Alt-right White supremacist Richard Spencer’s controversial appearance at the University of Florida, Gainesville in October almost never happened, and the reason had nothing to do with students’ attempts to shut the event down. Rather, it appears that Spencer’s think tank organization bounced a check on the university only days before he was scheduled to show up.
On Wednesday, November 8, the UF released several hundred pages of emails that documented record of the failed transaction. A copy of the check reads, “We would like to confirm with you that the check (#1014) with the amount of $10,564.00 paid by the National Policy Institute on 10/10/2017 was returned due to “Insufficient Funds” in payer’s bank account on 10/12/2017.” Apparently, the check and rental contract for use of the university’s space was FedExed by NPI executive director Evan McLaren via same-day delivery on October 6. Six days later the school was alerted about the blunder.
The National Policy Institute has seen its share of unsuspected woes so far as finances go in 2017. Back in March, the organization learned that its non-profit tax-exempt status was being stripped by the IRS, for failure to file required tax returns since 2012. While the NPI’s current financial standing has gone unreported on, it is confirmed that they indeed eventually came through with their payment for Spencer’s University of Florida speech.