Ocasio-Cortez’s Campaign, Former Chief of Staff Failed to Disclose Massive Expenses


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 campaign, along with her former chief of staff, failed to disclose roughly $1 million in expenses, according to Federal Election Commission filings last week.

The agency released the filings on Thursday following a two-year probe amid allegations that AOC’s former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, funneled the expenditures through a pair of political action committees — Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats — the New York Post reported.

However, despite the FEC’s findings, the agency’s six-member panel nevertheless decided to dismiss a complaint that had been lodged against the self-described New York democratic socialist by the National Legal And Policy Center in March 2019.

The Post noted:

Last week, the National Legal and Policy Center, which sent its 36-page complaint to the FEC in March, 2019, filed a lawsuit against the federal agency in Washington DC federal court, blasting the investigations panel — made up of three Democrats and three Republicans — for not providing a reason for its dismissal of the complaint. Three Democrats and one Republican voted to dismiss the complaint, filings show.

The NLPC issued a statement condemning the panel’s decision not to move forward with legal action.


“The FEC has gone after a whole host of people whose violations are dwarfed by the scale of this scheme,” said Paul Kamenar, NLPC counsel. “It appears to be not prosecutorial discretion, but prosecutorial favoritism.”

The group’s complaint alleged that Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign treasurer, Frank Llewellyn, along with Sakrabarti and others funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two firms that were controlled by Sakrabarti.

The Post added:

Those cash transfers from two political action committees to Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats may have violated the $5,000 contribution limit to federal candidates, the original complaint alleged.

The FEC waited for more than 30 days to publicly disclose their investigative findings, according to the NLPC, perhaps in an effort to avoid a legal challenge, a spokesman for the NLPC said.

“It was highly irregular for the FEC to release its statement of reasons after the deadline for us to file suit,” observed Tom Anderson, director of the NLPC’s Government Integrity Project

He went on to add that the group did not wait for the agency’s findings before filing a legal challenge.

For her part, AOC was blasted by the left late last week for failing to offer full-throated support for Amazon employees seeking to unionize.

The backlash came when she promoted an organizing effort led by Amazon workers after critics said she backed out of speaking with those employees last summer at an event.

The Amazon Labor Union announced on Tuesday that it was winning a vote by a margin of around 400 at an Amazon facility in New York City’s Staten Island when a back-and-forth between the lawmaker and critics began.


Democrat author and commentator Krystal Ball responded to the New York congresswoman’s tweet with criticism.

“Here’s the guy who organized the union drive talking about how you left them high and dry. These are your constituents and you couldn’t be bothered to show up until they’re on the cusp of victory,” she wrote in a Twitter post with a link to the video.

Ocasio-Cortez responded with some excuses.

“The warehouse isn’t in my district and maybe you should look at a map before claiming so. One scheduling conflict aside, we have requested oversight investigations into Amazon, met with Amazon workers in the Woodside warehouses, and more. Hope you do more due diligence next time,” the representative said.

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“I was told by workers that your folks told them at last minute it was a security issue–not a scheduling conflict. Whether ur district or not, you would think a NY Congressman could’ve tweeted support–particularly in final weeks–for one of the most important union drives in U.S,” journalist Jordan Chariton added.

“Security was an issue as well. 2021 included a lot of high level threats on my life, which limited what activities I was able to do, especially those outside. The combination of that + when we are able to get resources/time to secure them creates scheduling + logistical conflicts,” AOC replied.