Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin owes his former campaign staff members tens of thousands of dollars and most believe he has no intention of ever paying them, a former campaign worker tells The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Right before McMullin’s failed bid for president in 2016 as the conservative alternative to President Donald Trump, the campaign was inundated with debt. The disastrous fiscal situation was a combination of frivolous spending by McMullin and his campaign manager Joel Searby, according to the former staffer.
McMullin received news weeks before Election Day 2016 about how dire the campaign’s finances were, and he had “no remorse” and said “I have qualms about this thing ending badly in debt,” the former staffer claimed. McMullin’s cavalier attitude towards the campaign’s spending struck many as a surprise, particularly because he billed himself as a fiscal conservative, he added.
The staffer also claims the campaign never paid him somewhere between 12-15 thousand dollars on top of a few thousand dollars in reimbursements. While he has since recovered, he expressed concern about former staffers with “families and children.”
“I said when I realized things were getting bad that there are a lot of young kids who need to be paid here, and I told [Searby and Evan] ‘Go ahead and pay them now and then get back to me.’ I just didn’t think that meant my invoices would never be filled,” the former staffer said.
There are many other vendors who still have never received payment from McMullin, he said. The McMullin campaign was nearly $670,000 in debt according to its last Federal Elections Commission filing in July 2017, TheDCNF reported Tuesday
That same report from TheDCNF demonstrated that the campaign has been potentially violating federal campaign finance law for nearly a year because it has ceased performing the required monthly filings despite numerous warnings from the FEC.
“To me, Evan didn’t really seem to understand or care that there were families that this debt really hurt,” the former staffer said. “He doesn’t want to make good on any of this.”
Both McMullin and his running mate Mindy Finn have tried raising funds in Silicon Valley for future political endeavors with little success. Currently, the two lead Stand Up Republic, an advocacy group focused on criticizing the president and pressuring House Republicans to take action against what they see as Trump’s policy of “[conceding] to Vladimir Putin.”
Their work with Stand Up Republic, which is funded primarily by the Democracy Fund, is their primary source of income, the former staffer said.
“There’s no way he could have any other source of income, he never landed a contributorship” with either MSNBC or CNN, he said.
None of the income McMullin has received from his work at Stand Up Republic has apparently gone to any staffer or vendor, according to the individual. Because many who aided or advised his campaign paused their other consulting or legal work, some almost were teetering on bankruptcy when it became apparent that they were never getting paid, he said.
“I don’t think he even knows who he still owes money to, or even cares. Which is really sad,” he said.
Following the campaign, he claims many of McMullin’s former presidential campaign employees became disillusioned with a man who they initially viewed as a principled conservative and ethical alternative to a Republic Party that they believe had been corrupted by Trump.
Even senior members of the campaign found that McMullin and Searby were nearly impossible to get in contact with, often dodging their calls or requests to speak about new jobs or receiving payment for their work, he told TheDCNF.
Instead, he found McMullin fixated with his unpaid appearances on various cable news shows and social media
“Guys like [McMullin] are up on their high horse. I want the American public to know that this guy isn’t suitable to be in office anywhere. I wouldn’t even trust him on my local city council knowing what I know now, he said. “There’s just no remorse. He’s simply unimpressive when it comes to how he conducted himself as a candidate. I look back and I see that this is not a guy who is a leader, a leader doesn’t act like this.”
Evan McMullin did not return a request for comment.