Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
Money | By Arnold Ball

Complaint: Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff ran $1m slush fund

Complaint: Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff ran $1m slush fund

PACs are required to report names and addresses of all people who paid more than $200 to "meet a candidate or committee operating expense" as well as the objective of the payments.

The complaint states that the Policy Center "has found reason to believe [the] Respondents knowingly and willfully violated 2 U.S.C. 434 (b)(5)(A)", a provision of USA campaign finance law that requires the treasurer of any registered political committee to report the name and address of anyone who receives more than $200 in campaign-related spending from that committee, along with the dates and goal of that spending.

Federal rules require candidates and committees to disclose in filings with the Federal Election Commission how they spend donors' money.

However, Ryan said the Federal Election Commission could balk at another aspect of the committees' reports: the broad category of "strategic consulting" that committees used to describe Brand New Congress LLC's work on their behalf.

The complaint was drafted by the Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center.

Brand New Campaign LLC was registered as a private company in the state of DE in May 2016, and in Tennessee in February 2017. "Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been quite vocal in condemning so-called dark money, but her own campaign went to great lengths to avoid the sunlight of disclosure".

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent out a fundraising email Thursday alleging that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was "coming after" her and some of her colleagues.

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The group stated it ran campaigns in a similar fashion for at least nine other candidates.

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.

In the last two weeks, the Job Creators Network has erected seven billboards in Times Square aimed at Ocasio-Cortez and her policies, a spokeswoman for the group, Elaine Parker, said in an email.

The payments were apparently made for the objective of "Strategic Consulting", which is - to say the least - extremely ambiguous, if not outright suspicious. "Here's me talking about it on MSNBC in May 2016".

"AOC is trying to raise taxes and she just drove Amazon out of our state, so we lost 25,000 high paying jobs in NY state, a state that's bleeding people every single day to other states because taxes are too high", Eric Trump said.

Adav Noti, the senior director of the Campaign Legal Center and a former FEC lawyer, said the arrangement was highly unusual and seemed meant to obscure the destination of the funds.

But any expenditures made "were never reported to the FEC", NLPC claimed.

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