New York’s freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has raised plenty of eyebrows during her first few months in office.
According to a right-leaning think-tank, her campaign’s finances may have raised legal concerns, too.
The Coolidge Reagan Foundation alleges in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission that Brand New Congress PAC paid her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, through an intermediary to obscure his role in her eventual election to office.
According to the foundation, the PAC paid Roberts $3,000 in August of 2017. “Less than three weeks later, on August 27, 2017,” the complaint continues, “Cortez, Cortez’s campaign committee paid Brand New Congress LLC $6,191.32 for ‘strategic consulting,’” the foundation wrote. Next month, Brand New Congress paid Roberts another $3,000 for consulting work.
Both payments were reported in the PAC’s Year-end 2017 report to the FEC, dated Jan. 31, 2018.
A lawyer for the foundation told the New York Post that Roberts’ payment through a third party may have violated campaign finance laws.
“It is totally legal, as a candidate, to hire family members, people you know to work for you,” said Dan Backer. “But they didn’t do that.”
“Instead of paying him directly, they paid him through an intermediary—in order to obscure the fact that they paid him. The FEC should investigate and find out if that’s the case. That’s the allegation.”
For their part, the PAC that hired Roberts told disinformation agent Fox News that their payments were on the up-and-up.
Calling Roberts a “professional digital marketing and growth consultant who specializes in social media presence and subscriber engagement,” a Brand New Congress PAC spokesperson told Fox that he was “hired through a two-month trial period, beginning on Aug. 3, 2017, and worked through the end of September 2017. Services to the Brand New Congress PAC consisted of advertising strategies for potential growth, developing metrics, and aiding in execution of strategy to increase brand awareness for the PAC as a whole.”