Conservatives target Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal' in NY billboards

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Saikat Chakrabarti's corporation, Brand New Congress LLC, received $867,000 in 2017 from two political action committees he helped found, Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats, Federal Election Commission records show.

A political operation tied to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff is facing scrutiny over payments made to a company he owned.

Justice Democrats responded to questions about the arrangement in a May 2018 post titled: "When I look at the FEC report for Justice Democrats in 2017, why are there so many expenditures to 'Brand New Congress"?

Exactly how Chakrabarti and the LLC spent the funds is unknown as AOC's aide did not report the transfers to the FEC, the NLPC says in its complaint.

Chakrabarti defended himself on Twitter on Monday. The goal was "to essentially run the full campaigns" and act as a vendor.

"When they disclosed a large chunk of the PACs spending through one LLC just as strategic consulting, that is a legitimate warning flag", said Noti, who is now with the Washington-based nonprofit Campaign Legal Center.

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The NLPC alleges that Ocasio-Cortez and the others named in the complaint diverted almost a million dollars in campaign donations to the coffers of a for-profit entity operated by Chakrabarti.

"AOC is trying to raise taxes and she just drove Amazon out of our state, so we lost 25,000 high paying jobs in NY state, a state that's bleeding people every single day to other states because taxes are too high", Eric Trump said. The company, then called Brand New Campaign LLC, was set up to provide all-in-one campaign services to candidates without political background.

In a lengthy and detailed statement sent to Snopes, attorneys for Ocasio-Cortez and the PACs accused in the complaint said all their activities had "fully complied with the law and the highest ethical standards".

Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress PAC sought to implement a national program to recruit non-traditional candidates for United States House of Representatives and Senate, and to support them with an infrastructure to effectively run their campaigns as an integrated, national effort - so that candidates could focus on being candidates that could best represent their communities, [as] opposed to exclusively focused on high-dollar fundraising and national endorsement to drive electoral success. He discussed the strategy in a 2016 MSNBC interview, and the PACs posted explanations about the LLC's role on their websites.

Adav Noti, the senior director of the Campaign Legal Center and a former FEC lawyer, said the arrangement was highly unusual and seemed meant to obscure the destination of the funds.

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