The more that is learned about AOC’s finances the bigger a hypocrite she is becoming.
One of the hallmarks of the brief Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tenure in Congress is her supposed dexterity in handling critics. Anytime there has been negative commentary on something she has said or proposed AOC has been lauded for her ability to clapback at critics on social media. It is one of the things that has made Alex From The Bronx a darling to her acolytes.
This becomes rather telling then because it is notable that AOC has had very little in the way of social media retorts for the mounting reports of monetary wranglings inside her campaign. The questions and inconsistencies being found in her financials are not so easily dismissed with a pop reference insult when there is a definable paper trail of issues revealed.
Of growing interest is the activities of her Chief of Staff, Silicon Valley millionaire Saikat Chakrabarti and some of the groups he has created around AOC’s campaign. Of particular note are an LLC entitled Brand New Congress, and the PAC Justice Democrats. What is being looked into is the possibility of using the LLC to funnel cash between the campaign and the PAC, which could violate campaign finance laws.
One possible reason for Ocasio-Cortez taking on a taciturn position on social media is the realization this may have been what led her into trouble in the first place. Recall, this current controversy kicked off when Republican strategist Luke Thompson discovered that AOC’s boyfriend Riley Roberts had obtained a .gov House email address. Thompson was immediately set upon, AOC’s minions launched a defense of her, and his Twitter account was suspended for a time. Thompson used his down time to explore her campaign’s financials, and this has only led to more and more revealing details.
What sparked things was the discovery that Roberts was also being paid during the election in nebulous fashion. After AOC and Chakrabarti declared Roberts was not working for the campaign it was found the AOC campaign paid the LLC a sum just over $6,000, and later the PAC paid Roberts nearly that identical sum. This, at a time when her campaign was operating in heavy debt. So Riley was not working on the campaign, but for the LLC…on behalf of the campaign.
Also very curious is that AOC, a resident of the Bronx, had her campaign committee address listed as 714 Gay Street, Knoxville Tennessee. This is the same address as both Justice Democrats, and Brand New Congress. Also, a number of other candidates for office across the country listed 714 Gay Street as their headquarters. By appearances Chakrabarti was using his LLC to back numerous upstart candidates, with the hope that should any of them actually meet with success he could gain entry into DC circles.
Note his matriculating from an outside consultant to becoming AOC’s COS. Seems contrary to all of Alexandria’s posturing about corruption and dark money to have unethical relationships between LLCs and a PAC and her campaign, relying on the benefactor money of a rich capitalist, and then rewarding him with a plum staff position that he essentially paid for by floating her campaign. This all defies her cultivated image of the downtrodden barmaid who is simply representing her disaffected voting base.
Phil Kerpen has done some good work laying out the structure of these questionable relationships. Numerous campaigns were headquartered at the same address, and they appear to have used the reporting veils afforded by running things through an LLC.
As Streiff noted this morning, there is little curiosity in the press over AOC’s issues, even as the FEC is becoming curious in many of the details. In fact, when the press is compelled to even report on what is being investigated WaPo has resorted to their “GOP pounced” narrative, describing it as “The arrangement, first reported by conservative outlets…”, and dismissing things as having “subjected the first-term congresswoman to critics’ charges of hypocrisy.” Verifying the facts appears beyond the ken of WaPo.
There is some mirth to be had with these revelations as Ocasio-Cortez has been rather vocal in recent weeks regarding the financial details of others. During last week’s Michael Cohen testimony she had the brazen attitude to all but demand that Donald Trump’s financial records be subpoenaed. And just last month she embarrassed herself in a committee hearing where she was invoking concerns over “dark money” in campaigns.
[ NOTE: This is now the norm from congressional staffs, to circulate videos of pols posturing and preening on committees to appear as if they are breaking the truth, when in fact they are exposed as dolts who are out of their depth. Their impassioned questions get pushed, but the responses revealing their idiocy get no such traction. AOC managed to look authoritative in a video widely circulated, but in truth when the experts answered her claims she was exposed as naive, and looked forlorn as she was politely schooled. In similar fashion we saw Ted Deutch do something similar as he lied about HHS abuses recently. ]
That appearance at the hearing is quite revealing today, as she was positing potential conspiracies, while at the same time displaying ignorance about many aspects of campaign finance law. This session by her takes on significance, since there are numerous examples of those legal firewalls that are legally set up between PACs and campaigns being breached by AOC.
Not only does there appear to be ethics violations in paying Riley Roberts, and her campaign sharing an address with the PAC, but AOC was also shown as still running Justice Democrats. Not only was this PAC used to spearhead her campaign, it is currently being used to target Democrats who are deemed to not be following the proposed agenda on The Hill. As The Daily Caller reported yesterday, AOC and Chakrabarti are currently listed as governors of the group. This would be a severe FEC violation.
As these details continue to emerge and blossom it will be harder for the media to dismiss them away as conservative conspiracy talk. It will also be harder for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to hold her silence on these matters.