Rev. Al Sharpton’s former presidential campaign still owes several major outstanding debts 17 years after his failed run in the 2004 Democratic primary.
Reports show the Sharpton 2004 committee owes around a total of $925,000, including an outstanding $208,000 Federal Election Commission (FEC) fine for illegal contributions and misuse of campaign funds. The campaign owes the debt, not Sharpton himself, so his campaign treasurer at the time Andrew Rivera is legally responsible for paying it off.
Al Sharpton’s 2004 presidential campaign still has about $925k in outstanding debts, including a $208,000 FEC fine levied 12 years ago over Sharpton’s flagrant misuse and misreporting of campaign funds https://t.co/Up60mz4Sf1 pic.twitter.com/svwuej8sJy
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) July 26, 2021
The last time Sharpton spoke of his campaign’s outstanding debts was in 2019.
“I have asked Andrew Rivera, the finance chair of my 2004 campaign, to set up a meeting with the Federal Election Commission so that I can resolve any campaign debts related to Sharpton 2004,” he told The New York Post.
“I am willing to work out a settlement for all claims with my own money to the degree that I’m allowed and will raise money directly,” Sharpton told the Post. “Even if I am not legally liable for it, I am certainly morally responsible.”
He formally withdrew from the race in 2004 shortly after the South Carolina primary, failing to win a single delegate in the state. He then endorsed eventual Democratic nominee former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.
Sharpton is the founder of civil rights organization National Action Network and has been deeply involved for decades in leading protests at officer-involved shootings including those of Trayvon Martin to George Floyd, in addition to being a frequent guest on MSNBC. (RELATED: Al Sharpton Plans To Campaign Against Democrats Supporting Filibuster By Accusing Them Of Supporting Racism)
Sharpton has also been involved in promoting several race hoaxes, most notoriously in 1987 when he falsely accused five white men of raping a black woman named Tawana Brawley.