Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has been ordered to repay $332,000 to the United States Treasury for matching funds received during his 2012 run for president.
Johnson sought the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party in 2012, and won that nomination, however the matching funds received for his run were only supposed to be used for his primary race.
The candidate, who is now seeking his second nomination in 2016, received over $632,000 in 2012, of which, the Federal Elections Commission says that $332,000 were used for “non-qualified campaign expenses.”
Johnson or his campaign has 30 days to repay the funds.
Presidential matching funds are taken from the $3 voluntary check box where taxpayers elect to make a donation to the fund.
No Libertarian candidate has accepted matching funds in the past.
Due to the restrictions and mandatory audits that are triggered by accepting matching funds, few candidates, including Republicans and Democrats, accept the funds.
Harry Browne, who was the Libertarian’s presidential nominee in 1996 and 2000, qualified for matching funds, but became the first candidate in history to refuse them.
Browne wrote that it was immoral to accept government funds and refused to “accept any handout the government offers.”
Johnson clearly did not share those values in 2012, and now he’s $332,000 in debt from the hand that fed him.