The least-shocking news of 2019 so far is that freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) may have been involved in an illegal scheme – in violation of various campaign finance laws – to enrich herself and the man who ran her 2016 campaign. The National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog, has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that could lead potentially to criminal charges and prison terms for Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti.
The FEC complaint charges that the 29-year-old Democrat and Chakrabarti, who is now her chief of staff, set up two political action committees in 2016 and 2017 – respectively, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats. According to a document filed in March 2018 to the Washington, D.C., Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs, Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez, and another individual, Nasim Thompson, were listed as “governors” of the PAC, meaning that the three had full legal control of the organization.
Trying to Conceal Something?
Chakrabarti also set up two shell companies, Brand New Campaign LLC and Brand New Congress LLC, to which a combined total of $1 million – from political donations to the two PACs – was funneled. Ocasio-Cortez did not disclose her legal control of the Justice Democrats PAC, and both she and Chakrabarti have since separated themselves from the group. Former FEC officials have indicated that the arrangements between the two PACs and the shell companies appear strange and seem to violate campaign finance laws.
Former FEC attorney Adav Noti told The Daily Caller News Foundation: “None of that makes any sense. I can’t even begin to disentangle that. They’re either confused or they’re trying to conceal something.”
Said former FEC chairman Bradley Smith of the arrangement, “I see almost no way that you can do that without it being at least a reporting violation,” adding that it was “quite likely a violation of the contribution limits.”
It is not clear what happened to the money that was transferred from the PACs to Chakrabarti’s companies. Neither Ocasio-Cortez nor Chakrabarti or representatives of the two political action committees have offered a legitimate explanation for the movement of these funds.
Ironically, the young Democrat – who is proving to be a disruptive, socialist firebrand even within her own party – is pushing for Congress to focus on investigating President Donald Trump’s finances.
Socialism and Corruption: Constant Bedfellows
Why is the news of Ocasio-Cortez being involved in potential financial irregularities not surprising? Because wherever socialists are found, corruption is found along with them. It is as inevitable as the sun rising in the morning. The ideology is built to accommodate corruption. Whenever a relatively small group of people – the political leaders, their families, and close associates – control the economy of an entire nation and impose rules that preclude individual freedom and prosperity, the temptation is too great and the practice too easily followed and concealed.
One characteristic common to every socialist country that exists today, or that has ever existed, is that about 60% of the population lives in poverty and near starvation; around 25% of the people, by virtue of their government employment or party loyalty, live above the poverty line but are not wealthy; and the remaining 15% — the political leaders, senior bureaucrats, and those closest to them – live comfortably while secretly lining their pockets with the nation’s wealth.
Ultimately, it is why Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive politicians are so enthusiastic about replacing America’s capitalist system with a socialist regime: They know that they will personally benefit from being atop that regime. They will never have to suffer the deprivations to which they subject the people they rule.
When Americans discuss socialism, they tend to focus on the lack of political and economic freedom inherent in the system. But the primary purpose of socialism is not to deprive people of those freedoms; it is to create a completely unaccountable kleptocracy. Perhaps Ocasio-Cortez is merely getting a head start.