Ocasio-Cortez Riles Up Twitter With 'Racist Tropes' Talk Amid Omar Controversy

08 March, 2019, 04:29 | Author: Sally Reid
  • BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI  AFP

It accuses Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti, her chief of staff, of funneling almost $1 million in contributions from political action committees Chakrabarti established to private companies that he also controlled.

Brand New Congress PAC, launched by Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti in 2016, spent more than 90 percent of its funds paying a firm owned by the PAC founder for "strategic consulting" in its first year and continued to pay the firm a big portion of its funds. The complaint centers on federal regulations about how much detail candidates are required to disclose about vendor activities.

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a conservative government watchdog, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) which alleges that Chakrabarti siphoned more than $885 thousand in contributions from donors, to political action committees (PACs), and then into private companies under the guise of "strategic consulting".

Chakrabarti tweeted about the unusual arrangement in response to media reports Monday.

After starting Brand New Congress, he formed a Delaware-based LLC, Brand New Campaign LLC. "You might say from a campaign finance angle that the LLC was essentially operating as an unregistered committee".

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign arm sent out a fundraising plea minutes before Thursday's House vote on an anti-hatred resolution, asking for dollars to defend her and liberal allies Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

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In their statement, attorneys for Ocasio-Cortez explained that Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC were one and the same entity, and that Brand New Campaign LLC had simply changed its name to Brand New Congress LLC.

"Additionally, on Ocasio-Cortez's political Instagram page, she directly links to her official House Instagram account and includes a link for political contributions, alongside the posts of official video footage and her comments on official action". Chakrabarti later launched another PAC Justice Democrats to support the effort, which more explicitly focuses on Democratic Party candidates. "We should actively check antisemitism, anti-blackness, homophobia, racism, and all other forms of bigotry", it said.

A number of people also seemed unamused by the congresswoman's assessment of the "GOP amendment" she mentioned.

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.

For that reason, they set up an LLC that served as the vehicle to pay staff and bill campaigns for services.

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