Published: Sun, March 10, 2019
Markets | By Erika Turner

Ocasio Cortez Faces New Ethics Complaint Over Boyfriend’s Email

Ocasio Cortez Faces New Ethics Complaint Over Boyfriend’s Email

Whether the activities of the PACs or the company violated campaign finance law, or whether the complaint has any merit, will be matters for the FEC to decide.

Even so, Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, said the committees could be exposed to potential violations over how they reported the spending to the Federal Election Commission. The video features the Congresswoman's hearing testimony where she talks about the dark money in politics and how politicians hide the skeletons in their closet in order to get elected. It was quickly snapped up by conservative media outlets like the Daily Caller and Washington Examiner, as well as tabloids like the New York Post.

The contract shows that the primary consultants for the project were Chakrabarti; Nasim Thompson, then the LLC's chief operating officer; and Corbin Trent, a consultant who is now a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez.

Although large financial transfers from PACs to LLCs are not necessarily improper, reports Re, the complaint argues that the goal of the "extensive" scheme was seemingly to illegally dodge detailed legal reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which are created to track campaign expenditures.

Instead, the complaint alleges that Chakrabarti's company served as a "cutout", for at least $885,735.

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The arrangement, first reported by various conservative outlets, left hidden who ultimately profited from the payments - a sharp juxtaposition with Ocasio-Cortez's calls for transparency in politics. While the use of LLCs is not uncommon, reformers say there is good cause for concern.

She referred to the so-called "Squad", which also includes Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and Ayanna Pressley of MA, all of whom were elected during the latest midterms. But he added that it is "completely fair for people to raise questions about the way they structured this". You have a group of hyper-partisan freshman lawmakers who are leading the way.

In their statement, attorneys for Ocasio-Cortez explained that Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC were one and the same entity, and that Brand New Campaign LLC had simply changed its name to Brand New Congress LLC. If the corporation undertook polling, fundraising and other campaign activities on behalf of candidates and committees, commissioners could conclude that they did not accurately describe those activities in their filings, he said.

"We were concerned about tax and campaign finance law exposure", Mitrani said.

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