The presidential nominee of the socialism-disguised-as-environmentalism Green Party, Jill Stein, has been raising millions of dollars to fund recount efforts in three states narrowly won by President-elect Donald Trump — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — even though she has admitted that there was no evidence of widespread fraud.
While Stein initially sought a mere $2.5 million to bankroll her efforts, she quickly raised the fundraising limit once she met that goal, and appears to have raised the limit once again, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Citing unexpected increases in filing fees and attorney expenses, Stein has set the new fundraising goal at $9.5 million, more than twice the previous goal of $4.5 million.
“We need your help to stand up to the powerful forces trying to block our recount campaign for citizen democracy,” read a message from Stein on her fundraising website.
“We received word yesterday that the final estimate for the filing fee for the recount in Wisconsin is $3.5 million — an outrageous cost increase from the initial estimate of $1.1 million that was given to us by WI state elections officials based on the last statewide recount,” she continued. “But thanks to over 130,000 small donors like you, we have enough money in hand to pay this fee and move forward with the recount!”
Stein noted in the message that for filing fees alone in the three states she needed roughly $3.5 million for Wisconsin, $500,000 for Michigan and nearly $1 million for Pennsylvania. That plus attorney’s fees and the costs of statewide recount observers brings her estimated total up to $9-10 million.
Of course, some have criticized Stein’s efforts and suggested it has all been a scam to raise money for other purposes, which has raised the question of what will happen to the money she has raised if the recount is ended prematurely or costs don’t reach estimated levels.
CBS News reported that while Stein didsn’t expect to have any funds left over once all was said and done, her website explained, “If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.”
“It’s very highly unlikely that there will be any left over,” explained Stein campaign spokeswoman Jordan Brueckner. “But if the case there is, we will consult with (Federal Election Commission) guidelines we will either return the donations according to those guidelines, or put it toward voting reform.”
At this point it is unclear exactly what those “election integrity efforts” and “voting system reforms” would actually entail.
For the record, by Saturday afternoon Stein had raised just over $6.9 million toward the $9.5 million goal, which, incidentally, was nearly twice as much as the $3.5 million she raised throughout the entirety of her presidential campaign.
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