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House Candidate Stephanie Schmid. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

FEC warns Schmid of possible legal action over campaign finance violations

NJ-4 Democratic congressional candidate took more than a month to report her own $100,000 loan

By David Wildstein, September 09 2020 11:15 am

Democrat Stephanie Schmid faces an internal investigation by the Federal Election Commission over allegations that she didn’t properly disclose contributions to her campaign for Congress in New Jersey’s 4th district.

Since becoming a candidate, Schmid has filed a total of seven amendments to five campaign finance reports.  Now the FEC is threatening legal action against her campaign if they don’t properly disclose their contributions.

Among the issues related to Schmid’s filings is a $100,000 loan she made to her own campaign on June 27.  Schmid did not report the contribution immediately before the FEC before the July 7 Democratic primary.  Federal law requires candidates receiving donations of over $1,000 in the final days of a campaign be reported within 48 hours.

Schmid also neglected to report the contribution on her July 15 report and did not disclose her own loan until an amended report on July 29.

In her amended report, the Schmid campaign says her $100,000 loan was “based on new information.”

Records show that Schmid filed four 48-hour reports between June 28 and July 3, but none of them reflected her campaign loan.  She did file a report on July 5 reflecting a July 4 loan, even though her check was dated June 27.  Essentially, she amended a report that never actually existed.

The Yale-educated attorney has already ignored a letter the commission sent last year questioning her second quarter filings.

The FEC has found contributions from a potentially prohibited entity, Dora Radiology Associates, Inc.  Candidates for federal office are not permitted to accept contributions from corporations.

Additionally, the FEC is questioning “apparent excessive contributions” from three individuals that potentially exceed legal limits, and from a “possible unregistered organization.”

Schmid also faces allegations that two contributions totaling $8,400 that Schmid reported as receiving on June 30 were not reported to the FEC using 48-hour reports.

“Although the Commission may take further legal action concerning the acceptance of prohibited contributions, your prompt action to refund the prohibited amount will be taken into consideration,” FEC senior campaign finance and reviewing analyst Michael Dobi wrote to Schmid.

The FEC told Schmid that she must refund prohibited contributions within 30 days of being made aware of them.  Notices from the commission are rarely issued as quickly following an amended report as the one to Schmid was.

“We filed an amended report two months ago and have been working with the FEC ever since,” said Kristin Foca, a spokesperson for the Schmid campaign.

Schmid burned through over $140,000 in her bid to win the Democratic nomination.  Now she faces an uphill race against 20-term Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton)

The Smith campaign declined to comment.

This story was updated at 11:42 AM with comment from  the Schmid campaign.

Stephanie Schmid’s check loaning $100,000 to her campaign. (Image: New Jersey Globe.)


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