Election Officials in Biden’s Delaware Rarely Investigate Campaign Finance Violations, Investigation Finds

by Robert Schmad


Delaware election officials rarely utilize their basic investigative authorities, only releasing a handful of opinions over the past decade and a half, according to the Delaware News Journal.

The Delaware Department of Elections said it had “no records” of investigative probes carried out using the authority delegated to it to “investigate information coming to the attention of the [election] commissioner that, if true, would constitute a violation” of state campaign finance law, the Delaware News Journal reported. The Department of Elections has only released seven advisory opinions in the past 15 years.

Delaware’s Department of Elections didn’t investigate a recent scandal concerning the top Democrat contender in the upcoming gubernatorial election, the outlet noted.

Delaware Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, who is running for governor in 2024, faced scrutiny from her own staffers after they reviewed bank records suggesting that she had paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds to her husband, according to WHYY, a regional nonprofit news outlet. These payments were not listed on Hall-Long’s publicly available campaign finance reports.

Sources interviewed by WHYY said that Hall-Long told staffers that she had loaned money to her campaign and used her credit cards to cover campaign-related expenses. She justified the undisclosed payments to her spouse by claiming they were made to repay the undisclosed loans she made to her campaign.

Some people involved in Hall-Long’s campaign were unconvinced by her explanation and urged her to drop out, WHYY reported. Hall-Long initially agreed to suspend her campaign, though later decided against doing so.

Hall-Long’s campaign cleared itself following an internal audit, which it has repeatedly refused to make public, according to the Delaware News Journal. Her audit found “no wrongdoings or violations” on part of the campaign.

The Delaware Department of Elections has not received a copy of the Democrat’s internal audit and is not conducting an independent review of her campaign.

A spokesperson for the Department of Elections said that it is “not required by Delaware Code to review the content of submitted campaign finance reports,” the News Journal reported.

Delaware election officials do sometimes impose penalties on candidates for filing late reports. Election commissioners can choose to impose a $50 a day penalty for candidates who don’t file their reports on time, according to the News Journal.

The Delaware elections commissioner is appointed by the state’s governor, who is currently a Democrat.

Delaware is the home state of President Joe Biden, which he represented in the Senate for 36 years.

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Robert Schmad is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Bethany Hall-Long” by Bethany Hall-Long.



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