Jill Stein Finally Reveals How She’s Been Spending Recount Money
The 2016 vote may be final. But the Green Party candidate continues to dole out thousands to staff and lawyers.
Well after the possibility of a recount of the 2016 election results ended, Jill Stein’s presidential campaign continues to spend heavily on everything from staff salaries to attorney fees. The U.S. Green Party candidate revealed Monday that she had doled out more than $365,000 since the end of September 2017. As of April 30, 2018, her campaign had just over $761,000 in cash on hand.
The June 4 filings, first noted by Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity, are the first Federal Election Commission reports offered by Stein’s campaign in the last seven months. They come following a Daily Beast investigation that revealed that Stein was likely violating federal campaign-finance laws by keeping her campaign finances hidden.
"The delay in our latest filing is due to the fact that we have had to revise our reports as a routine part of the audit process that automatically follows the use of clean money public campaign finance matching funds," Stein campaign communications director Dave Schwab said in a statement. "This is a difficult, labor-intensive process that has taken our compliance team months of work to prepare."
Stein had raised $7.3 million for swing-state recounts and had hinted that donors would have the ability to vote on how she would spend any leftover money. But those recount efforts came to an end in December 2016 and no votes have been offered. Instead, since then, the Stein campaign has pursued recount-related litigation in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, seeking to access the source code of electronic voting machines. Most of the money spent in the past several months has been on lawyers and filing fees. But money has also been used to keep Stein’s 2016 core campaign staff intact.
According to the new disclosures, Stein campaign manager David Cobb was paid $7,520 in April 2018, 19 months after the 2016 election. Cobb has described his current role as “campaign manager for the recount.”
Matthew Kozlowsi, the Stein campaign director of compliance, was paid $7,160 in April 2018, according to the most recent data. That compares to a monthly salary of $3,000 in April 2016 in the midst of the actual presidential campaign.
Schwab earned $3,840 in April 2018, compared to $3,400 in April 2016. Last week, however, he told The Daily Beast that the Stein campaign remains committed to allowing its donors a chance to vote on how to spend whatever money remains, once litigation has ended.
UPDATE: After publication of this piece, Cobb sent over the following statement:
I am serving in several roles. I oversee the campaign audit, a routine FEC cross check on campaigns that have qualified for clean money public matching funds that typically spans a period of time long after the campaign has ended. As an attorney and former sponsor of the 2004 presidential recount that led to significant victories for election integrity in Ohio and New Mexico, I also coordinate with the attorneys for much of the ongoing legal work being done on behalf of the recount.