A Word of Caution

Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch

There are countless reasons why people are upset about the results of the 2016 presidential election. The final tallies in the critical states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were extremely close. But we cannot help noticing that Green Presidential candidate Jill Stein's fundraising goals for recounts in these three states keeps rising as she brings in more money. The initial goal was for $2.5 million. That was bumped up to $4.5 million. Now it has been raised again to $7 million.

That's very fishy.

I will simply point out that in addition to the money raised, a campaign like this also generates an extremely valuable donor list. There's no crime in that, every campaign does the same thing. But it is impossible not to see it in a different light considering the extreme improbability of affecting the outcome of the election or even there being tampering of any sort to discover. I don't think anyone during this election spent more time talking about danger of Russian subversion of the electoral process than I did. And I don't think I have to tell you how unhappy I am about the result. But I have seen no evidence of any election day vote manipulation.

At best, I think this is basically a publicity stunt for Jill Stein. At worst, well ... the ever-escalating goals speak for themselves. An election campaign really has no limit on how much money it can raise or spend. Recounts are finite. There's only so much recounting you can do - even when you pile on 'lawyers fees' and fees for recount workers.

Here's one more detail. This is from Stein's site ...

We hope to do recounts in all three states. If we only raise sufficient money for two, we will demand recounts in two states. If we only raise enough money for one, we will demand a recount in one state. If we do not raise enough for any recount (which is highly unlikely) we pledge to use the money for election integrity efforts and to promote systemic voting system reform.

In other words, any money that is not spent on recount efforts in these states will not be refunded. It will be kept "to promote systemic voting system reform" by the legal entity that is Stein's campaign.

Our team here at TPM is making calls today to try to get more detail on how much these recounts - in one or all three of these states - should cost. We'll bring you more details as we find them.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.