Fox News published an exclusive this morning about another FEC complaint which has been filed against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti:
At the center of the complaint is Brand New Congress LLC, a now-defunct company owned by Chakrabarti that aimed to recruit up to 400 candidates for national office and “fully run all of their campaigns,” according to a post on the Justice Democrats PAC website.
“Chakrabarti was trying to create the Uber for politics,” said Dan Backer, the conservative attorney behind the complaint. “Uber functions because of a massive subsidy from venture capital. Here, it’s subsidized by these PACs to deliver a valuable service that people need and want, but can’t be delivered at the real cost of it.”…
Backer said Brand New Congress LLC was guilty of providing campaign contributions known as “in-kind” expenditures by only charging candidates for a portion of the total cost of the service. Essentially, Backer claimed the company operated at a loss to provide its approved candidates with campaign services on the cheap.
This is Backer’s second complaint against AOC and he has also started a PAC called STOP the AOC PAC, so it seems he’s pretty focused on her. AOC dismissed the complaint, telling Fox News, “I mean, it’s conservative interest groups just filing bogus proposals.” It’s easy to dismiss AOC’s response as self-serving but Corey Goldstone of the Campaign Legal Center tells Fox News, “In this case, it’s not clear there was any wrongdoing, and the allegations seem speculative. We haven’t seen evidence that the PACs improperly subsidized work for the campaign or have reason to believe that laws were broken.” All that to say, I’m not sure how seriously to take this complaint. In the long run, these complaints aren’t going to help convince people AOC is playing fast and loose with campaign finance laws if they all get dismissed as unfounded. We’ll have to wait and see on that.
Meanwhile, AOC got in a sparring contest with another public nemesis yesterday. Tucker Carlson did a segment about her Monday night:
I like Tucker most of the time and I agree that AOC claiming the high ground on name-calling and then calling her opponents xenophobic, white supremacists in the very next sentence was embarrassingly dumb. That said, you’re sort of falling into the same trap when you make fun of her hypocrisy on name-calling and then turn around and call her a “moron.” Why bother calling her that if you’re about to say she had a point about something else, as Carlson does here? In response to his broadside, AOC tweeted this:
Her comments about her opponents during that town hall event on MSNBC really were embarrassing. It’s a shame that fact is getting lost in the shuffle but not exactly surprising. No one in the media wanted to talk about it at all until there was some way to put a pro-AOC spin on it. Even now, that Daily Beast piece doesn’t bother to point out that Carlson was correct about what AOC said at the town hall. The media writ large is just not interested in covering her with any kind of fairness or skepticism at this point. That is also embarrassing.