Stacey Abrams’ Failures Magnified by Campaign Spending
The debt-saddled Stacey Abrams gubernatorial campaign allegedly shelled out for a TikTok “hype house” that was rarely used and a “swag truck” to dish out free merchandise to young people, according to staffers.
Abrams’s campaign raised more than $100 million and now owes over $1 million in debt to numerous vendors, according to Abrams’s campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo. Amid the twice-failed candidate’s campaign expenditures coming under scrutiny, former staffers have revealed certain atypical campaign charges for a political candidate.
The campaign allegedly rented a home near Atlanta’s Piedmont Park that was intended for TikTok creators to use and bolster Abrams, who lost to Gov. Brian Kemp(R-GA) by almost 299,000 votes, Abrams staffers told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The home has five bedrooms and is now being rented out for $12,500 per month, said the staffers.
In addition, the campaign’s alleged “swag truck” was criticized by staffers because there was apparently no giveaway strategy, the outlet reported. The operation seemed overly expensive and careless, staffers said.
“It’s incredibly bad planning, and it shows where their values are at,” a senior Democratic official told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You can’t look up one day and realize you can’t pay the bills.”
Abrams’s blowout loss in 2022 comes after she got trounced by Kemp in 2018 and baselessly claimed the election was “rigged” because of alleged voter suppression. Groh-Wargo told Axios that the 2022 campaign had to slash checks for most of its 180 full-time staffers and is attempting to sell donor lists and voter contact spreadsheets to fulfill its debts.
“People have told me they have no idea how they’re going to pay their rent in January,” said a former Abrams staffer. “It was more than unfortunate. It was messed up.”
Abrams insisted in an interview with Good Morning America following her 2022 loss to Kemp that she “may run again” for political office. The Democrat is in the process of teaming up with Selena Gomez to make a documentary for Discovery+ called Won’t Be Silent. The documentary will be “a love letter to the women in music who have used their voices to change the course of history with their art and activism,” according to a summary.
Also, the New Georgia Project, a charity founded by Abrams, has continued to make headlines for its financial woes. The nonprofit group fired half its leadership in October because it allegedly lacked funds.
A Georgia ethics commission concluded in August that the project violated the law during Abrams’s 2018 bid by not disclosing $3 million in expenditures and over $4 million in contributions from between 2017 and 2019. Now, the project has come under scrutiny because it has not yet filed its tax forms with the IRS but is still fundraising across the United States — opening it up to possible criminal inquiries.
“The New Georgia Project is facing multiple enforcement actions for illegal fundraising nationwide not only for their failure to file current Form 990 IRS reports with various state agencies but also possible misuse of nonprofit assets,” Paul Kamenar, counsel to the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, previously told the Washington Examiner.
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The Abrams campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
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