated the maximum allowed under federal law to Obama’s campaign. So he got his 2-year-old niece as well as four other children – ages 9 to 13–in the family to cut checks.
Years away from qualifying to vote, most of the youngsters donating to political campaigns don’t have jobs although generous teenaged siblings in Massachusetts were able to account for their money. Their mother supports former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential hopeful, and she says her 13 and 15-year-old kids earned the $2,300 they each donated to Romney dog sitting and baby sitting. No word from mom if the kids filed tax returns.
Other presidential candidates who have accepted donations from young children include New Mexico’s Democratic Governor, Bill Richardson, who took thousands from a 10 and 16 year old whose wealthy mother said the entire family supports Richardson.
Since the Federal Election Commission doesn’t require donors to provide their age, it is unclear how many children have donated to politicians although contributions from students have quadrupled this year. In Obama’s case, however, they’re still in diapers and not even old enough to be students.
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