Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein is raising money for a recount in three states Donald Trump won: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Funny thing, through: Stein is not only raising far more money than the recount actually requires, but she keeps raising the amount she’s requesting:
November 24, 2016 at 3:46AM – In the beginning, Stein figured she needed a total of $2.5mm to fund her recount efforts. That figure included $2.2mm for the actual filing fees and presumably another $0.3mm for legal fees and other costs.
November 24, 2016 at 1:20PM – Then, just 12 hours later, after the cash just kept flowing in, Stein figured she needed at least another $2mm as her fundraising goal was raised to $4.5mm in total. Of course, the filing fees of $2.2mm didn’t change but the “attorney’s fees” apparently surged by about 300% and the total costs of the effort skyrocketed to $6-7mm.
November 25, 2016 at 6:11AM – Now, just this morning as Stein approaches $5mm in total donations, her overall fundraising goal has surged once again and now stands at $7mm.
And that’s on total filing fees of $2.1 million for recounts in those three states. As Zero Hedge puts it, “So, with nearly $5mm raised so far, the question is no longer whether recounts will occur in WI, MI and PA but just how much Jill Stein will be able to drain from the pockets of disaffected Hillary supporters to fund her long-shot efforts.”
Indeed, Stein has raised more money for the recount than she did for her actual Presidential campaign. It’s also garnered 12 times the press coverage her actual campaign did.
And all this for a recount that experts say has no chance of changing the actual results:
Recounts typically don’t swing enough votes to change the winner. Out of 4,687 statewide general elections between 2000 and 2015, just 27 were followed by recounts, according to data compiled by FairVote, a nonpartisan group that researches elections and promotes electoral reform. Just three of those 27 recounts resulted in a change in the outcome, all leading to wins for Democrats: Al Franken’s win in Minnesota’s 2008 U.S. Senate race, Thomas M. Salmon’s win in Vermont’s 2006 auditor election and Christine Gregoire’s win in Washington’s 2004 gubernatorial race.
Recounts also typically don’t change the margin by an amount that would be large enough to affect the result of this year’s presidential election. The mean swing between the top two candidates in the 27 recounts was 282 votes, with a median of 219. The biggest swing came in Florida’s 2000 presidential election recount, when Al Gore cut 1,247 votes off George W. Bush’s lead, ultimately not enough to flip the state to his column. In each state Trump won or leads in, his advantage is more than 10,000 votes.
Indeed, Trump’s victory margins in those three states are:
Michigan: 10,704 votes.
Pennsylvania: 70,638 votes.
Wisconsin: 22,177 votes.
Even Democrats are calling Stein’s recount a waste of time.
“It’s a waste of time and money. It is not going to change anything,” said Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, who served as campaign manager for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.
“I think it probably was the Stein people looking for a way to stay relevant, raise some money and take the stink off of them. Instead of everybody screaming, ‘You made Trump happen,’ she is counting the votes to change that whole narrative.”
Even the Clinton team thinks it’s a waste of time:
In a Medium post on Saturday, Clinton lawyer Marc Elias wrote, “Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves.”
The Clinton team’s involvement will likely be limited to having lawyers or other experts at recount sites to watch over the proceedings.
“My sense is that the Clinton people would have preferred this not to happen and are going to be involved only in a monitoring capacity,” said Robert Shrum, a Democratic strategist and a veteran of several presidential campaigns, including that of 2004 nominee John Kerry.
Shrum added that he believed “people are way over-excited about the thing.” There is, he added, “no chance” that it will change the election’s outcome.
But Stein missed Pennsylvania recount deadline. So now Stein’s not only suing, she’s asking her supporters to file precinct-by-precinct recount requests. “Further complicating the effort, the Pennsylvania Department of State noted that some of the precincts are in counties that had finished certifying their election results, closing the five-day window for petitioning precincts to hold recounts.”
Wisconsin has denied Stein’s request to do a time-consuming hand-recount. So naturally she’s suing there as well.
Michigan has already certified its election results for Trump.
There’s been speculation that the entire strategy is to delay official electors from casting their votes for Trump in order to cast the election into the House, but that seems equally unlikely. All electoral votes must be finalized December 13 so they can be cast December 19. Michigan and Wisconsin both have Republican governors (and Michigan a Republican Secretary of State), so the chances they would play along in this Hail Mary charade by not certifying electors is nil. Nor do I see three separate federal judges (Michigan is in the Sixth Circuit, Pennsylvania in the Third, and Wisconsin in the Seventh) all moving to block electors from voting.
Stein’s play is a scam to extract money from gullible liberals, and will not prevent Donald Trump from being certified as the 45th President of the United States of America.