AOC Confirms FEC Probe; Attacks NLPC

In an “exclusive interview,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told New York Daily News reporters Chris Sommerfeldt and Jason Fisher that she and her former Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti are “in conversation” with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) about a Complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center in March. (Matter Under Review #7575)

Of course, the FEC doesn’t have conversations with Respondents to Complaints. It conducts investigations. By confirming that she and the other Respondents are interacting with the FEC, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the existence of an investigation, contrary to assertions of some of her supporters. From the article:

Ocasio-Cortez dismissed the complaint as a political hit job.

“All of these things were filed by these fringe, Republican groups. It’s a tactic they use and it’s very common,” she said. “It’s a form of legal trolling.”

The accusation that NLPC is a “Republican” group would come as a … Read More ➡

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 ➡

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 ➡

‘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 ➡

NLPC Raises New Questions About Maxine Waters Campaign Finances

Rep. Maxine Waters took the helm of the Financial Services Committee this month after easily winning re-election as part of the Democrats’ House takeover. But according to the California Democrat’s post-election filing – which has prompted fresh calls for a full audit – her campaign may have some financial issues of its own to sort out.

The Citizens for Waters report to the Federal Election Commission from Dec. 11 lists $183,022 in debt to her daughter Karen Waters, who is in charge of distributing “slate mailers.”

The mailers have faced scrutiny since 2010 because the campaign, beginning in 2004, has paid Waters’ daughter or her public relations firm Progressive Connections to produce, print and mail the sample ballots. Watchdog groups have raised questions about the propriety of campaign funds financially supporting a family member, as well as Waters raising contributions in excess of federal limits through an unusual process. Since … Read More ➡

NLPC Hits Maxine Waters for Campaign Violations

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has filed a Complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) violated federal election law in a transaction related to her so-called slate mailer earlier this year.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was running for Governor in the Democratic primary, was included on the mailer for a fee of $25,000. His campaign did not pay. Instead, a group called “Families and Teachers for Antonio” did. (Villaraigosa lost the primary to California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.)

Whereas candidates like Villaraigosa may legally pay Waters’ campaign for the proportional costs of their inclusion on her slate mailer, it is not legal for such payment to be made by a third party like “Families and Teachers for Antonio.”

“Families and Teachers for Antonio” is funded by wealthy individuals like Michael Bloomberg, who kicked in a total of $3.5 … Read More ➡

FEC Complaint Filed Against Rep. Maxine Waters Alleging ‘Slate Mailer’ Election Law Violations

Today, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) violated federal election law in a transaction related to her so-called slate mailer during her last re-election campaign.

The transaction was a payment to Waters’ campaign fund from the Democratic State Central Committee of California (DSCCC) in the amount of $35,000 for the inclusion of then-Senate candidate, and now Senator Kamala Harris, on Waters’ slate mailer. Whereas candidates like Harris may legally pay Waters’ campaign for the proportional costs of their inclusion on her slate mailer, it is not legal for such payment to be made by a third party like the DSCCC.

Waters’ slate mailers have been a matter of controversy for years. They resemble a sample ballot distributed by political parties before and during elections, but contain Waters’ personal endorsements. She pioneered a new way to use slate mailers by seeking an … Read More ➡