Ocasio-Cortez and her puppet-master Chakrabarti Scandal #2: A million bucks is unaccounted for
Money raised from donors by two political action committees (at least one of them problematic) was mysteriously "transferred" to two private corporations (LLCs) controlled by Saikat Chakrabarti, the founder of Justice Democrats, the group that recruited, trained, and ran the campaign that got Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez elected to Congress. There is no record of those private corporations providing services in exchange for the donations, which raises the question of what was done with this money.
Alana Goodman writes in The Examiner:
Two political action committees founded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's top aide funneled over $1 million in political donations into two of his own private companies, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.
The cash transfers from the PACs — overseen by Saikat Chakrabarti, the freshman socialist Democrat's chief of staff — run counter to her pledges to increase transparency and reduce the influence of "dark money" in politics.
Chakrabarti's companies appear to have been set up for the sole purpose of obscuring how the political donations were used.
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.
Saikat Chakrabarti (photo credit: Twitter).
S.A. Miller of the Washington Times continues:
"These are not minor or technical violations. We are talking about real money here," said Tom Anderson, director of NLPC's Government Integrity Project. "In all my years of studying FEC reports, I've never seen a more ambitious operation to circumvent reporting requirements."
He added that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, "has been quite vocal in condemning so-called dark money, but her own campaign went to great lengths to avoid the sunlight of disclosure."
The PAC money went to Mr. Chakrabarti's Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC, entities that, unlike PACs and candidate campaigns, do not have to report or itemize their spending.
The Ocasio-Cortez campaign also was paying Brand New Congress LLC for "strategic consulting."
One of these new corporations, Brand New Congress, LLC, funneled money to Ocasio-Cortez's live-in boyfriend:
Another FEC complaint by filed last week by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation alleged Brand New Congress PAC was involved in a scheme to funnel money to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's live-in boyfriend, Riley Roberts.
At the same time Mr. Roberts, a 29-year-old web developer, received payments totaling $6,0000 [sic] as a "marketing consultant" for the PAC, the Ocasio-Cortez campaign was paying Brand New Congress LLP for strategic consulting.
Asked about the payments, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez focused on the legal entities handing the cash.
"He's not on my payroll. They were not working for me and they are two separate entities here," she told The Washington Times. "This is the difference between an LLC and a PAC."
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation, a conservative Washington nonprofit focused on free speech and campaign finance, said it looked like a shell game.
"The timing and amounts of these transactions, the use of two affiliated entities as intermediaries, the vague and amorphous nature of the services Riley ostensibly provided, the magnitude of these transactions compared to both the limited funds the campaign had raised at the time and the total amount of its expenditures, and the romantic relationship between Ocasio-Cortez and Riley collectively establish reason to believe these transactions may have violated campaign finance law," said the group's complaint.
In my experience, a lot of socialists are actually quite avaricious, adopting the rhetoric of socialism to mask their own greed. Consider the wealth ripped off from Cubans by the Castros and from Venezuelans by the Chávez family, both of which families are considered billionaires. The Examiner describes Chakrabarti as "a Harvard graduate and technology entrepreneur who became an organizer for Bernie Sanders during the socialist's 2016 presidential campaign."
If the million bucks sent to the LLCs ended up in his pockets, without being declared as income, he is in for a world of hurt. I would guess he is smarter than that, but the question remains: other than a boyfriend, who else profited off the money?