According to a Monday afternoon Washington Times report, the Chief of Staff to freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has been accused in a Federal Elections Commission (FEC) complaint of hiding more than $1 million in campaign cash, and funneling it into two companies that he owns. (RELATED: AOC’s Personal Friends Stand To Profit From Green New Deal).
“Saikat Chakrabarti set up Brand New Congress PAC to collect and bundle donations for newbie politicians including Ms. Ocasio-Cortez,” the report said. “He then diverted more than $1 million to two of his companies that did campaign work, skirting reporting requirements, said the complaint by National Legal and Policy Center [NPCL].”
Chakrabarti ran Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, and subsequently became her Chief of Staff upon her election.
“These are not minor or technical violations. We are talking about real money here,” director of NLPC’s Government Integrity Project Tom Anderson reportedly said. “In all my years of studying FEC reports, I’ve never seen a more ambitious operation to circumvent reporting requirements.”
Anderson called Ocasio-Cortez on her apparent hypocrisy. The Congresswoman has spent considerable time railing against dark money in politics, but Anderson said that “her own campaign went to great lengths to avoid the sunlight of disclosure.”
This is the second such FEC complaint in as many weeks.
Last week, Chakrabarti was accused of funneling money to Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend Riley Roberts.
A former employee of the National Republican Senate Committee did some digging into the campaign finances of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, only to find some shady dealings that are raising eyebrows.
Ocasio-Cortez’s Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, was heavily involved in the socialist congresswoman’s campaign. He owns a PAC called Brand New Congress, and an associated Limited Liability Company (LLC) by the same name. This is not particularly unusual, but some of the payments transferred between the company, the PAC, and Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign appear to be less than ethical.
“Like other candidates, AOC paid Brand New Congress LLC for strategic consulting, in her case totaling $18,880.14,” wrote Luke Thompson on Medium. “Unlike in the other cases, Brand New Congress PAC turned around and paid her boyfriend as a ‘marketing consultant.’”
Thompson used publicly available Federal Election Commission documents to source his report.
“Indeed, while Brand New Congress PAC’s ten largest expenditures were paid to Brand New Congress LLC for ‘strategic consulting,’ a sum that totaled $261,165.20 over the course of the campaign, its eleventh and twelfth largest expenditures were paid to Riley Roberts,” the report said.
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Ilhan Omar’s Grandfather Was a Government Official in One of Africa’s Worst Dictatorships
Talk about ‘systematic oppression.’
As Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar accuses American civilization of being a “system of oppression,” it appears that the progressive Democrat has provided little to no public information on her own grandfather’s activities and public duties as a government official in one of Africa’s worst dictatorships.
Omar has described her grandfather, Abukar Omar, as the Director of the National Marine Transport in Somalia in the 1980’s and possibly earlier, serving in the government of then-President Siad Barre. Barre, who took power in 1969, originally governed the country as a Marxist-Leninist before switching his Cold War allegiances to the United States in the late 70’s.
Barre’s government is known as a prolific human rights abuser, persecuting the nation’s Isaaq tribe in a series of government sponsored killings that scholars have referred to as a “forgotten genocide.” Estimates of the civilian casualties of the Isaaq genocide range from 50,000 to 200,000 people.
Omar, who was a child at the time, has also described her family leaving Somalia in 1991, the very year that President Barre was overthrown from power in a revolution that continues to have a destabilizing effect on the East African nation to this day.
It’s of some public interest that a more thorough explanation of Akubar Omar’s duties as an official serving under Siad Barre be provided, especially considering the former Barre official was granted refugee status in the United States sometime after Barre was overthrown in Somalia’s 1991 Civil War.
Omar has described her family as understanding that they were “no longer welcome” in the country as a result of the civil war, a development that may very well have come as a result of her grandfather’s work as a nominally high-ranking government official under the Barre regime. Rep. Omar recounted an incident in which what seems to have been a family compound was placed under siege by rebels who vandalized the property in a 2016 profile with the Minneapolis City Pages.
Omar biographies also suggest that some of her aunts and uncles also worked as civil servants under Barre’s government.
An inquiry into Abukar Omar’s official duties as the Director of the National Marine Transport under Barre’s regime was sent to Omar’s press office, and the Congresswoman has yet to respond as of Wednesday night.
Ilhan Omar was also one of the few Democratic members of Congress to decline to formally vote to recognize the Armenian Genocide conducted by the Ottoman Empire after World War I, claiming the United States should be focusing on the legacy of slavery and persecution of Native Americans instead.
Certainly, one cannot be held to account for actions that their extended relatives engage in when they’re a child; but it’s quite rich that Omar has declined to account for her own grandfather’s seeming participation in a very real and historically documented “system of oppression” in any publicly known remarks on the family connection, while castigating American civilization for its supposed injustices.
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