WI GOP to File FEC Complaint on Recount

The Republican Party of Wisconsin is preparing to file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging improper coordination between Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to force a recount of Wisconsin’s November 8 vote. A draft complaint, first reported on by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and obtained by Media Trackers, contends that Stein couldn’t expect a recount to change her vote deficit and could only benefit Clinton:

“Any reasonable person can see that Ms. Stein has no way of improving her fourth-place finish and clearly does not stand to benefit from the recount process moving forward, despite the substantial outlay of at least $3.5 million to conduct (the recount).

After being soundly rejected by the voters both in Wisconsin and around the United States, Clinton stands as the only actor that would benefit from a recount taking place in Wisconsin or elsewhere.

It is concerning that the Stein campaign would position itself to front and fund a recount attempt that only serves the interests of a desperate and defeated Clinton campaign. Further, it is incredibly disturbing that given these asymmetrical interests, the Clinton campaign would so readily begin organizing around the effort to capitalize on the chaos created by this attempt to undermine the integrity of Wisconsin’s election process.

The complaint contends that what it calls synchronized efforts and questionable benefit to the Stein campaign raises a severe specter of illegal coordination between the two campaigns, alleging that the actions taken by Stein’s campaign amount to a $3.5 million of coordinated expenditures made on behalf of the Clinton campaign. Such an amount would far exceed the federal limit. The complaint includes more than a dozen statements of fact, including:

  • The announcement from the Clinton campaign trafficked in the same baseless conspiracy theories that the Stein campaign used to justify the recount.
  • On November 28, the Clinton campaign sent an email to supporters to recruit volunteers to assist with the recount effort. No such recruitment effort appears to be taking place on behalf of the Stein campaign.
  • The Clinton campaign’s carefully crafted and synchronized response in conjunction with the Stein campaign’s filings, all of which occurred prior to confirmation that payment had been made for the recount, strongly indicate coordination between the Stein campaign and Clinton campaign.
  • On Tuesday, November 29, the Clinton campaign joined the Stein campaign’s lawsuit demanding that a hand recount be done statewide. No clear and convincing evidence was ever presented as to why a hand recount would be necessary, except to act as a delay tactic for the certification of election results. This event marked an explicit departure from any previous statements that the Clinton campaign was acting more as a passive observer and instead moved in conjunction with the Stein campaign, to intentionally delay the process

The complaint then asks the FEC to launch an investigation into whether the Stein and Clinton campaigns have violated federal campaign finance laws because of their behavior related to the recount.