Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, were hit with yet another Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint about their sketchy operation of three entities: her campaign, several PACs, and Chakrabarti’s LLC.
According to the complaint obtained by Fox News, Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti created a web of PACs and an LLC to allow their campaign to rake in more than the legal fundraising limits and dodge disclosing their campaign funding.
The complaint lists Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, as well as three other operations:
- Justice Democrats, a PAC that listed the two as board members;
- Brand New Congress PAC, a PAC operated by Chakrabarti to fundraise for progressive policies;
- Brand New Congress LLC, an LLC operated by Chakrabarti that offered to “fully run” campaigns for as many as 400 progressive candidates, including Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign.
The complaint alleges that Chakrabarti ran a “subsidy scheme” to load up PACs with contributions higher than legally allowed. The LLC then dropped costs well below market rate to manage the campaigns, subsidizing their operations with PAC funds. This allowed the LLC to skirt federal expenditure requirements because of the low costs — which should have been reported as an in-kind contribution.
Dan Backer, the conservative attorney who filed the complaint, compared the operation to that of Uber in a statement to Fox News.
“Chakrabarti was trying to create the Uber for politics. 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 is just the latest FEC complaint thrown at Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti. As IJR reported, the duo has been bombarded with complaints since Luke Thompson’s first report about Ocasio-Cortez using Chakrabarti’s LLC to allegedly pay her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, $6,000.
Since Thompson’s original report, Ocasio-Cortez was hit with an FEC complaint about the payments to Roberts and an Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) complaint for providing Roberts with an official “mail.house.gov” email account, which is allegedly a misuse of congressional resources.
Beyond the boyfriend drama, Chakrabarti was hit with a separate FEC complaint for allegedly funneling $1 million between Brand New Congress’ LLC and PAC, as IJR previously reported. That complaint differed from Backer’s complaint in that it focused solely on money transfers between the two entities, not the alleged in-kind contributions given to campaigns without being reported.
Although there was no complaint filed, an investigation into Ocasio-Cortez’s relationship with Justice Democrats also yielded accusations that she and Chakrabarti based the PAC in Knoxville, Tennessee, to skirt tax laws.
For now, it isn’t clear when the FEC will address the growing stack of complaints against Ocasio-Cortez.
“At the end of the day, it would be wonderful if the FEC would get off its dysfunctional ass and rule on these things,” Backer told Fox News.
Backer’s “Stop the AOC PAC” has been targeting the congresswoman for the past few months by investigating her campaign and running polls to see where her constituents stand on re-electing her. As IJR exclusively reported, the polling data showed that Ocasio-Cortez had only a 43.4 percent approval rating.