Recently, news broke that newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who made headlines over her Green New Deal proposal, admittedly put her boyfriend on House “payroll” to give him ‘access to her official calendar.’ Though it is not unusual for congressmen to put their spouse on unofficial payroll to give them an official ‘house.gov’ email, digging deeper into this incident “unraveled a far bigger story of corruption,” according to Tyler O’Neil over at PJ Media.
Tyler O’Neil explained that through publicly available information it was discovered that “a political group helping Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign had already paid Roberts during the campaign.” According to campaign financials, AOC paid Roberts, her boyfriend, $1,750 to balance out the books for in-kind contributions made during the campaign. As a certified state-level campaign treasurer for New Jersey, unless the laws are radically different in NY, I can confirm this portion is normal and ethical if work was being done.
According to PJ Media, two additional and substantial payments were made to Roberts by Brand New Congress, an organization founded and run by Ocasio-Cortez’s Cheif of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Brand New Congress is a Political Action Committee (PAC) which aims to provide political consulting and services to far-left candidates, like AOC, who are total underdogs.
While it is a PAC, which requires financial disclosure, it is also an LLC owned by Chakrabarti, meaning some business related items do not have to be disclosed.
Ocasio-Cortez’s official campaign address was listed as 714 Gay Street. Oddly similar to Brand New Congress’s address, which was also 714 Gay Street. It is likely that Brand New Congress had done most, if not all of the run of the mill campaign work while AOC focused on gaining national attention.
This is where the money funneling becomes probable.
During the campaign, AOC paid Brand New Congress over $18,000 in three payments between June and August of 2017 for ‘strategic consulting.’ In the same general time frame, August and September, Brand New Congress paid Riley Roberts, Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend, two installments of $3,000 for ‘marketing consulting,’ totaling $6,000.
In Riley Robert’s records, he lists Arizona as his address while getting paid by Brand New Congress, but uses New York while being paid directly from Cortez’s campaign, which appears a tad bit sneaky.
According to Thompson, by the end of 2017, Cortez’s campaign had raised only $8,000 with over $37,000 in campaign expenses. She was massively under fundraising her longshot campaign, and, at the time of these payments, was $24,000 in the hole. The way this whole money shuffling was set up, it appears Brand New Congress, which is run and owned by Cortez’s Cheif of Staff, attempted to give a kickback to Cortez in the form of $6,000 in payments to her boyfriend, to keep the campaign afloat. Roberts had never disclosed any financial information so how he used that money is all speculation based on the presented suspicious activity.
Categories: U.S. News