newsU.S. News

ADL files federal elections complaint against Jewish Voice for Peace

“JVP PAC’s numbers do not add up, and despite repeated warnings from the FEC, the PAC has failed to correct the record,” said Steven Sheinberg, the ADL’s chief legal officer.

Jewish Voice for Peace rally in New York on Aug. 26, 2015. Credit: A Katz/Shutterstock.
Jewish Voice for Peace rally in New York on Aug. 26, 2015. Credit: A Katz/Shutterstock.

The Anti-Defamation League filed a complaint against Jewish Voice for Peace with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, charging that JVP’s political action committee repeatedly failed to comply with federal elections law. 

Steven Sheinberg, the ADL’s chief legal officer, said that the U.S. agency had to hold the anti-Israel group accountable for its campaign finance violations.

“Simply put, JVP PAC’s numbers do not add up, and despite repeated warnings from the FEC, the PAC has failed to correct the record,” Sheinberg said. 

“While JVP PAC holds itself out to the public as a mechanism for supporting candidates for federal elected office, a significant majority of the PAC’s spending did not go to candidates or have any apparent direct connection to a federal campaign,” he added.

JVP, which describes itself as “the largest progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the world,” has been at the forefront of anti-Israel protests across the country since Oct. 7. 

The ADL describes JVP as a “radical anti-Israel and anti-Zionist activist group” on its website and notes that the group “does not represent the mainstream Jewish community” and has repeatedly engaged in antisemitic tropes.

Despite JVP’s political action committee claiming that it works to elect progressive candidates, a “remarkably small” amount of the PAC’s money is used for that purpose, per the ADL complaint.

“During the period from 2020 to 2023, JVP PAC made a total of $82,956.09 in reported expenditures,” per the complaint. “Of this amount, only $1,775, or a little over 2%, took the form of monetary contributions to federal candidates.” 

“While JVP PAC holds itself out to the public as a mechanism for supporting a small set of candidates for federal office, a significant majority of the PAC’s spending has no direct connection to a federal campaign,” it adds.

Much of the money went instead to paying what JVP described as legal and compliance costs. In one instance, that included a $19,656 payment for “legal services” to an insurance firm, which the ADL says “does not appear to practice law.”

The complaint also notes that JVP has repeatedly accepted illegal campaign contributions in excess of the annual $5,000 limit per person to a political action committee.

“JVP PAC accepted two contributions from Jonathan Brown of Seattle, Wash. totaling $9,562.00—more than $4,562.08 in excess of applicable limits,” the complaint states. “Based on a review of JVP PAC’s reports, the excessive contribution by Mr. Brown does not appear to have been refunded at any point, leaving JVP PAC with the full benefit resulting from this apparent violation of federal campaign finance laws.”

The FEC enforces campaign finance regulations by imposing civil penalties, including fines. After receiving a complaint, the FEC notifies the parties of receipt of the complaint within five days, and the subject of the complaint then has 15 days to respond, per the FEC’s guidebook. 

Under law, FEC enforcement matters remain confidential until their resolution.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates