Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Ocasio-Cortez denies claims she violated campaign finance law

March 05, 2019 - 1:29 pm

WASHINGTON (1010 WINS) -- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pushing back against claims that she violated federal campaign law.

The Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff of involvement in an 'off-the-books operation' that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on candidates in 2018.

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"There is no violation," she said, "No, no."

The complaint says nearly $1 million in contributions were funneled from political action committees to private companies controlled by Ocasio-Cortez Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti, Fox News reports.

"We were doing something totally new, which meant a new setup. So, we were transparent about it from the start," Chakrabarti said.

The political action committee Justice Democrats also cast the arrangement as above-board.

"The ONLY way to do work for multiple candidates legally at this scale is to create an LLC and act as a vendor," the group said.

The complaint alleges Chakrabarti established Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress PACs and transferred more than $885,000 in contributions to Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC. Those companies are exempt from reporting significant expenditures. The complaint claims that the goal of the scheme was to dodge legal reporting requirements.

"It sounds to a lot of people like that’s a way to skirt the campaign finance laws in this country," former Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz said,
"And the FEC and the other regulators need to get in there and find out where was this money going – was it going to people’s pockets? Was it legitimate or not?”

An FEC spokesman would not comment on the complaint.