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
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 ➡ “Ocasio-Cortez Attacks NLPC; Gets it Wrong— Twice”
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 ➡ “Anti-Semitism and ‘Islamophobia’: No Moral Equivalence”
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 ➡ “‘This Isn’t Dark Money, It’s Pitch Black Money’”
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.
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.
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.