First -- a quick note to welcome all the new readers to my blog. Glad to have you aboard! Normally, I cover culture war issues -- but since I'm embedded with the Obama campaign, we're pretty much all-politics, all the time.
The big news on the campaign trail today is Senator Obama's aunt -- who happens to be an illegal immigrant. Zeituni Onyango was discovered living in Boston compliments of American taxpayers. She resides in public housing a receives welfare.
Ms. Onyango applied for asylum from Kenya four years ago. Her application was denied. Ever since, she's been in this country illegally.
But she's been a constant supporter of her nephew, donating $260 to his campaign, according to the Associated Press. There's just a tiny problem -- foreigners are not allowed to give money to American political campaigns. The Obama camp said it was returning the donation.
The campaign said it was returning $260 that Onyango had contributed in small increments to Obama's presidential bid over several months. Federal election law prohibits foreigners from making political donations. Onyango listed her employer as the Boston Housing Authority and last gave $5 on Sept. 19.
Otherwise, the campaign is being tight-lipped about this. David Axelrod told me this morning in Henderson, NV that there would be no public statements. A written note from Bill Burton said the senator had no idea is aunt was an illegal and they believed the letter of the law will be followed.
Democrats are already playing politics and there are accusations the Republicans may have leaked his aunty's information. It's unclear how it became public knowledge. Nevertheless, Congressman John Conyers wants an investigation. He said he was disturbed by the leak, in a letter written to Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff. Oddly, the congressman did not seem all that concerned that there was an illegal immigrant taking money from American taxpayers.
A few questions are bouncing around in my brain: 1. How did an illegal immigrant get public housing assistance? 2. Will Senator Obama ask President Bush to let his aunt stay in the U.S. 3. Did ACORN register his aunt to vote? 4. Why did Senator Obama take money from a family member on welfare?