Home Politics Marianne Williamson hosts seminar to pay presidential campaign debt

Marianne Williamson hosts seminar to pay presidential campaign debt


Democratic Presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson speaks at the California Democratic Party 2019 Fall Endorsing Convention in Long Beach, California on November 16, 2019.

Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images

Marianne Williamson talks a lot about love, but right now, she’s all about the money.

The author and spiritual leader has been soliciting donations to pay off her campaign debt since dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary earlier this month.

Supporters received an email from Williamson on Jan. 27 inviting them to participate in a “love and power” seminar to raise money for campaign debt relief.

Tickets are going for $149, and livestream access is $79.

The web page calls the event “An All Day Seminar on Transforming the World from the Inside Out.” Williamson will host the live event in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Williamson dropped out of the presidential primary race on Jan. 10, just days after she fired her entire campaign staff due to insufficient funds. She vowed to stay in the race at the time, saying, “A campaign not having a huge war chest should not be what determines its fate.”

Williamson did not reply to a request for comment from CNBC on the size of her campaign debt.

In a separate email to supporters on Jan. 14, Williamson included a note at the bottom saying that all funds collected on her website would go toward the Committee for Campaign Debt Retirement. The note, when clicked, leads to a web page for donors.

“I very much appreciate your generosity, both in supporting the campaign and in helping me to retire the debt that is left,” Williamson wrote on the page.

Williamson formed an exploratory committee in late 2018 and officially announced a bid for president in January 2019. Between November 2018 and Sept. 30 of last year, the last day of the third quarter, her campaign reported $6.1 million, a sum that pales compared with what some Democratic contenders have raised in a single quarter.

The Federal Election Commission specifies that a candidate may continue to collect funds after suspending their campaign to repay debt.

Candidates who suspend their campaigns are no longer in the running for a seat, but a campaign is officially over only when its committee pays off its debt, former FEC head of enforcement Kenneth Gross told The Wall Street Journal.

There’s no difference between a campaign saying a candidate is “quitting” and “suspending” their campaign, but candidates may use the latter to continue inviting potential donors who can help repay debt, Gross said.

“It is harder to raise money when you’re out rather than thinking about getting out,” he said.

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