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Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , Brand New Congress , Justice Democrats , NLPC , Saikat Chakrabarti , Tom Anderson

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Old 4th March 2019, 08:44 PM   #1
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FEC complaint against AOC and her Chief of Staff

So far looks like only right-leaning rags (and infowars/zerohedge) biting on it.

https://nlpc.org/2019/03/04/fec-comp...ooks-campaign/

Quote:
According to Tom Anderson, director of NLPC’s Government Integrity Project, “These are not minor or technical violations. We are talking about real money here. In all my years of studying FEC reports, I’ve never seen a more ambitious operation to circumvent reporting requirements. Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been quite vocal in condemning so-called dark money, but her own campaign went to great lengths to avoid the sunlight of disclosure.”
Saikat Chakrabarti, AOC's Chief of Staff, was founder of both Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats.

I so hope this is just a smear job, but I've been cussing up a storm for a few minutes over the possibility of the progressive wing of the party shooting itself in the head like this right now...
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Old 4th March 2019, 09:10 PM   #2
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Newsweek is the only source of reporting I found that isn't biased for the far-right. They say that far right groups have alleged campaign finance irregularities to the FEC. They're not even sure that what was done was in any way criminal. At this point it's just, "Neener Neener, you used dark money, too." That's about on par with me calling up the FBI and claiming my neighbor might be ripping the free perfume samples out of magazines without paying for them.

We'll see where the story goes. So far, the most telling thing is just exactly which media outlets are reporting this like it's news.
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Old 4th March 2019, 09:20 PM   #3
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Yeah, rolling through her expenditures from highest to lowest, I'm down to about the $2,000 level and the running total in my head for Brand New Congress, LLC (not to be confused with Brand New Congress PAC), the private company supposedly doing all the slushing is about ~$25,000. That plus some disbursements to Chakrabarti by name all totaled together lead me to believe she got a really nice rate on services for a successful campaign for a Congressional seat.

[usedcarsalesman]It would be a crime NOT to take a deal like this![/usedcarsalesman]
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Old 4th March 2019, 10:37 PM   #4
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Judging by the other headlines on the site, that's quite the right wing faux news site there.

It was a source of funds supporting multiple candidates, why are they singling out AOC?

And the story is about this right wing source filed a complaint. The story is not the FEC is looking into irregularities they uncovered.

It's akin to Trump claiming he's been nominated for a Nobel Prize.
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Old 5th March 2019, 12:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Judging by the other headlines on the site, that's quite the right wing faux news site there.

It was a source of funds supporting multiple candidates, why are they singling out AOC?

And the story is about this right wing source filed a complaint. The story is not the FEC is looking into irregularities they uncovered.

It's akin to Trump claiming he's been nominated for a Nobel Prize.
I'm waiting for TBD or Zig to come and dismiss it as a Process Crime. They were openly raising money for other progressive candidates. If they did anything wrong, it was likely technical.... oh, you paid that money out of ABC PLC and it should have been paid out of PDQ LLP. It was known and publicized all along that AOC was using her bully pulpit to help support other like-minded candidates.

A slap on the wrist, at the most but with the FEC being very political (and consisting of presidential appointments), I can envision them hearing the suit.
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Old 5th March 2019, 08:48 AM   #6
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Doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:05 AM   #7
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No, and from looking around some more, it joins with other complaints which all arise from looking at the properly reported data and doing the "if you close one eye and tilt your head a bit..." routine

They want to smear her because she will play the attack dog role on the Oversight Committee as things heat up against Trump. They'll make it a big false equivalence argument.
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:17 AM   #8
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She's definitely scaring the screaming bejesus out of some people.

I'm liking her more and more.
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
She's definitely scaring the screaming bejesus out of some people.

I'm liking her more and more.
ORANGE WOMAN BAD?
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
ORANGE WOMAN BAD?

Are we now discussing Irish politics?

I have no idea what you mean.
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I'm waiting for TBD or Zig to come and dismiss it as a Process Crime.
That's... not what a process crime means.

Quote:
They were openly raising money for other progressive candidates. If they did anything wrong, it was likely technical....
The distinction you're referring to is malum in prohibitum rather than malum in se (bad because it's against the rules, rather than bad in and of itself). Most campaign finance violations fall into the former category.
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Judging by the other headlines on the site, that's quite the right wing faux news site there.

It was a source of funds supporting multiple candidates, why are they singling out AOC?

And the story is about this right wing source filed a complaint. The story is not the FEC is looking into irregularities they uncovered.

It's akin to Trump claiming he's been nominated for a Nobel Prize.
What news site and "story" are you talking about? The Examiner?

The OP links to the organization that filed the complaint. They are definitely of the right, but not a news site. Back in the day they had something to do with opposing Jim Wright in Texas and the Keating Five.
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
She's definitely scaring the screaming bejesus out of some people.

I'm liking her more and more.
and not just 'the right'. one could speculate the real democratic party (not far left socialists) may have tipped someone off.
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Old 5th March 2019, 12:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I'm waiting for TBD or Zig to come and dismiss it as a Process Crime. They were openly raising money for other progressive candidates. If they did anything wrong, it was likely technical.... oh, you paid that money out of ABC PLC and it should have been paid out of PDQ LLP. It was known and publicized all along that AOC was using her bully pulpit to help support other like-minded candidates.

A slap on the wrist, at the most but with the FEC being very political (and consisting of presidential appointments), I can envision them hearing the suit.

You're right, and that's part of the problem. Corruption in politics is now so systemic that people simply dismiss it as it "everyone does it, so what's the big deal?" It all depends on your partisan point of view. When President Obama's campaign was fined 375,000 dollars by the FEC to a collective yawn by the lefty media, it was seen by Republicans as an example of double standards in the press, which it manifestly was. On the other hand, Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance violations is seen as an impeachable offense for President Trump.

Now that AOC is accused of similar violations, we'll see which way the wind blows with the press. That will tell us whether this information is coming from Republicans or from AOC's fellow Democrats who think that her open Socialism is a gift to the Right.

I'm just arguing for consistency here. Either campaign finance violations are a big deal, or they aren't.
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Old 5th March 2019, 12:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cmikes View Post
You're right, and that's part of the problem. Corruption in politics is now so systemic that people simply dismiss it as it "everyone does it, so what's the big deal?" It all depends on your partisan point of view. When President Obama's campaign was fined 375,000 dollars by the FEC to a collective yawn by the lefty media, it was seen by Republicans as an example of double standards in the press, which it manifestly was. On the other hand, Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance violations is seen as an impeachable offense for President Trump.



Now that AOC is accused of similar violations, we'll see which way the wind blows with the press. That will tell us whether this information is coming from Republicans or from AOC's fellow Democrats who think that her open Socialism is a gift to the Right.



I'm just arguing for consistency here. Either campaign finance violations are a big deal, or they aren't.
They are a big deal.

But trying to make every violation the same scale of offense is the exact kind of false equivalence I was talking about.

The AOC complaint(s) are all vague and speculative. The Obama one was acknowledged, they cooperated, they amended statements, they got fined. With Trump the initial responses have all been lies and obstruction and here we are 2-1/2 years later and the public still doesn't know what really happened.

Not remotely comparable.
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Old 5th March 2019, 01:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
What news site and "story" are you talking about? The Examiner?

The OP links to the organization that filed the complaint. They are definitely of the right, but not a news site. Back in the day they had something to do with opposing Jim Wright in Texas and the Keating Five.
It's in the first sentence in the OP link:
Quote:
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a formal Complaint today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti, and several other individuals and groups who orchestrated an extensive operation to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spending during the 2018 campaign, in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended.
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is a front group and industry funded right-wing political and policy lobbying organization.

"The story is about..."

I'm not sure what you are reading into my post about a "news site"?
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Old 5th March 2019, 01:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It's in the first sentence in the OP link:

National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is a front group and industry funded right-wing political and policy lobbying organization.

"The story is about..."

I'm not sure what you are reading into my post about a "news site"?
Anyone else get a chuckle out our correspondent citing a leftist liberal advocacy group for a characterization regarding the group that filed the complaint?

Hilarious.
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Old 5th March 2019, 01:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It's in the first sentence in the OP link:

National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is a front group and industry funded right-wing political and policy lobbying organization.

"The story is about..."

I'm not sure what you are reading into my post about a "news site"?
It just didn't seem like you understood what you were reading, where you were talking about "faux news" and a "story." The link was right to their website, not to a story about them.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Judging by the other headlines on the site, that's quite the right wing faux news site there.
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Old 5th March 2019, 01:53 PM   #19
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Is this like Judicial Watch filing an unending stream of FOIA requests and sending press releases for each one like it means something?
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Old 5th March 2019, 01:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Is this like Judicial Watch filing an unending stream of FOIA requests and sending press releases for each one like it means something?
Not a fan of government transparency then? cool cool.

But no, this is not like a FOIA request.
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Old 5th March 2019, 03:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
It just didn't seem like you understood what you were reading, where you were talking about "faux news" and a "story." The link was right to their website, not to a story about them.
Where is this rabbit hole going?

Connect to the topic or take the grammar lesson to PMs.
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Old 5th March 2019, 03:36 PM   #22
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I heard an interview on the subject from a reporter at the Washington Examiner(I think they're right wing Washington paper?) describe it as thought they seem to have found an illegal way to do something they could have done legally. I suspect its the result of naivete rather than malfeasance, they'll likely get a fine of some sort.

Edit to add: My 10 minutes of internet searching leads me to believe this is probably nothing of note, it doesn't even seem to get much play from right wing sources. We shall see.

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Old 5th March 2019, 08:45 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Where is this rabbit hole going?

Connect to the topic or take the grammar lesson to PMs.
Thank you.

It was a news release from a right wing organization. I didn't say it was the work of investigative reporters. The relevant point was, the FEC did not initiate the complaint but the web site apparently wants to make it look like they did.
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Old 5th March 2019, 08:59 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Thank you.

It was a news release from a right wing organization. I didn't say it was the work of investigative reporters. The relevant point was, the FEC did not initiate the complaint but the web site apparently wants to make it look like they did.
Yeah, taking advantage of people who don't know "complaint" in this context legally means someone taking a complaint to the FEC, rather than an action started by the FEC itself from an audit.
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Old 5th March 2019, 09:11 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by cmikes View Post
You're right, and that's part of the problem. Corruption in politics is now so systemic that people simply dismiss it as it "everyone does it, so what's the big deal?" It all depends on your partisan point of view. When President Obama's campaign was fined 375,000 dollars by the FEC to a collective yawn by the lefty media, it was seen by Republicans as an example of double standards in the press, which it manifestly was. On the other hand, Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance violations is seen as an impeachable offense for President Trump.

Now that AOC is accused of similar violations, we'll see which way the wind blows with the press. That will tell us whether this information is coming from Republicans or from AOC's fellow Democrats who think that her open Socialism is a gift to the Right.

I'm just arguing for consistency here. Either campaign finance violations are a big deal, or they aren't.

Lol, as if she's a socialist. You USAians are so weird.
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:22 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
So far looks like only right-leaning rags (and infowars/zerohedge) biting on it.
That right-leaning rag the Washington Post has bitten.
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Old 6th March 2019, 07:34 AM   #27
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A campaign paid a private company to provide campaign-related services.

I've seen entire campaigns where the whole goal seemed to be taking in donations and paying a few companies run by senior members of the campaign.

This one actually put someone in office.

Not sure what the problem is. I'm fairly confident there will be no push to force companies who do work for campaigns to open their books.

This is entirely predicated on people's ignorance and ominous phrasing, all that's missing is the dissonant musical tone and a raspy voice, "In a world where campaign finance is messy and complicated..."
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Old 6th March 2019, 08:24 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by cmikes View Post
You're right, and that's part of the problem. Corruption in politics is now so systemic that people simply dismiss it as it "everyone does it, so what's the big deal?" It all depends on your partisan point of view. When President Obama's campaign was fined 375,000 dollars by the FEC to a collective yawn by the lefty media, it was seen by Republicans as an example of double standards in the press, which it manifestly was. On the other hand, Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance violations is seen as an impeachable offense for President Trump.

Now that AOC is accused of similar violations, we'll see which way the wind blows with the press. That will tell us whether this information is coming from Republicans or from AOC's fellow Democrats who think that her open Socialism is a gift to the Right.

I'm just arguing for consistency here. Either campaign finance violations are a big deal, or they aren't.
I feel like you're ignoring some important differences between these cases.
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Old 6th March 2019, 03:25 PM   #29
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From NBC:

Quote:
Campaign finance experts, meanwhile, told NBC News that while the structure of her campaign and its vendors might be confusing, there's no evidence of some kind of million-dollar scam as has been alleged in news reports.

Here are the facts behind the complaint — and the one thing experts say might merit a real investigation.

...

SO, DID HER TEAM DO ANYTHING WRONG?

There's no evidence of self-dealing or any kind of elaborate scam, two experts told NBC News, which is often the major concern with LLCs and PACs run by the same people.

Brendan Fischer, a director at the Campaign Legal Center, said "scam PACs" typically pay their staff huge salaries without doing much campaigning work other than fundraising, which doesn't appear to be the case here. He said he hasn't seen evidence of wrongdoing that would suggest any laws were broken.

According to Paul S. Ryan, a campaign finance expert who works at the nonprofit government watchdog Common Cause, FEC laws don't require transparency from vendors and sub-vendors hired by campaigns or PACs.

But the PACs and campaigns are supposed to note what the vendors are hired and paid for, and that's where Ocasio-Cortez and her allies may have run afoul of the law.

The FEC complaint highlighted the large payments made from Ocasio-Cortez's campaign and the PACs to the LLC for "strategic consulting," and questioned whether all that work was actually strategic consulting or if other types of campaign activities were involved and should have been specified.

“In fact, Saikat Chakrabarti stated on national television on May 19th 2016 that Brand New Congress LLLC created the campaign infrastructure and ran all of the fundraising and volunteering operations for the campaigns," the complaint reads.

Ryan said that particular issue could merit an FEC investigation.

“Describing a disbursement for strategy consulting is permissible, but only if that's what the disbursement was actually for. There may be a violation here,” Ryan said. “However, the FEC would likely treat this violation as very minor, particularly if the rest of the information provided for that transaction was accurate.”

Ryan said a small fine could result from such a violation, not jail time.
Linky.
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Old 7th March 2019, 04:04 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Whip View Post
and not just 'the right'. one could speculate the real democratic party (not far left socialists) may have tipped someone off.

One could speculate that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the reptile Lord Foghatter McStupidhead of Zarblon B. It has no basis in fact, but one could certainly speculate about it.
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