Bernie Sanders Money-Raiser Hit With FEC Violations Again


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:

  1. Incorrect Totals on the Detailed Summary Page
  2. Excessive contributions that exceed campaign donation limits set by law.
  3. Prohibited contributions from foreign nationals.
  4. Prohibited contributions from organizations which are not registered PACs.

abc_bernie_sanders_jt_150628_16x9_992The 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.

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38 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders Money-Raiser Hit With FEC Violations Again

  1. We can argue about it until we are blue (or are we already blue)? The conservatives will toss this in with the allegations of fraud and embezzlement (sp?) and Jane’s Golden Parachute to paint an ugly picture. Our vetting of Bernie is nothing compared to GOP. They are holding off hoping he’ll get the nomination but if he did (which he wont) they will tear him up. Sample here: http://spectator.org/blog/65707/thousands-bernie-sanders-contributions-are-illegal-says-fec

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  2. I find it highly ironic that someone who “claims” to be a FAR LEFT WING ACTIVIST is so gung ho to support a RIGHT LEANING, WARHAWKING, OLIGARCHY SUPPORTING, BLUE DOG just because she’s a WOMAN. Not to mention that over $HILLARY’s ‘career’ she has been CONTINUALLY under investigation for one thing or another from ETHICS violations to FINANCIAL improprieties, etc and has been involved in more SCANDALS than any politician I know of. And you have the AUDACITY to harp on Bernie for campaign contributions HE has no control over ? I think maybe he’s too busy running a campaign than stand and hover over the shoulders of his campaign staff who are probably OVERWHELMED by all of this. Another Vagina Voter are you ? Or do you just have some kind of imaginary axe to grind here ?

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    1. I’m voting this down strictly over the “vagina voter” comment, not because I agree with your other statements. I doubt even the women that support Bernie would like this comment, which leans toward the view that any woman who disagrees with you isn’t using her brain, or her brain isn’t as good as a man’s brain. Even Bernie wouldn’t approve of that comment.

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  3. SuperPACs stink big time.
    I can start one, support a candidate, or pretend to support a candidate but in fact doing exactly the opposite and making him/her look bad.
    A candidate can in principle not be involved in any way with a superPAC how many of the superPACS are really independent from the candidates? (SuperPACS made to pretend to be for a candidate but in fact being the opposite not included)
    So STOP superPACS and stop influencing candidates by giving them (big amounts) of money.
    As far as I know there is one candidate who said from the beginning he does not wants these superPACS and does want to stop them in general. Guess who this candidate is …
    reliable unbuyable Bernie

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  4. Look at all the Denile. Not surprising though when they believe in free college. It’s hard when you were hoping so much that he was the one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I will continue to contribute my measly $10 contributions to Mr. Sanders until November. He is STILL the cleanest candidate out there. I know they’ve been trying to find dirt on him for a long time. This is the best they could come up with? I think that he has been very forthcoming with corrections as he became aware of them. This article is really slanted and frankly, hardly worth reading.

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  6. One minor correction, individuals may donate up to $2700 “per election” to a candidate’s campaign committee, not “per election year”. The primary and general each count as separate “elections”, so that an individual may contribute $5400 in total to a candidate who runs in both the primary and general.

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    1. One of the issues has to do with funky ‘donors’ names/repetitious and another is the concept of foreign donations v. nationals. Seems that either way there’s wrong input and acceptance. And so you know, Larry Sanders, is Mr. Sanders brother, affilliated with the European Green Party. In addition to doing internet propaganda they were sending campaign money 💰, in dubious ways.

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  7. Um, Senator Sanders has No PAC. The fact that a seperate PAC choses to support him is beyond his control. Sec. Clinton does have her own PACs and a number of other PAC as well as the DNC supporting her. Youhave purposely made it seem as if these donations went to the Sanders Campaign however they did not…Doubt you will approve this since the article is such a sham.

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    1. Dear um,
      Your statement: ” Youhave purposely made it seem as if these donations went to the Sanders Campaign however they did not,” is nonsense. Do a little reading.

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  8. I guess I have to first lay the disclaimer that I consider Hillary to be the most qualified non-incumbent candidate to ever run for President and Bernie Sanders never had a prayer of winning (the media just needed to talk about something). HOWEVER, the author either knows very little about election law and/or is intentionally misleading whoever reads this. I hardly know where to start:

    First: Bernie 2016 is not a “PAC allied with Bernie Sanders”, it is a principle campaign committee of a candidate. They are totally different kinds of political committees, with different reporting requirements and different contribution limits.

    Second: Bernie 2016 was not “hit with violations”. The letter from the FEC is an RFAI – “request for additional information”; which is exactly what it is. The letter is produced by the Reports Analysis Division, which does preliminary reviews of reports and asks questions. This is not even an enforcement matter, and as long as Bernie 2016 takes appropriate action in response, it won’t be.

    Third: The preponderance of itemized contributions “$250, $500, $1000 and more” is because only donors with aggregate contributions over $200 are itemized. This is also why Bernie 2016 had $23 mil in unitemized contributions; they fall below the reporting threshold.

    Fourth: “Under campaign finance laws, individuals are allowed to contribute a maximum of $2700 per election year” is a nonsensical statement relative to election law. There is no “election year”. For presidential fundraising; there is a 4 year election cycle. Within that cycle, there is a primary election and a general election to which the $2,700 cap is applied separately. So an individual could give a total of $5,400 total to the campaign committee per cycle. A campaign can accept general election campaign funds prior to the general, but when Bernie loses, he will have to refund general election contributions (this is one reason why many failed presidential campaigns have millions in campaign debt).

    Inaccuracies of the author aside, the RFAI identifies extremely common issues, and pretty innocuous. Excessive contributions are 1) common among campaigns, 2) almost impossible to prevent with even hundreds of donors to track and 3) easily remedied via refund or reattribution. There is no issue if the Committee takes action within a statutory period of time (30 or 60 days, I forget). My guess is that the Committee already has refunded many of these prior to the RFAI, but the refunds fall into the next reporting period.

    My two cents having been a campaign compliance officer (aka the ever-popular “no you can’t do that” guy) for Presidential, House and Senate campaigns.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your clarifications regarding the name of the report.

      I have to respond to this Comment though:
      “The preponderance of itemized contributions “$250, $500, $1000 and more” is because only donors with aggregate contributions over $200 are itemized.”

      A reading of the FEC report shows clearly that these sums are itemized because the contributor exceeded FEC regulations per election (primary or general) year. They are not itemized simply because they exceed $200.

      My other point is that Sanders is giving false info when he repeatedly cites “$27” as the average amount of campaign contributions. These sums bear out my point.

      Also, this Comment:
      “This is also why Bernie 2016 had $23 mil in unitemized contributions; they fall below the reporting threshold.”
      does not make sense. The $23 million is from the 2015 review. This second FEC finding is from the month of January 2016, a new reporting period.

      The timeline for remedying both these violations has yet to arrive (3/17 and 3/31). We have no idea whether the PAC has complied.

      And this appears to be a semantical hide-n-seek:
      “Bernie 2016 is not a “PAC allied with Bernie Sanders”, it is a principle campaign committee of a candidate.”
      Bernie 2016 is indeed “allied” with Bernie Sanders the presidential candidate. It simply cannot be interpreted in any other way.

      Lastly, political affiliation aside, why would you describe these as “inocuous” violations? At what point do FEC campaign finance violations become important?

      I invite everyone to read the embedded notice from the FEC. It’s fairly straightforward.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. What do you say about Bernie taking his family to Roma for 22 hours on the campaigns dime? This is a direct violation of the FEC rules, Sec.30114, (b),(2),(E)….look it up online in the FEC rule book for distribution of donations!

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  9. Errors are probably due to inexperience of his staff in handling deluge of money from passionate supporters. I figure Europe is agast at Trump’s and Republicans’ schoolboy behavior and climate denialism, as well as at US’s relative lack of public benefits and services, which only Sanders addresses. So they are rooting for him.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. I’m not a Sanders supporter but I suspect most of this is errors by staff and a lousy accountant. Seriously doubt it is intentional. Nonetheless, he is being called on the carpet over it and rightly so, but I doubt much will come of it except perhaps some penalties. I tend to agree with you though about the foreign nationals as I have friends in Europe who are absolutely panicking about the prospect of Donald Trump.

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      1. Foreign intervention in our elections is a big NO, NO. Couple that with the continued donations from Non-Americans and Bernie’s connections to the UK Green Party, where his brother is a party official, and the Australian Labor Party shipping its members over here to work in Bernie’s campaign (illegal), then this begins to have a much more ominous tone to it. Mistakes happen, yes. But when they continue to happen, month after month after month, then there is a big problem.

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    2. That’s one way to see it. But anyone who has been in public office for 25 years, and has run numerous committees for fund raising, as has Bernie, certainly understands the importance of hiring professionals to do this work. The person in charge, Susan Jackson, is not just some part-timer filling in while not attending college. This staff must comply with the many FEC regulations. They must have accounting backgrounds. They must have state-of-the-art accounting systems in place. There is really no excuse for this, particularly when the violations increase each month instead of improve.

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  10. Yeah, Because managing 5,000,000 contributions is so easy… Hillary has more money, and her SuperPAC is doing far worse than anything you’ve mentioned, this is an absurd article and it’s rating reflects it. You’re a half rate reporter. You should probably not quit your day job!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hate to tell you but the facts are that Sanders gets MORE Super PAC money then any other Candidate in this election cycle, and that money comes from Karl Rove and his Super PAC who has spent OVER $30 Million to pump up Sanders an to attack Clinton.

      And the FACTS are also that Sanders FLATLY REFUSED to reply to the FEC when they first ask for verification on the issues….You can not take in $25 Million and not itemize it…there is computer programs specifically designed to insure that donations do not exceed the limit, you have to go around those computer programs for Sanders to allow those donations that exceed the limits.

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    1. I assume you’ve heard the word “Citizens United” haven’t you? AKA Dark Money? Where funds are bundled and the donors become anonymous to public?
      What’s happening here is that Bernie is breaking rules to keep donations transparent, just as he runs his entire campaign on the priniciple of keeping corporate or dark money out of politics, so it really looks bad and the GOP will tear him to shreds, already are.

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      1. Wrong.wrong.wrong. Bernie is NOT “breaking the rules” in order to keep donations “transparent” at all. In fact he’s not keeping ANY records of his donations or their sources, and that’s why he’s being cited and investigated by the FEC. Hillary Clinton is as transparent as it gets in a politician. She created the Clinton Foundation in order for there to be complete transparency about where her money comes from and exactly where it is spent. By law any person can look at the Clinton Foundation’s 990-PFs or any other tax documents and discern anything they need to know down to $25 dollar donations. Bernie Sanders is duping tons of naive, starry eyed millennials who think he’s actually going to fulfill all those silly “revolutionary” reiterations he keeps making, but which lack any detail or substance. He won’t quit the campaign until the money and donations run out, or until the FEC nails him.

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  11. Bernie needs to set up a foundation so he can take those foreign and large contributions. Maybe it could be a “Clean Water” foundation and he could clean up Flint’s problem with some left over to go after the crook Snyder and co. I kinda like that idea. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Liar, Liar…..Pants on Fire!!! He is good at ” pointing his Finger ” at Hillary for everything under the sun …..Time to check his closet for all those hidden treasures going back to the 60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s …..never can tell what you’ll find ….follow the money…..He that denies to much has something to hide…..Time to bring out the Ghost!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fact that you can not point to any real problem or real conflict of interests or money he personally got during his several tens of years he is in politics yourself tells me that or you are a lazy person, or there is nothing to be found, or both
      Or a (payed?) Hillary troll.

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      1. The correct spelling is “paid.” And no, I’m not on her payroll and I’m not a troll. However, your dropping by to leave silly insults on someone’s writing is trollish. As far as laziness, how much effort does it take to press the F7 key or to proof your writing? Minimal. And certainly much much less time than it took for me to research and write this article. Next time you want to drop your pearls of wisdom on someone’s intellectual property, spend a few minutes to read and comprehend the content before launching your juvenile tirade, and use that F7 key. It’s a great habit to develop for your upcoming work life.

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      2. When will his suckers realize he is in no way transparent, hes dishonest, hes not a dem he is trying to hijack the party for his own gain, he is not up to snuff on any policy…..he has lost already….he cannot and will not win….to think anything else is totally delusional…i thunk his greed and ego are so big he will let the party and bation sink because he cant have his way

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      3. The FEC is involved so it surely has merit. They’ve cited Bernie Sanders, all while he’s taking trips to Isreal on campaign funds, paying his son $800,000, his wife $200,000 a month, and his daughter exorbitant “consulting” fees. Sanders is a con man and a fraud. First person he should’ve hired was a CPA and tax attorney. Total fraud.

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