Ocasio-Cortez Denies Campaign Finance Violation and 'Dark Money' Allegations

08 March, 2019, 04:30 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Cortez arrives for a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Feb. 27 2019

Ocasio-Cortez responded after the National Legal and Policy Center's Government Integrity Project filed an FEC complaint saying her top aide shifted the funds in what it argued could have been a bid to avoid disclosure.

But while Ocasio-Cortez claimed that "none of this is whataboutism", not everyone seemed to be convinced by her reasoning.

The complaint listed several examples of campaign services provided by the company, including door-knocking and canvassing operations, as well as running events for the benefit of certain candidates.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent out a fundraising email Thursday alleging that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was "coming after" her and some of her colleagues. "Additionally, on Ocasio-Cortez's political Instagram page, she directly links to her official House Instagram account and includes a link for political contributions, alongside the posts of official video footage and her comments on official action". "You might say from a campaign finance angle that the LLC was essentially operating as an unregistered committee". This raises the obvious question of what "strategic consulting" work these companies did to earn over $1 million in fees within that time period despite having no recognized activity or personnel apart from Charkrabarti.

Asked for her thoughts on Omar's remarks, Ocasio-Cortez told CNN that the comments "just part of a learning process" for her colleague.

Ocasio-Cortez had opposed Amazon.com Inc's plan to create a major NY outpost with almost $3 billion in city and state incentives.

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"If you can't even get the rules right and follow the laws ... and you disregard the laws that are already on the books, it makes constituents wonder what your agenda is", she said.

Brand New Congress PAC, launched by Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti in 2016, spent more than 90 percent of its funds paying a firm owned by the PAC founder for "strategic consulting" in its first year and continued to pay the firm a big portion of its funds.

"Their candidates are proven to be absolutely insane, AOC, right?" he said, referring to Ocasio-Cortez. Even more tellingly, while Brand New Campaign LLC is registered in DE, there are no Secretary of State records for Brand New Congress LLC, and the time or location of its incorporation remain unknown.

The stated objective was to help elect progressive candidates to Congress.

Bradley A. Smith, a former chairman of the FEC, called it "a really weird situation".

One such person would be Chakrabarti himself, who gave the allowed maximum of $5,000 to the PAC while also maxing out the $2,700 contribution limit to Ocasio-Cortez.

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