Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) insisted on Tuesday that she did not violate any campaign finance laws after a conservative government watchdog filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that she and her chief of staff funneled almost $1 million to his own companies.
A political operation tied to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff is facing scrutiny over payments made to a company he owned.
Attorney Gayle Trotter discusses how a conservative group filed a FEC compliant against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti for potentially violating a campaign finance law. The Act requires that all expenditures of $200 or more to be disclosed to the FEC, and their objective identified.
In filing the complaint, the Policy Center has effectively requested that the FEC begin a formal investigation into several named individuals and entities, including Rep. Ocasio-Cortez personally, as well as her 2018 congressional campaign committee and Chakrabarti.
Chakrabarti tweeted about the unusual arrangement in response to media reports Monday.
The Brand New Congress PAC was founded in April 2016 by former volunteers and staff of the presidential campaign of Sen. The group argues the committees skirted campaign-finance laws by paying the large sums for "strategic consulting" services to Chakrabarti's corporation without disclosing details on precisely how the money was spent and who ultimately benefited from the spending. "Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been quite vocal in condemning so-called dark money, but her own campaign went to great lengths to avoid the sunlight of disclosure".
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But we matched that and we just didn't take the chances that we were given. "But we'll fight for everything now and we'll push them the whole way".
Trotter noted that "it's so ironic that [Ocasio-Cortez] has been out there talking about transparency and the malign influence of money in politics and yet these are very clear rules that every candidate has to follow".
"We were transparent about it from the start", he said Tuesday on Twitter.
A number of people also seemed unamused by the congresswoman's assessment of the "GOP amendment" she mentioned. "The ONLY way to do work for multiple candidates legally at this scale is to create an LLC and act as a vendor", the group said.
Chakrabarti described the operation on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as a "unified" national campaign to elect progressives to Congress, whereby candidates would be freed from the responsibility of raising money or administering their campaigns. The law imposes a $5,000 limit on campaign contributions from political organizations.