AOC Paying Her Staff a ‘Living Wage’ Conveniently Allows Her Chief of Staff Bury His Finances

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rick Loomis/Getty Images

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) bragged about the high wages she’s giving out to her staff so they would have a “living wage,” but now some are questioning her motives.

As IJR Blue reported, Ocasio-Cortez vowed to pay a minimum entry-level salary of $52,000 to her staff, which is well above the going rate of a Hill staff assistant of $31,587. She announced that she would be able to afford to pay her entry-level staffers more by cutting the wages of her higher-ranking staff members like her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti.

Ocasio-Cortez announced that her highest paid staffer would make $80,000.

But now, some are calling Ocasio-Cortez’s noble salary system into question.

According to a report by the Washington Examiner, Ocasio-Cortez’s new salary rules also allow Chakrabarti to dodge a public financial disclosure.

Under current law, any congressional employee making over $126,000 per year must disclose any other income they receive while working in the public sector. This includes investments, gifts, and paid trips so that the public would know if they are being personally influenced by outside forces.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Congressional Chief of Staff is $145,000, making Chakrabarti’s $80,000 significantly lower than the going rate.

Chakrabarti, who gained financial success through his work in Silicon Valley, will not have to disclose any additional income that he receives while working for Ocasio-Cortez, which some find to be very problematic.

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) raised a flag about the potential for Chakrabarti to abuse the system by being paid below the average for his position.

NLPC’s Government Integrity Project Director Tom Anderson told the Washington Examiner, “Purposefully underpaying staffers in order to avoid transparency is an old trick some of the most corrupt members of Congress have used time and again.”

For now, Chakrabarti has no legal requirement to disclose his outside income. Ocasio-Cortez can ask him to provide those financial documents, but there would be no law requiring him to comply.

As IJR previously reported, Chakrabarti is also involved in a financial scandal after FEC records show that a PAC, that was run by Chakrabarti, paid Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend, Riley Roberts, $6,000. Chakrabarti shook off the scandal, claiming that he hired Roberts because he’s good at his job.

What do you think?

9 pledges
Upvote Downvote
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Screwtape
Member

Remember this the next time anyone cries for government transparency. Remember as well these people nominally work for US (we the people AND the country as a whole) AND are spending OUR money.

I would bet good money that legislation requiring full financial disclosure and tax returns will never be proposed nor passed.

Those who decry this as too invasive and a violation of privacy should remember that before asking for Trump’s tax returns.

Screwtape
Member

Here’s the irony and hypocrisy of Obviously-Clueless:

She believes that government can mandate what PRIVATE employers pay. i.e. the $15 minimum wage.

Yet she, a nominal EMPLOYEE, of we the people, gets to set her employees’ compensation.

Does anyone else see the wrong in this?

Matt Gaetz

Gaetz Apologizes After Heat for Cohen Tweet: ‘Should Have Chosen Words That Better Showed My Intent’

Jordan Blasts Dems for Holding Hearing for ‘Convicted Perjurer’ Cohen: ‘There’s a Reason This Is a First’