Ahhh, big money in politics. Democrats love to slam the so-called scourge of political spending running rampant through our democratic republic, yet they are so quick to ignore their steadfast principles when they can sling around some sweet cheddar to benefit their own ilk. The latest example of this comes from our very own Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Based on a recent FEC campaign filing, it looks she just tried exceeding the candidate committee's legal limit that elected officials can donate to other candidates.
Bloomberg's Greg Giroux pointed this out Tuesday morning. "AOC's campaign sent $5,000 to Marie Newman's campaign on Sept. 27." Newman is running in Illinois on a very progressive platform.
Nathan Wurtzel quickly and bluntly stated this was an illegal contribution.
This is an illegal contribution. The limit is $2,000. https://t.co/TnyJwmXmRV— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) October 15, 2019
And, as the filings show, this money came from AOC's candidate committee, not a PAC.
Actually yes. It's a campaign committee to campaign committee transaction, not PAC to PAC. pic.twitter.com/tAz7Bi1F87— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) October 15, 2019
But, further reporting by Giroux shows that Newman's campaign actually refunded the $3,000 on September 30, three days after AOC's donation.
But, keep in mind AOC's been accused of running what is tantamount to a slush fund in a previous campaign. The allegations were so serious that the FEC opened an official probe into it.
via National Legal and Policy Center:
In an “exclusive interview,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told New York Daily News reporters Chris Sommerfeldt and Jason Fisher that she and her former Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti are “in conversation” with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) about a Complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center in March. (Matter Under Review #7575)
Of course, the FEC doesn’t have conversations with Respondents to Complaints. It conducts investigations. By confirming that she and the other Respondents are interacting with the FEC, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the existence of an investigation, contrary to assertions of some of her supporters. From the article:
Ocasio-Cortez dismissed the complaint as a political hit job.
“All of these things were filed by these fringe, Republican groups. It’s a tactic they use and it’s very common,” she said. “It’s a form of legal trolling.”
So, why would AOC allow her candidate committee to be so careless when she's already on thin ice with FEC? Well, maybe because she's desperate to get more socialist candidates in Congress to maintain her Democratic Civil War against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. But, as Wurtzel points out, if it weren't for Newman's treasurer, AOC would have made an illegal donation.
To sum up...— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) October 15, 2019
AOC tried to give an illegal contribution.
The recipient returned the correct amount of money to AOC.
The remaining contribution is now legal.
Editor's Note: In the interest of transparency, the author of this piece has a relative who works for the National Legal and Policy Center