Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein raised $7.3 million for her failed recount efforts and spent almost $1 million of it on her own office expenses.
Stein spent $930,118 on staffers, consultants and diverse “administrative” costs such as travel, the Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday.
Stein, who promised that “every dollar” raised would be allocated for recount expenses, has technically kept that pledge so far — though she was unable to keep her commitment to conduct recounts in three states. Though she managed to complete a recount of ballots in Wisconsin — where President-elect Donald Trump added another 131 votes to his tally — her efforts in Pennsylvania and Michigan were blocked by court decisions.
The money raised for the recount expenses came from 161,300 donors. However, questions remain about how Stein managed to raise more than twice as much money for her recount campaign than she did her for election campaign, with some suggesting high-rolling friends of Democrat Hillary Clinton may have injected funds into the recount coffers. Stein raised $3.2 million for that campaign and finished in debt, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Stein isn’t saying how many millions she has left over from the recount campaign, having only fulfilled one-third of her original plan. Though she said on Tuesday that she plans to relinquish what’s left over to election reform and voting-rights groups, it’s unclear who exactly that might be and whether the Green Party itself might now be part of the categorization.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson was attempting to establish clarity on that issue when he conducted an interview with Stein’s campaign manager, David Cobb, on the Nov. 30 installment of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” When asked if the “ton of money” raised would only go to recount efforts, Cobb cryptically referred to the remaining cash going to “election integrity efforts.”
In addition to raising money, Stein also raised her media profile while the recounts proved to be newsworthy. A study released by the Media Research Center found that Stein reaped 12 times more coverage while leading the recount initiative than she received during her entire presidential bid.
That coverage continued this week as Stein issued a concluding statement on the recount, calling it “an amazing affirmation of the power of the American people to have a voice in their voting system and demand elections with integrity.”
From another perspective, Reince Priebus, incoming White House chief of staff, was less philosophical, calling the recount “a total and complete distraction and a fraud.”