Federal Election Commission is Investigating Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s PAC

From the Washington Examiner by Alana Goodman:

The Federal Election Commission is examining financial discrepancies at a political action committee that was run by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after an outside watchdog group raised questions about the group’s spending activities.

Justice Democrats PAC, a committee where Ocasio-Cortez served on the board until last summer, said in financial reports that it helped pay off candidate debts that did not appear to exist, according to a May 30 letter from the FEC cited by the Washington Free Beacon.

The FEC asked the PAC to explain the discrepancies, request refunds from the campaigns that allegedly received the payments, and update its financial statements, noting that the commission “may take further legal action regarding this impermissible activity.”

Justice Democrat PAC’s financial report for April 1, 2018, to June 30, 2018, “discloses one or more contributions to federal candidates for the retirement of debts incurred … Read More ➡

Youthful Socialists Ignore Inevitability of Corruption

It is one of modern history’s more famous quotes: “If a man is not a socialist at 20, he has no heart. If he remains one at age 40, he has no head.” These words (and variations thereof) have been attributed to everyone from Disraeli to Clemenceau to Churchill. Whatever the true source, they convey a wisdom that frequently is going unheeded in America. And we risk becoming an ever more controlled and corrupt society.

Consider recent survey data.

This January, the public relations firm Axios released the results of a SurveyMonkey online poll of nearly 2,800 U.S. adults. Respondents were asked how they felt about capitalism and socialism. Capitalism produced a favorable response among 61 percent of all respondents, yet socialism was well-received among a sizable 39 percent. Fully 58 percent of persons ages 18-24 and 51 percent of persons ages 25-34 viewed socialism in a positive light; a … Read More ➡

Senator Crapo Hits Big Banks for Playing Politics

The Left has tried to sway businesses’ behavior to comply with their public policy goals through shareholder activism, and used the cudgel of law enforcement and regulation to choke off funding for businesses it disfavors, but now signs are showing from elected conservatives that they’ve had enough.

Much in the way organized progressives have attacked Fox News’ advertisers to deter them from supporting programs they disagree with politically, so also have they pressured banks and other financial institutions to persuade them to stop lending money, or providing everyday money management services, to legal businesses they oppose – think gun dealers, payday lenders, and precious metals merchants.

At the end of March, Republican Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho – who chairs the Senate Banking Committee – notified eight major banks that he expected them to not succumb to the demands of political agitators.

“Banks serve customers who are geographically and … Read More ➡

Ocasio-Cortez’s Fundraising Tangle Included 527 Soft Money Operation

From the Washington Examiner, by Alana Goodman:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., sat on the board of a political action committee that operated the type of “soft money” group she wants to abolish through a constitutional amendment, according to federal records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.

“Soft money” is cash that goes to an interest group or PAC. This means it is largely unregulated and avoids the firm limits placed on “hard money” that usually goes directly to candidates or parties.

Ocasio-Cortez was a board member of Justice Democrats, a group that sought to get progressive candidates elected, from November 2017 to 2018. The group was founded by Saikat Chakrabarti, a Harvard graduate and technology entrepreneur who became an organizer for Bernie Sanders during the socialist’s 2016 presidential campaign, and progressive media personality Cenk Uyger. Chakrabarti is now Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff

Click here to read the rest in the Read More ➡

Ocasio-Cortez Attacks NLPC; Gets it Wrong— Twice

The following by Alex Griswold appeared in the Washington Free-Beacon:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) sent a false tweet Monday when attempting to correct a tweet that was also false.

A conservative nonprofit recently filed an FEC complaint against Ocasio-Cortez, arguing that the candidate violated campaign laws in her relationship with a PAC and business operated by her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Luke Thompson, vice president of the Republican analytics firm Applecart, was the first to call attention to Chakrabarti’s role as architect of the opaque fundraising scheme.

Left-wing Intercept reporter Jon Schwarz noted in response that Thompson had once worked at Right to Rise, a 2016 pro-Jeb Bush super PAC that was recently fined by the FEC for accepting foreign donations. Ocasio-Cortez quote-tweeted his tweet and crowed that “the creepy org filing bogus ethics complaints against me just *actually* got hit with one of the biggest fines … Read More ➡

Anti-Semitism and ‘Islamophobia’: No Moral Equivalence

The disgust that many people feel following Thursday’s House of Representatives resolution condemning “hate” is justified. The resolution, retrofitted to the goals of “Third World first, America last” Democratic Party radicals, was a stern rebuke to critics of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the Somalia-born Muslim whose derogatory comments about Jews triggered the action. Since anti-Semitism and Islamophobia each constitute “hate,” the argument goes, they are equally bad. Both therefore must be condemned without regard as to whether one does more harm than another.

Many naïve, well-meaning people across the political spectrum believe this moral equivalence claptrap. For them, opposing “hate” is a no-brainer. Who possibly could be in favor of it? Given such an assumption, a condemnation by Congress of hate in all forms is necessary. To single out anti-Semitism is insufficient since it implicitly gives other forms of hate a free pass. That’s why the resolution, which passed 407-23, … Read More ➡

‘This Isn’t Dark Money, It’s Pitch Black Money’

NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty appeared on Fox Business Network’s Evening Edit With Liz MacDonald on Wednesday, March 6 to discuss the Complaint by the National Legal and Policy Center’s Complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).… Read More ➡

FEC Complaint Filed Against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for ‘Extensive Off-the-Books’ Campaign

National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a formal Complaint today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti, and several other individuals and groups who orchestrated an extensive operation to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spending during the 2018 campaign, in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended.

The funds were expended in support of ten or more Congressional candidates by a for-profit entity called Brand New Congress LLC, apparently operated by Chakrabarti. The Act requires that all expenditures of $200 or more to be disclosed to the FEC, and their purpose identified. The Complaint alleges that Chakrabarti’s LLC served as a “cutout,” for at least $885,735 received from Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign and two federal political action committees, Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC.

The final disposition of the funds is unknown … Read More ➡

Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Staff Salary Cap a Way to Avoid Disclosure?

With great fanfare, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently announced that she would pay members of her staff a “living wage,” of at least $52,000 per year, and no staffer would make more than $80,000.

Alana Goodman in the Washington Examiner today raised the question of whether the cap served another purpose. From the story:

The National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, said the $80,000 salary cap for Ocasio-Cortez’ senior staffers was concerning because it could be used to intentionally evade financial disclosure laws.

“Purposefully underpaying staffers in order to avoid transparency is an old trick some of the most corrupt members of Congress have used time and again,” said Tom Anderson, director of the NLPC’s Government Integrity Project.

 … Read More ➡

Corrupt Rep. Joseph Crowley Loses Democratic Primary

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), the fourth ranking Democrat in the House, lost his re-election bid to a political newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Working with the New York Post and other media outlets, NLPC helped expose corruption in Crowley’s office. In addition, NLPC has exposed corruption in the Queens political machine that Crowley heads, sending several local politicians to prison.

Crowley, whose supporters were promoting him as a future House Speaker, clearly underestimated Ocasio-Cortez. If she were perceived to be any kind of threat, the machine would have simply kept her off the ballot, the time-honored way dissidents are thwarted in Queens.

Ocasio-Cortez ran at Crowley from the left, and is unlikely to support real Congressional reform or to help drain the swamp, but she has an interesting personal story that underscores how the Queens machine operates — through corruption, cronyism and nepotism in the local courts.

When Ocasio-Cortez was in college, … Read More ➡