After months of questions and a public admonition from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Jill Stein presidential campaign has finally filed a series of missing financial documents with the FEC.
The documents, filed on Monday, help answer some of the lingering questions about what became of the money the Stein campaign gathered for a promised recount. According to Stein, there were enough questions about the accuracy of non-paper ballots — especially in states like Michigan and Wisconsin — to merit a recount. However, the recount still hasn’t taken place. And the new financial documents only raise new questions about how the money was actually allocated.
The information filed this week dates from October 1, 2017, and covers seven months in total. Per the filings, the Jill Stein for President organization still had over $750,000 on hand as of April 30, the most recent date reported. The expenditures have notably fallen over the past few months, with just over $32,000 reported in spending in the most recent monthly filing — a drop from over $70,000 spent in January.
The filings come after renewed pressure on the campaign to disclose what became of the money Stein had previously pledged toward a recount of the 2016 election. The recount hasn’t materialized — nor has the choice Stein pledged to offer to her donors as to what to do with extra funds.
Last week, a Daily Beast report asked what happened to the $7.3 million the Stein campaign raised for its recount campaign. As the report found, much of the money — which significantly exceeded what Stein’s campaign had originally asked for — was spent on filing formal requests for recounts in Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as on attorney fees.
However, the campaign hadn’t filed required FEC documents since last September — a development that spurred the FEC to contact Stein’s campaign directly with questions about its finances.
In a May 7 letter, the FEC’s Debbie Chacona wrote that the “failure to timely file this report may result in civil money penalties, suspension of matching funds payments, an audit or legal enforcement action. The civil money penalty calculation for late reports does not include a grace period and begins on the day following the due date for the report.”
As ProPublica, which shared the filings on its site, noted, Stein’s campaign “typically files reports late.”
According to campaign spokesperson Dave Schwab, the delay arose due to apparent revisions required. “This is a difficult, labor-intensive process that has taken our compliance team months of work to prepare and is still in progress,” Schwab told ThinkProgress in an email.
Interestingly, as the documents show, the highest-paid member of the Stein campaign is no longer former campaign manager David Cobb. Rather, the highest-paid employee is now Matthew Kozlowski, who told ThinkProgress that his title is “Director of Finance and Compliance.” Kozlowski, according to Schwab, is in charge of filing FEC documents.
As the new documents show, payments from the campaign to Kozlowski have doubled since the previous filings. Excluding reimbursements, the campaign has paid Kozlowski nearly $54,000 since October.
Stein has recently had issues with filing requested documents. In April, she announced that she wouldn’t be fully complying with the Senate intelligence committee’s document request pertaining to ongoing questions about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Stein incorrectly claimed that the request for communications between her campaign and Russian nationals would force her to turn over documents pertaining to anyone with Russian heritage.