Green Party’s Stein Seeks Court Review of Order to Repay $175K
WASHINGTON — Former Green Party candidate Jill Stein and her campaign committee, Jill Stein for President, are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia to review a Federal Elections Commission order that she repay $175,272 in matching funds she received during the 2016 presidential primaries.
In late September, the FEC ruled that payments made to Stein for money she raised after she received the Green Party presidential nomination on Aug. 6, 2016 were improper and should not have been sent to her.
During an audit of her accounts, FEC staff found Stein received a total $590,936 in matching funds during the 2016 primary season, and that she continued to use public funds past the point when she was legally eligible.
A commission audit found Stein received a payment of $134,900 in January 2017 that she shouldn’t have accepted.
That, plus another $40,372 in funds the committee had on hand following the presidential campaign make up the $175,272 the FEC says she now owes.
Stein argued that she was also seeking the Peace and Freedom Party nomination and it didn’t nominate until mid-August 2016, so the cutoff point should have been the date of that party’s convention.
The FEC, however, held that because the two major parties had both finished their nominating process by July 28, 2016, the date of her receiving that last minor party nomination doesn’t matter.
According to documents posted to the FEC website, the Stein for President campaign then tried to raise a number of other arguments as to why it shouldn’t have to repay the money.
These included a claim that the campaign used the money in a bid to gain ballot access in a number of states, and that her campaign also had a number of “winding-down” expenses it had to pay, including paying consultants and others who provided services to her election effort.
As to the latter, the FEC staff who reviewed the claim concluded that “merely mentioning the subject of winding down expenses in the written submission, without any explanation, reasoning, or argument … is insufficient to raise an issue for administrative review.”
The Well News attempted to contact Stein and the Green Party for comment.
Stein captured 1.1% of the presidential vote in 2016, garnering 1,457,218 votes nationally. She came in fourth in the contest, behind Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson.