Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-NY) chief of staff helped create two political action committees that ultimately paid his corporation $1 million in 2016 and 2017, according to a new Washington Post report, citing federal campaign finance records.
Chakrabarti not only ran Brand New Congress LLC, but was also Ocasio-Cortez's campaign manager and sat on the board of Justice Democrats, the group's website indicated as recently as January 8.
"Whatever this stuff is, it makes a lot of news ― and that's why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for all her callowness and arguable shallowness, is able to become so prominent", Hume said.
This week, a conservative group, the National Legal and Policy Center, filed a complaint asking the Federal Election Commission to audit and investigate the political committees. Eric Trump called Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "absolutely insane".
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"There is no violation", Ocasio-Cortez told Fox News on March 5.
A number of people also seemed unamused by the congresswoman's assessment of the "GOP amendment" she mentioned.
The complaint states that the Policy Center "has found reason to believe [the] Respondents knowingly and willfully violated 2 U.S.C. 434 (b)(5)(A)", a provision of US campaign finance law that requires the treasurer of any registered political committee to report the name and address of anyone who receives more than $200 in campaign-related spending from that committee, along with the dates and objective of that spending.
Paul Ryan, a top lawyer for Common Cause and an advocate for greater transparency in politics, said the dispute over whether the committees needed to disclose information about who ultimately received payments from Chakrabarti's company "is rooted in weak disclosure requirements" at the FEC. The goal was "to essentially run the full campaigns" and act as a vendor.
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But the Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a complained with the FEC alleging that Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, orchestrated "an extensive operation to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spending during the 2018 campaign". The company, then called Brand New Campaign LLC, was set up to provide all-in-one campaign services to candidates without political background.
Federal Election Commission officials said this week that they were barred by agency rules from commenting on any matters pending before the commission.
Ocasio-Cortez, Michael Milisits said, "represents the new guard, the new generation (of Democrats)".
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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.