Democratic Socialist and firebrand freshman politician from the Bronx Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) continues to struggle with bad headlines and has yet to respond. In this case, she stands accused by a conservative group of using campaign funds to pay her boyfriend illegally, according to the New York Post. The Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission in which it said that a political action committee called Brand New Congress PAC paid boyfriend Riley Roberts while he was already working directly for the Ocasio-Cortez campaign. The landmark 2012 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling allowed for nearly unlimited money to pour into politics and elections, but outside spending groups cannot coordinate with the candidates or their campaigns.
“It is totally legal, as a candidate, to hire family members, people you know to work for you, Attorney Dan Backer explained to the New York Post. “But they didn’t do that,” he added.
“Instead of paying him directly, they paid him through an intermediary — in order to obscure the fact that they paid him,” Backer said. He thinks an FEC investigation is warranted The FEC should investigate and find out if that’s the case. That’s the allegation,” Backer added.
If the conservative group gets its desired probe, the FEC would be looking into the fact that state campaign contributions “shall not be converted by any person to personal use,” according to the New York Post. A spokeswoman for Brand New Congress PAC denies any wrongdoing.
The spokeswoman said that Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend “is a professional digital marketing and growth consultant who specializes in social media presence and subscriber engagement.”
The spokeswoman also said that “he was hired through a two-month trial period, beginning on August 3, 2017, and worked through the end of September 2017.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not immediately respond. The Jewish Voice reported about how Ocasio-Cortez is still adjusting to handling media criticism. The nascent Bronx representative didn’t like the fact that news outlets pointed out that she now lives in a decent apartment in a nice building, despite her being a champion of the working class and downtrodden and long-forgotten workers. The New York Post reports that she took particular issues with media for reporting this story around the same time that a planned terror attack that had her name on a hit list was squashed.
“Journalists are sharing stories about where I live the same day it’s shared that myself + others were targeted by a mass shooter,” she tweeted. “All this paired w/ amplifying unvetted conspiracy theories. It’s reckless, irresponsible & puts people directly in danger. This isn’t a game.”
The New York Post notes that many news organizations reported on how Ocasio-Cortez now makes a congressional salary that’s well over $100,000 above the country’s median income and that she can afford to live in a building that has rents that start at $2,000 just for a studio apartment.
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