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 ➡