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FEC Complaint Alleges Ocasio-Cortez, Chief of Staff Moved Almost $1 Million Contributions to His Companies

FEC Complaint Alleges Ocasio-Cortez, Chief of Staff Moved Almost $1 Million Contributions to His Companies

AOC claims there is no violation or a connection between her and dark money.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has come under fire since The Washington Examiner first reported that a complaint to the Federal Election Committee (FEC) claimed her top aide “funneled over $1 million in political donations into two of his own private companies.”

The mainstream media largely ignored the story until Ocasio-Cortez provided a non-response response.

FEC Complaint

The Washington Examiner published its report on Monday:

The cash transfers from the PACs — overseen by Saikat Chakrabarti, the freshman socialist Democrat’s chief of staff — run counter to her pledges to increase transparency and reduce the influence of “dark money” in politics.

Chakrabarti’s companies appear to have been set up for the sole purpose of obscuring how the political donations were used.

The arrangement skirted reporting requirements and may have violated the $5,000 limit on contributions from federal PACs to candidates, according to the complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.

Campaign finance attorneys described the arrangement as “really weird” and an indication “there’s something amiss.” They said there was no way of telling where the political donations went — meaning they could have been pocketed or used by the company to pay for off-the-books campaign operations.

Here are the facts listed in the complaint:

The complaint shows how the PACs run by Chakrabarti “raised about $3.3 million for the project, primarily from small donors” in 2016 and 2017, which the committees then “transferred over $1 million to two shell companies controlled by Chakrabarti with names similar to one of the PACs, Brand New Campaign LLC and Brand New Congress LLC, according to federal election filings.”

Chakrabarti developed Brand New Campaign LLC a few weeks after he started Brand New Congress PAC:

Over the next seven months, as small-dollar political donations poured into the PAC from progressives across the country, the committee transferred over $200,000, 82 percent of the contributions, to the company Brand New Campaign LLC. The payments were for “strategic consulting,” according to federal election filings. They were sent to an apartment address listed for Chakrabarti in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan.

In 2017, Brand New Congress PAC transferred another $240,000 to Brand New Congress LLC, also for “strategic consulting.” Another PAC co-founded by Chakrabarti that year, Justice Democrats, transferred an additional $605,000 to Brand New Congress LLC in 2017.

Brand New Congress LLC does not appear to be registered in any state, according to state government records available online. It is unclear where or when it was incorporated.

The law requires PACs “to disclose how and when funds are spent, including for expenditures such as advertisements, fundraising emails, donations to candidates, and payments for events and to vendors.” Chakrabarti’s private companies do not fall under those rules.

The complaint requests “the FEC to investigate and audit the two PACs, saying they were engaged in an ‘an elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure of campaign expenditures.'”

The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained the corporate filings. Former FEC commissioner Brad Smith told the publication that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti could face jail time:

Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, and former FEC commissioners say the arrangement could lead to multiple campaign finance violations. The group backed 12 Democrats during the 2018 midterms, but Ocasio-Cortez was the only one of those to win her general election.

“If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,” former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Ocasio-Cortez, Chakrabarti Respond

Ocasio-Cortez told Fox News when she landed at Ronald Reagan National Airport that “[T]here is no violation.” When the network asked her “if the complaint shows she was connected to ‘dark money’ during the campaign, Ocasio-Cortez replied, ‘No, no.'”

Chakrabarti never responded to comment requests, but defended the actions on Twitter:

MSM Finally Picks It Up

It took almost two days for the mainstream media to pick up the story. The Washington Post published a story on it late Tuesday night:

Campaign finance experts said the relationship between Chakrabarti’s PACs and the limited-liability corporation obfuscated who received the payments — and raised questions about who benefited.

“In a normal situation, if all you saw was a PAC that disbursed hundreds of thousands of dollars to an affiliated entity to pay the salaries of people who were really working for the PAC, that looks like . . . a PAC that takes in money to engage in political activity but is actually enriching its owners,” said Adav Noti, former Federal Election Commission lawyer who is now chief of staff of the Campaign Legal Center, a group that advocates for greater transparency in campaign finance.

In his statement, [The PACs and Ocasio-Cortez campaign attorney David] Mitrani said that the PACs did not disclose information about the ultimate recipients of the money because they were not required to do so by the FEC.

“If the PACs and campaigns were required to provide additional information on subvendor payments made by Brand New Congress LLC, it would have done so,” he wrote.

Of course The Washington Post did not credit The Washington Examiner. Instead:

AOC FEC Complaint as Filed by on Scribd


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Let’s see how long the MSM/DNC axis continues to follow this story. I think this will be like the blackface scandals, rape allegations, domestic violence allegations, and assorted financial irregularities Democrats are accused of: scant, vaguely critical semi-coverage followed by total darkness.

Connivin Caniff | March 6, 2019 at 1:32 pm

If true, we should thank him, for keeping the dough away from her hands.

    MattMusson in reply to Connivin Caniff. | March 6, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    This is way over her head. What the guy did was move campaign contributions out of the campaign and into a private company.

    This moves it out of a location where campaign contributions are tracked and reported – to a location without visibility.

No worries. She’s the boss.

This is what a corrupted government looks like. We’ve got a Pol Pot or two in our future.

    iconotastic in reply to stablesort. | March 7, 2019 at 12:41 am

    Obama’s mentor and ghostwriter, the communist terrorist Bill Ayers, believed that murdering 20+ million Americans would be needed to transform America. I think we have had Pol Pot wanna-be killers running around for many years now.

So… the PAC raises $3.3 million from ‘small’ donations nationwide to help elect Leftists to Congress, including Bernie’s cazey-eyed, doorknob dumb grand niece.

Then, $1 million is transfered to a couple of LLCs for ‘stategic consulting.’ Nice work if you can get it.

And AOC knew nothing about these activities by her campaign chief of staff?

Any guesses as to who alerted the FEC to all these shanannigans by AOC & Co.? Hmm. I wonder…

“No reasonable prosecutor would…………”

Colonel Travis | March 6, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Post: “First reported by conservative outlets”

Another way of saying they didn’t do their job. I like how they don’t think this makes them look like idiots.

I’m always surprised by the new breeds of scammers who think they’ve found a brand new scam that will never be detected, much like a child raiding the cookie jar and leaving a trail of crumbs back to his lair behind the couch.

Newsflash: It’s hard enough to obey the law, follow all the rules, and keep everything above board when you’re trying. Just a few slimy rats like this in your campaign will drag you into immense trouble, made worse when you start dipping into the piggie bank too, AOC.

    elle in reply to georgfelis. | March 6, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still in office. They got away with anything and everything for decades. If she gets “held accountable” it’s only because she made Nancy and Michael mad.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to georgfelis. | March 10, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Is it possible that this is a money laundering scheme on behalf of AOC?

“I Know Nothing” — Sergeant Schultz

Hey, it’s only about financial stuff. How could somebody who “studied” economics understand money?

Also, the ends justify the means. She is a socialist and a dictator-in-waiting.

You wonder that somewhere this band of Einsteins are now deleting texts, deleting computer files and shredding document so they won’t be caught.

    MajorWood in reply to ghost dog. | March 6, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    It is never the crime, it is always the cover-up. It can be sold as ignorance right up until the bonfire of documents in the backyard is lit, then it gets serious. I am always amazed that people think that deleting a text off of a phone makes it go away. All it does is increase the probability that the deleter will go away.

    If you are going to grift, it might be a good idea to use a scam that wasn’t a part of a Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul script.

On Drudge… Illinois politico sponged clean with only having to return funds and pay IRS… new model for AOC and associates?

Moron, megalomaniac, bigot – now Gidget is a crook!

Man, that didn’t take long, did it??

But congress doesn’t have time to investigate this stuff because it’s fishing in a dried up waterhole that was let go by the Mueller Witch hunt.

Keep going Dems. You are revealing your true colors for all to see and ponder.

Even your die hard fanatics and the Low information voters will be able to see exactly what you’re all about and it’s not looking good even tho they’re Democrats.

They don’t like be associated with the party of murderers and dirty politics.

So how does this play out?
My guess.
AOC plays stupid. Ok I know that’s an oxymoron but I couldn’t resist.
Chakrabarti realizes he’s the fall guy. No political protection, and sure to lose the dance off with AOC. This means if he’s not cooperative he could land up in a place where dropping the soap is foreplay.
At some point we will learn if Chakrabarti has the makings of a varsity athlete.
From the looks of him, I’m guessing alleged conspiracy.

Ocasio-Cortez told Fox News when she landed at Ronald Reagan National Airport

Hey hypocrite, why didn’t you use the train or bus?

Not saying she is guilty or not, too much is still unknown at this time, but I think she has been bucking the rulers of the DNC too much. I’ve noticed she is looking a little haggard in more recent pictures of her, losing some weight and having a more roughness to her cheeks area.

She is a narcissist, as you cannot tell her anything or correct her on anything, and you see it with anything that disagrees or points out the massive flaws in her views on twitter.

This could be a salvo across her bow, seeing if she will get in line, or it could be the start of her getting her career sunk.

Political parties can play their games hard, and with this moron getting far too much air play and some gained traction from the propaganda wing, I can see her own party setting her up for the swim with the fishes.

I wouldn’t doubt that she allowed illegal actions, possibly because of her massive ignorance about everything, but it could have been set up to have the means of throwing her under the bus when she won her primary against someone pretty high up in the party. Her coronation by the MSM made her too visible and gave her too much star power for her to be brought down too soon, but attempts to reel her in have failed, and the DNC brooks little dissent.

She is a gift to the Republicans, the DNC knows that, and her moment in the spotlight might be nearing an end, unless she gets in line.

Perhaps a special prosecutor needs to be appointed, one who will hire 14 republican lawyers to investigate and bring charges.

OnTheLeftCoast | March 7, 2019 at 11:28 am

The old Progressive stereotype pol is “Señorita Herrera goes to Washington,” except that youthful idealism becomes corrupted by the sausage factory. The Chakrabarti business suggests that Ocasio-Cortez was crooked from the beginning… in which case, did the Amazon affair signal that she’s not a piker like the local pols whose bottomless pit of post-deal add-ons were so repugnant to Bezos but that she is indeed for sale or rent, but at a higher price?

Her election raises some interesting – and broader – questions:

• Was her election an old fashioned success: a solid, well-prepared ground game with a specific ethnic appeal?

• Or was it a sign that a new electorate is arriving, one thoroughly indoctrinated so that the Progressive religion is its Goodthink? Indications are that it may be the latter. The youth vote was probably all or most of her margin of victory.

I don’t think that AOC is as stupid as some on the right think she is. She was, however, successfully (she graduated cum laude from a well respected university where she studied economics) and expensively (currently $70K/year) educated. She works hard, as evidenced by her academic success as well as her successful political campaign.

Her margin of victory over an aging hack was probably the youth vote, and AOC enthusiastically demonstrates that she believes what she and her generation were taught to believe. Don’t forget that German universities were a major base of support for the rise of the Nazis.

One more question:

The group backed 12 Democrats during the 2018 midterms, but Ocasio-Cortez was the only one of those to win her general election.

• Did Chakrabarty come up with this on his own, or are there a lot of “Brand New Campaigns” and “Brand New Congresses” out there?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to OnTheLeftCoast. | March 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    She comes from a group where the average IQ is 83. Granted she could be above the group average.

    Or she may have an affirmative degree? Or perhaps she danced for her professors? Or maybe her family had enough influence?

    Also, people can have poor analytical skills, IE low IQ, but still be quite effective at scheming and squirreling away money.

When she was on The Daily Show, and was hit with 5 hardball questions that she could not answer, I saw it as a sign that she needed to be taught her place. I don’t know if she is dim or tough, but i am certain that her position is precarious. She might have some outside backers who saw her as a cheap vote in Congress, but I doubt that there is any other money or influence there which she controls. She apparently believes that she is special, even though a dog running as a democrat could get elected by the same margin in that district. So I see her annoying the wrong person one too many times and thus getting herself eliminated after one shaky term in which nothing was accomplished. She is a grass-roots movement in a very small urban field.

Isn’t it common knowledge by now that laws don’t apply to Democrats?

Hillary can put our country in grace danger by allowing any enemy of ours to see classified information due to her stupidity and not be held responsible.