Oh, irony of ironies….by far the most campaign finance violations and irregularities in 2016 are by the Bernie Sanders campaign. Thousands of them. No one else even comes close. Turns out their online donation program does not have a way to keep donors from giving more than $2700 (the individual legal limit), nor does it have a way to preventing foreigners from donating. I assume that Bernie’s campaign never imagined that anyone would be contributing thousands of dollars or that people in other countries would want to donate. The price of success. The FEC has been complaining about this for months, to no avail. And that FEC process has only just begun, too. It can go on for years. I suspect the campaign will be required to return some money to some people. Hopefully it has done a better job maintaining those records than it has done with some people’s tax returns.
It’s a lesson learned for those who will want to use this method of fundraising in the future–which will be everybody. By 2020 this will be a non-issue for campaigns, as consultants will have taken over this viral fundraising revolution and turned it slick and professional. The last campaign that had a problem like this–too much money coming from everywhere, much of it unaccountable–was Nixon’s CREEP in 1972. Of course, that was sleazy as hell, while Bernie’s is just his Frank Capra idealism run rampant. And while people will be looking for one, there will be no scandal in the classic sense. No men in trenchcoats with bags of money. Still, this story will probably have some legs. Just follow the money is still the reporter’s mantra. There will certainly be an audit. And lots of news stories. Fingers will be pointed, excuses given. And some people may wind up on Capitol Hill, answering Republican questions. Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi.
Anyway, here’s the article from The Atlantic:
“The Donors Who Love Bernie Sanders A Little Too Much–The FEC has notified the campaign that thousands of its 2.4 million contributors may be violating federal limits.”