House Democrats recently passed the For the People Act, vowing to “end the dominance of big money in our politics.”
While the bill is not expected to gain traction in the Senate, you can expect Democrats to keep targeting our First Amendment rights to engage in political speech under the guise of “campaign finance reform.” Of course, the bill is really an attempt to prevent Americans from coming together to expose the Democrats’ corruption.
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Not surprisingly, one of the bill’s co-sponsors and staunchest supporters is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described expert on campaign finance law. Lamenting “a system that is fundamentally broken,” Ocasio-Cortez has promised to take on “special interests” — but only those that oppose her, of course. In Ocasio-Cortez’s eyes, a Republican donor is a “special interest,” but pro-Democrat union officials and left-leaning trial attorneys are just good, old Americans doing their patriotic jobs.
If recent history is any indication, Ocasio-Cortez is anything but the best messenger for reform. She really wants to take us back to the Middle Ages, in more ways than one. During her first term in Congress — which began in January — she has already racked up multiple ethics complaints, implicating herself and her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, in two separate scandals.
Last month, the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing Ocasio-Cortez of illegally funneling thousands of dollars in official campaign funds through “Brand New Congress PAC” and “Brand New Congress LLC” to Roberts. As the complaint explains, it is illegal to use campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. Even if Roberts was doing official work at fair-market value, it appears Ocasio-Cortez attempted to conceal the recipients of her campaign payments — which is also illegal.
It gets worse for “AOC.” Earlier this month, the Foundation filed another complaint, this time with the Office of Congressional Ethics. The OCE complaint alleges Ocasio-Cortez improperly converted House resources to her non-official, personal use by obtaining an official email address for Roberts. It appears she obtained the email address for him by falsely designating him as a staff member, even though he was not employed by her congressional office at the time.
That’s a no-no. Of course, Ocasio-Cortez is no stranger to hypocrisy. From her glitzy apartment complex in Washington, D.C. to her thousands of dollars raised from liberal special interests, Ocasio-Cortez talks one way and walks another. Her chief of staff, meanwhile, is being accused of running a $1 million slush fund by diverting campaign cash to his own companies.
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But the Riley Roberts scandals are AOC’s most egregious examples of hypocrisy to date. They demand the full attention of the American people, who have long been sold a bill of goods by two-faced Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez. She complains about the law and then acts like she’s above it.
Most importantly, it’s time for federal authorities — at the FEC and OCE — to hold Ocasio-Cortez accountable. For too long, Washington elites — Democrat and Republican — have abused their power and played by different rules than the rest of us. “Campaign finance reform” is the perfect example: Anti-speech Democrats would restrict outside people our ability to donate to candidates and campaigns, only to cash in themselves at our expense. Ocasio-Cortez, after all, raised more than $2 million during the 2018 election, from a variety of union officials, Manhattan lawyers, and others.
Yet she claims to be a woman of the people and for the people. All Ocasio-Cortez and her associates ever want to do is pass laws that stop us from speaking out — in case we speak out against her. Let’s remember: AOC directly fights to shut down business, and the high-paying jobs that come with it, in her own backyard.
We the people demand accountability — from AOC and the rest of her swamp. No one is above the law.
Shaun McCutcheon is the successful plaintiff in the 2014 Supreme Court case McCutcheon v. FEC, chairman of the Coolidge Reagan Foundation and an Alabama-based electrical engineer.
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