Could Bernie Sanders supporters be getting a refund in the near future? Headlines starting around July 10 certainly seem to suggest that — just as Bernie Sanders fans are calling him a “sell out.”
Many Bernie Sanders fans felt betrayed on July 12 when he said Hillary Clinton was getting his support and that he would be endorsing her. However, it appears that some Bernie Sanders fans will be getting a refund for their contributions to his campaign, but it might not be because he “sold out” to Hillary Clinton.
— CatLover (@CAROLOPEZ) July 12, 2016
In addition, any excess funds that Bernie Sanders has at the end of his campaign can be used in interesting ways that might surprise some of his supporters.
Speaking of Bernie Sanders supporters, there were reports around July 11 by multiple news sources that Bernie had a problem with his fans giving him too much money.
The first time Bernie Sanders was aware of this problem was February, according to NY Times. At that time, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) was reviewing the list carefully because it “can be harder when donors use slightly different variations of their names or contribute from more than one address.”
Now, it is happening again, and Bernie Sanders is being warned that he needs to refund some of his supporters. For example, Money claims on July 12 that Shia LaBeouf gave Bernie Sanders $6,015.
Anyone who donated $27 to Bernie Sanders campaign should DEMAND a refund! Lol! He " is endorsing Hillary tomorrow. #SelloutSanders
— JOEY MANNARINO (@Realjmannarino) July 11, 2016
As it appears, Bernie Sanders will be refunding Shia LaBeouf and others because they exceeded the standard contribution limit of $2,700, according to the FEC.
In fact, Atlantic points out around July 11 that Bernie Sanders received a document that was over 1,000 pages-long from the FEC of all of the contributors that overpaid to his campaign.
In addition to giving back funds that were overpaid, Bernie Sanders may also have an excess of unused cash after he closes his campaign. What is interesting is how many ways Bernie Sanders is allowed to use those funds, and it might have unexpected outcomes for his supporters.
Fortune pointed out in May that Bernie Sanders has been adamant about avoiding funding his campaign with PAC donations (that can lawfully exceed the $2,700 individual contribution limit). Bernie Sanders did this to avoid being influenced by corrupt super PACs made up of corporations.
Instead, Bernie Sanders did things in a way that made the task of fundraising harder, but he did successfully raise millions of dollars for his campaign.
Unfortunately, despite working harder for his campaign funds by avoiding being financed by super PACs, it appears that there is not much that Bernie Sanders can do with the excess campaign funds.
What Bernie Sanders can do besides holding the funds for another time he runs for president is refund the contributions back to supporters.
Bernie Sanders can also take the leftover campaign funds and donate to a charity or give a small portion to a political party, according to Fact Check.
What Bernie Sanders cannot do is give Hillary Clinton his entire campaign fund. According to Mental Floss, the maximum Bernie Sanders could donate to Hillary Clinton is $2,000.
Alternatively, Bernie Sanders might have an idea in mind for the DNC. According to an April 2015 report from Go Blindly, campaign contribution laws allow “candidates to transfer unlimited amounts of money to national party committees such as the Democratic National Committee.”
So far, Bernie Sanders has been vague about many details about his campaign, but he is still calling on his delegates and supporters to meet him in Philadelphia for the DNC held between July 25 and 28.
Along with other Bernie Sanders-related DNC events, he recently announced details concerning a DNC rally for his supporters on July 24. Set for the day before the DNC actually begins, Bernie Sanders announced his intentions to have the rally on July 6, according to Burlington Free Press.
Currently, it has not been officially confirmed that Bernie Sanders will have the July 24 rally in Philadelphia because the permit for FDR Park is still waiting to be approved.
At the time of the announcement on July 6, the mayor’s office in Philadelphia noted Bernie Sanders’ personal rally on July 24 “is one of ten applications filed with the Philadelphia mayor’s office for pro-Sanders protests, marches and demonstrations during the convention.”
[Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]