For all the integrity and principles New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is purported to have, new research suggests she swims in the same swamp as many of her D.C. colleagues on the left.
Not long ago, National Review contributor Luke Thompson stumbled across documentation that showed her boyfriend Riley Roberts as a staff member in the House of Representatives. When Thompson called her out, AOC defended herself by claiming it was so that he could have access to the calendar, and that this is common practice among spouses.
Actually this cal designation is a permission so he can have access to my Google Cal. Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time.
Next time check your facts before you tweet nonsense.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 15, 2019
This was followed by Saikat Chakrabarti claiming that Thompson had doxxed Roberts, though all of this information was made publicly available by Roberts himself on his LinkedIn account. Roberts has since deleted this information, however.
He started doxxing him. That's a violation of terms in Twitter.
— Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) February 15, 2019
Thompson was briefly suspended from Twitter, but was greeted with an all-out online war between the right and left on his timeline, which he calls a “wasteland.” Regardless of this, Thompson found this inclusion of AOC’s boyfriend to her staff be an irregularity and pushed deeper.
He noted in a Medium post that during his suspension he spoke to spouses, and staffers on both sides, nothing the temperature among them toward Ocasio-Cortrez isn’t exactly warm.
“AOC hasn’t exactly been winning friends lately, which is how I got Roberts’s Outlook screen grab in the first place,” wrote Thompson.
One thing they all agreed on was that Roberts getting staff credentials was “irregular,” and that it doesn’t line up with the rules:
Per the House Admin office, a family member can, in special circumstances, get a house.gov email address. But Roberts is not a family member, and although AOC referred to him as her partner in November of last year, she omitted him from her mandatory candidate financial disclosures for 2017 and 2018. Perhaps they’ve gotten married since. If so — if he is her spouse now — we should see his finances disclosed along with hers in her 2019 disclosure form due in May. But to be clear, AOC did not disclose Roberts’s finances as a spouse during her campaign.
It gets weirder. As it turns out, at one point in time during her campaign, AOC’s funds ran dry and it was in financial trouble.
Enter Chakrabarti, who at the time was a wealthy campaign donor who had a PAC called Brand New Congress. The PAC paid large sums to “marketing consultants,” one of which was Roberts who has no consulting history at all.
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.
Brand New Congress PAC paid Roberts $3,000 on August 9th.
Eighteen days later, AOC’s campaign paid Brand New Congress LLC $6,191.32.
A month later Brand New Congress PAC then turned around and paid Riley Roberts another $3,000.
Thompson asks why Chakrabarti would pay a no-name guy with “UN experience,” and draws an easy conclusion: “The answer seems to be that Chakrabarti was funneling money paid to him by AOC’s campaign back to Roberts and by extension to AOC.”
Thompson noted that Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign was spending far more money than she was making in donations, and with a mountain of debt looming, Brand New Congress stepped in:
At the beginning of October, more than four months into her campaign, AOC’s fundraising had been anemic. Excluding an in-kind contribution from Chakrabarti, she’d raised only $3,032.75 but had already spent $27,591.27 — more than half of which she’d paid to Chakrabarti’s Brand New Congress LLC. By the end of 2017 she’d spent $37,249.94 but raised only $8,361.03. That’s a lot of money to stick on a credit card. Since no loans are recorded on her campaign books, presumably either AOC or Roberts was fronting the necessary cash.
It looks to me like Chakrabarti was effectively reimbursing AOC for a third of her expenses with Brand New Congress LLC, perhaps so that she would stay in the race despite her mounting debt.
After she won, who should just so happen to be her Chief of Staff?
A rich guy used a PAC to pay @AOC's boyfriend $6,000 when her campaign was running out of money. After AOC won, she gave that rich guy a job in her office. Follow me on a journey.https://t.co/KSQqq3xKRY
— Luke Thompson (@ltthompso) February 20, 2019
“When AOC won, she then hired Chakrabarti, her strategist/patron, as her Chief of Staff,” wrote Thompson. “Taking money from a rich guy, trying to hide it by passing it through a PAC, and then giving her benefactor a government job.”
“That’s definitely unethical and potentially illegal. Chakrabarti may have made an illegal campaign contribution in excess of federal limits. Regardless, it raises questions about Chakrabarti’s hiring as AOC’s Chief of Staff after her election. Maybe add that to your next lightning round, Congresswoman,” continued Thompson.
Interesting that one of the most hallowed politicians of the hard left is just as coated in swamp water as all the people she claims to revile.