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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