The fund raising machine for Bernie Sanders is in trouble again with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). In a 95-page notice addressed to Susan Jackson, Treasurer of Bernie 2016, the entity is cited for campaign finance violations in four areas.
The notice covers activity for January 2016 and comes just two weeks after the FEC cited Bernie 2016 for violations in the first months of his presidential campaign.
Areas not meeting full disclosure requirements of federal elections law include the following:
- Incorrect Totals on the Detailed Summary Page
- Excessive contributions that exceed campaign donation limits set by law.
- Prohibited contributions from foreign nationals.
- Prohibited contributions from organizations which are not registered PACs.
The two FEC reports suggest mismanagement of the Vermont-based PAC allied with Bernie Sanders. It fails in basic accounting tasks and in monitoring excessive and prohibited contributions. The violations are in contrast to the candidate’s oft-repeated condemnation of shady campaign finance activity.
Contrary to Sanders’ boasts of small $27 donations, the FEC itemization shows a preponderance of individual contributions in amounts of $250, $500, $1000 and more. The report also reveals several people who made single donations of $5400 or more. Another supporter contributed a total of $8000; the PAC refunded $4300 but still remained in violation. Over 80 pages of the report are dedicated to an itemization of these excessive contributions. The FEC found similar violations in its first review of the PAC. Under campaign finance laws, individuals are allowed to contribute a maximum of $2700 per election year.
During its January fund raising, Bernie 2016 received contributions from several hundred foreign nationals who are prohibited from making contributions. This violation was cited in the first report as well. The large number of foreign nationals contributing during January well exceeds the numbers from the first months of Sanders’ campaign.
Last month, Bernie 2016 was hit with a 45-page notice that included $23 million in “unitemized” campaign donations. This first round of violations covered ten items that must be remedied by 17 March. This newest notice threatens “enforcement action” if violations are not corrected by 31 March.