Small-town liquor store owner gets wrapped up in Obama campaign-donation controversy

Justin Head

Who is Doodad Pro?

According to an article in the Oct. 13 issue of Newsweek, Sen. Barack Obama’s war chest received $17,130 in $10 and $25 increments from a person named Doodad Pro, but the problem is, the identity cannot be confirmed.

After the discovery, the Federal Election Commission informed Obama's campaign it had to return the money received from Doodad Pro and from a donor named Good Will from Texas. The money was returned using the credit card numbers used for the donations. 

The address listed by donor Doodad Pro happens to be the same address as Lloyd & Lynn's Liquor & Wine in Nunda. Lloyd and Lynn Kirwan said they did not make the donations and are overwhelmed with all the attention they're receiving.

“I got a call from the magazine last Friday asking about Doodad Pro. I told them I didn’t know what they heck they were talking about ... the whole thing is getting blown way out of proportion,” Lloyd Kirwan said. He said a store called Doodad's Boutique was located next to the liquor store, but it closed last year. The store was a consignment clothing store with knick-knacks for sale operated by Patricia Cutler of Nunda, who was not available for comment.

Kirwan said he is not the one who donated the money, but he has been asked about Doodad Pro before.

“About six months ago we had local police come to the store and report that a Doodad Pro had ordered sporting goods merchandise from this address,” Kirwan said. That was the first time he heard of Doodad Pro.

“A few weeks ago people who said they were state sale tax representatives asked about the whereabouts of Doodad Pro,” he said. “I don’t know whether it’s a case of business theft or identity theft, but something is definitely going here.

“You’d think if they wanted to find this person, they would just track down the credit card. I don’t even own a credit card."

Contributions of $10 or $25 do not need to be publicly revealed by the campaigns. Obama's campaign said the money has been returned to the donor because it exceeded the $2,300 per-person federal campaign donation limit, according to the article in Newsweek. The FEC is in the process of auditing Obama’s small donations.

Last year, Obama's campaign refused to offer information about its small donors to campaign watchdog groups, while the McCain campaign posted the information on its Web site.

The Newsweek article reported that earlier this year, the Obama campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought a large number of T-shirts from the campaign's online store. The men had listed their address as Ga., which the campaign thought meant Georgia.

The Evening Tribune