Interestingly, Justice Democrats last year posted a lengthy explanation for its unusual arrangement, outlining why it dumped PAC money into limited-liability companies. Crucially, it does not say that the PAC did so without engaging in any meaningful disclosure. Instead, it essentially argues that we should trust their good will, that they kept “prices as low as possible” while still satisfying FEC requirements.
In other words, the message is “Trust us, please.” But a key purpose of campaign-finance disclosure laws is to remove trust in favor of mandated transparency.
At the very least, hypocrisy abounds. It is simply stunning that Ocasio-Cortez would mount such a very high moral horse and berate witnesses at a congressional hearing while this “dark money” skeleton lurks in her closet. The very best possible read on her actions is that she read ambiguities into the law to her maximum advantage. A more realistic view is that she and her campaign chair (and now chief of staff) creatively evaded the obvious intent of campaign-finance law and will now rely on FEC gridlock and her enormous reservoir of progressive goodwill to skate straight through this scandal.