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 ➡

FEC Investigating Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Ex-Chief of Staff Chakrabarti

From the Washington Examiner by Alana Goodman:

Two organizations linked to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her outgoing senior aides are the subject of a Federal Election Commission investigation into alleged campaign finance violations, the Washington Examiner has learned.

The FEC opened an official case on March 7 to examine complaints against Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, two campaign committees started by Ocasio-Cortez’s former chief of staff Shaikat Chakrabarti, according to an FEC confirmation letter disclosed to the Washington Examiner. The matter was assigned a case number and remains open. Ocasio-Cortez also sat on the board of Justice Democrats from December 2017 to June 2018, the Daily Caller reported.

The original FEC complaint was filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, and claimed the Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress PACs were engaged in “an elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure … Read More ➡

NY Post: Feds Investigating AOC Campaign Finances

From the New York Post today by Mary Kay Linge and Jon Levine:

The Feds are looking into possible campaign finance misdeeds by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff and lead rainmaker, who suddenly resigned Friday, federal sources told The Post.

The inquiry centers on two political action committees founded by Saikat Chakrabarti, the top aide who quit along with Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent,the sources said. Trent left to join the congresswoman’s 2020 re-election campaign.

The two PACs being probed, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, were both set up by Chakrabarti to support progressive candidates across the country.

But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency.

Also from the article:

The complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, 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 ➡

‘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 ➡

Maxine Waters’ Daughter Rakes in $200K for Slate Mailers This Election

This article by Joe Schoffstall appears on the The Free Beacon website:

The daughter of Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) will collect more than $200,000 from her mother’s campaign after its debts are paid off for leading a lucrative slate mailer operation, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Karen Waters has pulled in hefty payments from the campaign to run a slate mailer operation after the FEC issued an advisory opinion in October 2004 allowing Waters to run the operation from the Citizens for Waters, her mother’s campaign committee. Prior to 2006, Karen ran the arrangement through LA Vote, a state committee in California.

Karen is in charge of slate mailers, or endorsement mailers, in which candidates pay Rep. Waters’s campaign to appear on mailers that are sent to more than 200,000 residents in the South Central Los Angeles area, where Waters holds a good amount of clout. The mailers contain … 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 ➡