The GOP’s FEC complaint against Ocasio-Cortez

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI  AFP

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP

A pro-business group unveiled two billboards targeting Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City on Tuesday, criticizing her proposal for a "Green New Deal" aimed at building a renewable energy economy.

He provided a January 2017 contract between the Justice Democrats PAC and the LLC showing that the corporation charged the PAC a monthly retainer fee of $60,000. When the company last month scrapped plans to build in NY, she called it a big victory for progressive politicians.

Ocasio-Cortez's memory may be fuzzy with that timeline.

For her part, Ocasio-Cortez has never had an issue giving it right back, lacing into critics on her Twitter feed, like this Washington Examiner reporter who made fun of her clothes, or this Newsmax host who made fun of her childhood home. "They believe that they are above campaign finance law".

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

Ocasio-Cortez's current chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti helped found two groups, Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, that aimed to elect progressive candidates to office.

In its complaint, The National Legal and Policy Center argues the payments to Brand New Congress LLC offered evidence of an "extensive, off-the books operation".

Last month, the congresswoman said the account was given to her boyfriend so he could have calendar access.

Brand New Campaign LLC was registered as a private company in the state of DE in May 2016, and in Tennessee in February 2017. They said the rules do not allow outside individuals to have an official government email account.

Brand New Congress LLC, initially called Brand New Campaign LLC, was formed by Chakrabarti to serve as a "campaign in a box, a one-stop vendor for communications, field, online organizing, fundraising and the like", Mitrani said in his statement.

The group has called the "Green New Deal" an unrealistic and potentially ruinous plan for the US economy that would require massive government spending.

The National Legal and Policy Center, a campaign finance watchdog, filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission on Monday, after discovering almost $1 million in undisclosed expenditures. He discussed the strategy in a 2016 MSNBC interview, and the PACs posted explanations about the LLC's role on their websites.

Although large financial transfers from PACs to LLCs are not necessarily improper, reports Re, the complaint argues that the goal of the "extensive" scheme was seemingly to illegally dodge detailed legal reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which are created to track campaign expenditures.

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