It has been reported that the Obama campaign this year, as in 2008, has disabled or chosen not to use AVS in screening contributions made by credit card.

That doesn’t sound very important. But it’s evidence of a modus operandi that strikes me as thuggish.

AVS stands for Address Verification System. It’s the software that checks whether the name of the cardholder matches his or her address.

If a campaign doesn’t use AVS, it can wind up accepting contributions from phony names or accepting contributions from foreigners, both of which are illegal.

The 2008 Obama campaign pocketed money from “John Galt, 1957 Ayn Rand Lane, Galts Gulch CO 99999″ and $174,000 from a woman in Missouri who told reporters she had given nothing and had never been billed. Presumably she would have noticed an extra charge of $174,000.