News and Commentary

‘SUBSIDY SCHEME’: Ocasio-Cortez Hit With Another FEC Complaint Alleging Violations Of Campaign Finance Laws

Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was slapped with another complaint filed with the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) on Wednesday that alleges she was involved in a “subsidy scheme” that violated campaign finance laws.

Fox News exclusively reported that the complaint “accused Ocasio-Cortez and her campaign manager, Saikat Chakrabarti, of overseeing a ‘shadowy web’ of political action committees (PACs) that allowed them to raise more cash than they could have legally. It also alleged that a limited liability company (LLC) was created to avoid federal expenditure requirements by offering Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic candidates political consulting services at a price so low that the company apparently shut down before the election was even over.”

The report states that Brand New Congress LLC — a now-defunct company owned by Chakrabarti that aimed to flood Congress with hundreds of far-left politicians — is at the center of the complaint along with Ocasio-Cortez, Chakrabarti, the Justice Democrats PAC, the Brand New Congress PAC.

“Chakrabarti was trying to create the Uber for politics,” said the complaint’s author, attorney Dan Backer. “Uber functions because of a massive subsidy from venture capital. Here, it’s subsidized by these PACs to deliver a valuable service that people need and want, but can’t be delivered at the real cost of it.”

“This was a problem, he said, because of a series of 1990s-era FEC Advisory Opinions which essentially explained that goods and services provided to political campaigns must be paid for at fair market value – otherwise they could be considered in-kind contributions,” Fox News added. “It was unclear what Chakrabarti and Brand New Congress charged for their services — and Backer said this was another part of the problem. He said the private company wouldn’t be subject to the same disclosure and transparency laws that PACs are.”

Nothing is likely to happen with the complaint for quite some time as a member of a nonpartisan watchdog group told Fox News that the FEC is shorthanded commissioners right now which is leading to longer than normal times for cases to be handled.

This complaint is far from the first that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti are having to face that alleges corruption.

Last month, Chakrabarti was hit with an FEC complaint that alleged he “funneled over $1 million in political donations to his own private companies.”

“Chakrabarti’s companies appear to have been set up for the sole purpose of obscuring how the political donations were used,” the Washington Examiner reported. “The arrangement skirted reporting requirements and may have violated the $5,000 limit on contributions from federal PACs to candidates, according to the complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group.”

The complaint against Chakrabarti came after Ocasio-Cortez implemented a new “living wage” rule that allows her staff to “avoid public transparency laws that would require them to reveal outside income, gifts, and stock trading activity,” the Washington Examiner reported.

The most serious allegation facing the two socialists is that they “obtained majority control of Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017” and “never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign,” The Daily Caller reported.

“If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,” former FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller.

Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti could face up to five years in prison if “the FEC determines that they knowingly and willfully withheld their ties between the campaign and the political action committee from the FEC to bypass campaign contribution limits.”