LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A former community college trustee and current leader in the county and state Democratic Party owes the Ingham County Clerk $12,800 in campaign fines and fees dating back to at least 2014.
Robin Smith, currently a vice chair for the Ingham County Democratic Party, says she was unaware of her debts but has reached out to Clerk Barb Byrum and “asked for a payment arrangement.”
Smith was first elected to the Lansing Community College Board of Trustees in 2007. She was re-elected in 2012 and did not seek re-election in 2018.
She says after she left office, she was unaware she was required to close her campaign or continue to file campaign finance reports. Were she to decide to run for elective office she would be required to pay off the fines and fees, or she would not qualify for office.
Her last quarterly report, filed in July 2014, showed she had no money on hand.
Smith serves on both the State Party’s Executive Committee as well as First Vice Chair of the county party. It is unclear how long she has held these posts. Smith says neither the state nor county parties review or consider campaign finance debts when selecting leadership. She declined to opine whether either should.
“I’m disappointed in myself,” she tells 6 News. Calling the debt an “urgent matter” she says she’s “going to do whatever I can to get it taken care of.”
She plans to connect with Byrum and her team when she returns from a vacation to Dubai. She leaves Oct. 30 and will be out of the country for ten days she says.
Byrum sent a letter to Smith on Aug. 8, 2023, with a total due of $12,275. This afternoon, Byrum confirmed by text message the amount due was now $12,800.