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FEC Flags Thousands of Illegal Donations to Sanders’ Campaign

FEC Flags Thousands of Illegal Donations to Sanders’ Campaign

Donations exceed legal limits and/or come from foreign nationals

One of Bernie Sanders’ campaign features has been his eschewing of big donors, especially those on Wall Street.  He’s been quite vocal about his pride in collecting only small donations from the grassroots and damning the “corrupt campaign finance system.”


The Federal Election Commission, however, has flagged thousands of illegal donations to the Sanders campaign, including those from people donating over the limit and those from foreign nationals.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Thousands of contributions to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign in January violated federal campaign finance laws, election regulators said on Thursday.

The Federal Election Commission sent a letter to the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign committee on Thursday with a 90-page spreadsheet listing 3,457 “excessive, prohibited, and impermissible contributions.”

The campaign’s January financial disclosure filing listed contributions from foreign nationals and unregistered political committees, the FEC said. Other contributions came from donors who exceeded the $2,700 per-election limit.

The FEC suggests that further legal action may take place, though Bernie’s refunding of these illegally-obtained monies “will be taken into consideration.”

The Washington Free Beacon continues:

“Although the Commission may take further legal action concerning the acceptance of [excessive or prohibited] contributions, your prompt action to refund the prohibited amount will be taken into consideration,” the FEC told the campaign.

Sanders’ campaign has relied on small-dollar individual contributions to a far greater extent than any other presidential campaign, including the Super PAC- and dark money-fueled efforts of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

This is not the first time that Bernie has been warned about illegal donations and problematic record-keeping.

The FEC sent a letter to the Sanders campaign earlier this month flagging an additional 1,316 “excessive, prohibited, and impermissible contributions” in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The commission also noted disbursements from the campaign that failed to include required documentation.

Additionally, foreign nationals are donating their “small” (and illegal) donations over the internet.

Some of the campaign’s legal problems stem from enthusiasm for Sanders’ candidacy from foreign nationals, many of whom have publicly revealed donations to the campaign in violation of U.S. election laws.

“I am German, live in Germany and just donated to Bernie Sanders’ campaign on simply using my credit card—Is this illegal in any way?” asked a user on the website Quora.

“UPDATE: Donation rescinded based on your answers,” the user later added.

While none of this is likely to deflate Sanders’ supporters’ socialist balloon, it is undoubtedly something that the Hillary campaign will use to rebut Sanders’ repeated attacks on her for her wealthy donors on Wall Street and in corporate America.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Did you see this one, Fuzzy, via Tim Blair?


Socialism hurts Australians, even in other countries:

Labor volunteers have been caught on hidden cameras bragging about using Australian taxpayer funds to work on a US presidential campaign and interfering with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaign signs …

Former Australian National University Labor Club president Ben Kremer is identified in the video trying to remove campaign signs for Republican candidate Donald Trump in Manchester, New Hampshire, acknowledging in the secret recording that the tactics were not legal.

Western Australia Young Labor president Rebecca Doyle is identified in the video saying the ALP’s international branch had coordinated travel, accommodation and funding to assist the Sanders campaign, including $60 daily stipends.


Illegal to you and me, not to Democrats.

Since the FEC never noticed the same thing going on 4 and 8 years ago in donations for the campaigns of the current White House occupant, we now know who the FEC is working for.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to gospace. | February 28, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Oh, yea you can be just about 100% certain this is part of the Clinton Machine going to work. I bet if you dig deep enough you will find either a close friend, rabid supporter, and/or someone who has their position thanks to either Hillary or Bill.

    Milhouse in reply to gospace. | February 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    8 years ago there was very good reason to suspect that something like this was going on in the 0bama campaign, but there was no actual evidence. The 0bama campaign went out of its way to make it easy for illegal donations to be made, but that didn’t prove any were made. It is technically possible that nobody took advantage of the door they left wide open. Technically.

      No evidence? Only if you’re not looking. In both 2008 AND 2012, I was personally able to donate money to Obama (Only a small amount; this was an experiment) under the name Tyrone Shoelace, using a creditcard whose name and address matched neither the name and address I was donating as. That basic verification was completely disabled.

      My day job for the last 15 years has been setting up e-commerce sites. There is literally not a package out there that doesn’t come with that functionality STANDARD and ENABLED, requiring SPECIFIC commands to disable it.

      No Evidence? The FEC was provided PLENTY. The Democrats voted against investigating.

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | February 29, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        You just repeated what I said, you idiot. 0bama’s campaign deliberately disabled the filters, but that is not evidence of illegal donations. There was no evidence. Wherever there was, the FEC acted, just as it has now done to Sanders.

So is the Obama FEC investigating these contributions because they are illegal, or because they are to Bernie?

    mariner in reply to HandyGandy. | February 28, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Neither. It’s because they’re not to Hillary.

    Milhouse in reply to HandyGandy. | February 28, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    It’s not the 0bama FEC. Half of the commissioners are Republican.

      And Milhouse knows full well (otherwise he’s too ignorant to have an opinion) that tie votes mean nothing is done: if the Democrats vote against investigating, nothing happens — which is exactly why Obama wasn’t punished in 2008 and 2012 for exactly the same thing.

      So, Milhouse, are you ignorant or dishonest. I pick BOTH.

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | February 29, 2016 at 4:51 pm

        What a maroon. In the case of tie votes nothing happens, which means that, contrary to Handy Gandy’s ignorant claim, it’s not 0bama’s FEC doing this to Sanders, exactly as I wrote.

It was clear, even to the FEC, that Barack Obama was receiving milions of dollars in pre-paid credit cards as donations to his presidential campaign. But – he was never called out on them, even when it was discovered that most came from Middle Eastern Banks.

Odd. Both Hillary! and Obama figured out how to hide this stuff at least four years ago.

I would say that I’n shocked. But I’m not. Typical DNC behavior. Just shocked they blew the whistle on him.

George Bush was in office when Obama started gathering illegal donations. He could have put the justice department to work on it. He didn’t

Both Bush presidents sucked: textbook mediocrity and political passivity. It’s great we got rid of the idea of another one.

You can bet Obama/Jarrett will put the DOJ dogs on the GOP on their way out.

    Agreed, I’m so sick of Obama/Jarrett and the way they have weaponized executive agencies. It’s definitely time for a change (and I don’t mean weaponizing them against “our” enemies 🙂 ).

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | February 28, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      To effectively do that you would probably have to purge eniter agencies.

      If by weaponizing the departments you mean going after bilious/hillary/chelsea, al and jesse and a few others on their taxes, I’m all for that.
      If it also means going after PP, I’m all for that.
      If you mean the greenie weenie’s suing and the epa conspiring not to fight the lawsuits and give out multi million dollar payoffs, I’m all for that.
      Country needs a cleaning of the departments and the shenanigans.

    Bush could not have put the Justice Dept on it, any more than Nixon could sic the IRS on his enemies. They would not only have refused the illegal order, but also made it public, just as the IRS did to Nixon.

      FriedFish in reply to Milhouse. | February 29, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Are you a bad troll or just willfully ignorant? The IRS didn’t just take it upon themselves to target conservatives. It may not have been as blatant as; “Go after conservatives, OK?” But consent was given none the less. Oh, that’d be illegal so they didn’t do that. Please!

        Milhouse in reply to FriedFish. | February 29, 2016 at 4:59 pm

        You are the troll here. The topic is not about what 0bama did, it’s about what Bush or Nixon could have done. And the fact is that Nixon was not able to get the IRS to audit his enemies. You can’t deny that; it’s an established fact, not subject to debate. Nixon gave the IRS the order, they refused, and they told the whole world about it. So what makes you think Bush would have had better luck?

        Oh, and as a matter of fact the IRS did “just take it upon themselves to target conservatives”. You can’t prove otherwise, because it wasn’t otherwise.

Do any of you remember when obama’s campaign “Forgot” to turn on the No Foreign Donations filter on their credit card system? They were caught about six months into the campaign when someone reported that they were receiving tons of foreign money which was illegal. They called it an “Ooops” moment and turned the filter back on with nary one single investigation by the FEC.

    Milhouse in reply to inspectorudy. | February 28, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    They didn’t forget to turn it on, they deliberately turned it off. But there was nothing illegal in that. It was a blatant invitation to anyone who wanted to make an illegal donation, but it wasn’t actual evidence that people were making illegal donations. And it certainly wasn’t evidence that they were, God forbid, soliciting illegal donations. The fact that everyone understands how something works is not admissible evidence.

Richard Aubrey | February 28, 2016 at 8:24 pm

While I wouldn’t put it past Bernie to be tapping into Gus Hall’s old accounts, it’s a complicated operation at the best of times.
But I must recall who owns the federal government. Anybody seen Lois Lerner recently.

anniebannanie | March 2, 2016 at 12:21 pm

one big problem with Bernie’s thinking is that everyone cheats, no one does it properly and so they’d be chumps to not do it too. So there is an opening into the DNC data and his campaigners exploit it, seemingly believing all the others were too. The same with these campaign contributions, they all have to be sourced, and if they aren’t, that’s a violation, so the person who said he’d given an illegal one to Obama that went through, would have been flagged, although since it was a small amount and only one, not a series of donations that bought the total above 200, it could be a loophole, candidates don’t have to provide data about their donors until the total amount hits $200 and there is a system of trust below that amount.

But this could be a bigger problem for Sanders, given that he lists all those who gave 200 at least once, and some of his donors may not have even any one donation of 200, so he may have even more who have given above the legal limit.

But the point is that he’s not just a sloppy CFO, it shows a mindset that isn’t very lofty.