Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #1082 Funky Resumes: Update on Socialists for Trump and Hitler (“The Assistance”)

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Check out the Chakrabar­ti YouTube seg­ment fea­tur­ing the Sub­has Chan­dra Bose T‑Shirt

” . . . . An analy­sis of FEC fil­ings shows that their net­work of PACs, LLCs, board and staff nav­i­gate in the same legal and eth­i­cal grey area their [AOC and Chakrabarati’s] entire ‘anti-dark mon­ey’ plat­form is based on com­bat­ting. . . .”

Sub­has Chan­dra Bose

Intro­duc­tion: Sup­ple­ment­ing pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion and analy­sis of the so-called pro­gres­sive sec­tor (the left-wing of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty in par­tic­u­lar), we delve fur­ther into infor­ma­tion indi­cat­ing that a good­ly por­tion of same are, in fact, ringers. Ele­vat­ed by peo­ple and inter­ests that either are, or very much appear to be, clan­des­tine crea­tures of the far-right, these “social­ists for Trump and Hitler” are, in fact, The Assis­tance.

Recent­ly, Don­ald Trump tar­get­ed Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez and her com­pa­tri­ots in “The Squad” (as they have been chris­tened) as exem­pli­fy­ing the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. It is our con­tention that AOC, Bernie Sanders and, very pos­si­bly oth­er mem­bers of that milieu, have been manip­u­lat­ed pre­cise­ly to serve as racist foils for Team Trump and their foot sol­diers in the para­mil­i­tary ranks of the “Alt-Right.”

In this pro­gram, we high­light the dis­con­cert­ing CV’s of Saikat Chakrabar­ti, Cenk Uygur, Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez and the PACs, as well as relat­ed enti­ties cre­at­ed by Chakrabar­ti and under­pin­ning AOC. Chakrabar­ti appears to be a polit­i­cal acolyte of Sub­has Chan­dra Bose, “The Duce of Ben­gal.” In a YouTube seg­ment defend­ing AOC against crit­i­cism, the recent­ly resigned Chakrabar­ti sport­ed a T‑shirt fea­tur­ing the like­ness of that key Indi­an fas­cist.

Sub­has Chan­dra Bose Meets Hitler

“Sub­has Chan­dra” Chakrabar­ti ignit­ed the war with­in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty that he had intend­ed. Note­wor­thy in his “funky resume” is the fact that he worked for Bridge­wa­ter Asso­ciates, the world’s largest hedge fund. James Comey was the fir­m’s chief legal coun­sel, before mov­ing to head the FBI. Comey’s “reopen­ing” of the Hillary Clin­ton e‑mail non-scan­dal just before elec­tion day helped give Trump the vic­to­ry.

Fol­low­ing his res­ig­na­tion this past week, “Sub­has Chan­dra” Chakrabar­ti is now under inves­ti­ga­tion for his cam­paign finance activ­i­ties: ” . . . The inquiry cen­ters on two polit­i­cal action com­mit­tees found­ed by Saikat Chakrabar­ti . . . . The two PACs being probed, Brand New Con­gress and Jus­tice Democ­rats, were both set up by Chakrabar­ti to sup­port pro­gres­sive can­di­dates across the coun­try. . . . But they fun­neled more than $1 mil­lion in polit­i­cal dona­tions into two pri­vate com­pa­nies that Chakrabar­ti also incor­po­rat­ed and con­trolled, accord­ing to Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion fil­ings and a com­plaint filed in March with the reg­u­la­to­ry agency. In 2016 and 2017, the PACs raised about $3.3 mil­lion, most­ly from small donors. A third of the cash was trans­ferred to two pri­vate com­pa­nies whose names are sim­i­lar to one of the PACs — Brand New Con­gress LLC and Brand New Cam­paign LLC — fed­er­al cam­paign fil­ings show. . . .”

We sus­pect that the irreg­u­lar­i­ties in Chakrabar­ti’s activ­i­ties and the irreg­u­lar­i­ties in Oca­sio-Cortez’s resume and activ­i­ties were not only delib­er­ate­ly pre­con­ceived, but are part of an elec­toral “Psy-Op” that will get con­sid­er­able cov­er­age in the 2020 cam­paign, pos­si­bly hand­ing vic­to­ry to Trump.

“Team AOC” will of, course, cry “racism” via  Twit­ter.

Sub­has Chan­dra Bose (left) net­work­ing with Hein­rich Himm­ler.

AOC has already been hand­ed Mar­tyr Sta­tus by Don­ald Trump’s attacks, and we believe she may well become the face of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, as Team Trump wish­es.

A blog post from The Medi­um notes the fishy ele­ments of AOC’s CV, the ques­tion­able activ­i­ties of the Chakrabar­ti enti­ties and the indi­ca­tions that “Team AOC” has more in com­mon with the very right-wing ele­ments and indi­vid­u­als that they decry than any­thing that could be called “pro­gres­sive:” ” . . . . inde­pen­dent research into her back­ground and fund­ing has revealed ‘Demo­c­ra­t­ic Social­ist’ Oca­sio-Cortez is nei­ther a pro­gres­sive Demo­c­rat nor a good faith can­di­date. And for some­one with an eco­nom­ics degree — one of the only claims on her resume that checks out — the 28-year-old can­di­date has a lot to learn about cam­paign finance and elec­tion law. At any oth­er time, Oca­sio-Cortez’ myr­i­ad red flags — her unlike­ly vic­to­ry, antag­o­nis­tic rhetoric, nation­al ampli­fi­ca­tion, and shady fund­ing — would beg media scruti­ny. . . .This new breed of sup­posed “pro­gres­sives” — with their rad­i­cal­ized, anti-estab­lish­ment fer­vor — appear to have more in com­mon with that far-right insur­gency [the Tea Par­ty] than either group has with main­stream Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. . . . But we are not liv­ing in ordi­nary times — a sit­u­a­tion Oca­sio-Cortez and her “pro­gres­sive” posse are all too will­ing to exploit to accom­plish their destruc­tive goals. As nat­ur­al as any evo­lu­tion, the “Bernie or Bust” influ­ence oper­a­tion that infect­ed our 2016 elec­tion is alive, well, and adapt­ed for sur­vival. It’s new use­ful idiots are Oca­sio-Cortez and the murky entan­gle­ment of two new Polit­i­cal Action Com­mit­tees (PACs)— found­ed by The Young Turks’ scan­dal-plagued host Cenk Uygur and a group of tech-savvy ex-Bernie cam­paign staffers. . . .”

Ques­tion­able aspects of Team AOC include:

  1. Her entre­pre­neur­ial pre­tense, which appears to be illu­so­ry.
  2. Her ele­va­tion of undergraduate/internship activ­i­ties to be polit­i­cal posts.
  3. The dubi­ous fab­ric of her Bronx work­ing class cache: ” . . . . Oca­sio-Cortez has claimed to be a ‘third-gen­er­a­tion Bronx­ite’ from a ‘work­ing class’ fam­i­ly. . . . She grad­u­at­ed from the pre­dom­i­nate­ly white York­town High School locat­ed in York­town Heights, NY, where the aver­age house­hold income is $141,254 and aver­age house­hold net worth is $1,192,838. . . .”
  4. The fact that she appears to have vet­ted her­self as a can­di­date: ” . . . . A review of the core staff reveals sig­nif­i­cant crossover and a musi­cal chairs of board mem­bers between the two [PACs]. Oca­sio-Cortez assumed a lead­er­ship role with Jus­tice Democ­rats some­time in 2017 — there­by effec­tive­ly vet­ting her­self for the role of can­di­date. . . .”
  5. Brand New Con­gress recruit­ing can­di­dates to run as Repub­li­cans in red dis­tricts: ” . . . . Brand New Con­gress, the PAC we now see Oca­sio-Cortez criss-cross­ing the coun­try help­ing to pro­mote, has the per­plex­ing mis­sion of ‘attempt­ing to recruit Con­gres­sion­al can­di­dates to run as Repub­li­cans in red dis­tricts.’ . . .”
  6. The con­tra­dic­to­ry nature of Team AOC’s activ­i­ties is encap­su­lat­ed in the fol­low­ing ana­lyt­i­cal syn­op­sis: ” . . . . An analy­sis of FEC fil­ings shows that their net­work of PACs, LLCs, board and staff nav­i­gate in the same legal and eth­i­cal grey area their entire “anti-dark mon­ey” plat­form is based on com­bat­ting. Begin­ning with Jus­tice Democ­rats, the PAC has raised $2,100,399 over the course of the 2017–2018 elec­tion sea­son. Yet over that same time peri­od, the PAC has made zero inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures in sup­port of any can­di­dates. In fact, dozens of can­di­dates have instead made pay­ments to Jus­tice Democ­rats. . . .”
  7. The cen­tral role of the “Bernie Bots” in this unsa­vory activ­i­ty: ” . . . . A review of dis­burse­ments reveals that of the $2,026,298 spent to date, over $600,000 for “strate­gic con­sult­ing” ser­vices was direct­ed to Brand New Con­gress LLC — a busi­ness enti­ty con­trolled by Chakrabar­ti. Anoth­er $1 mil­lion in con­tri­bu­tions has been direct­ed to ex-Bernie staffers or their firms. This includes $222,000 to Mid­dle Seat Con­sult­ing LLC, run by Brand New Con­gress co-Founder Zack Exley, and about $800,000 in salaries and pay­roll costs. Because those LLCs have not dis­closed finan­cial reports, the pub­lic has no way of know­ing what that mon­ey was used for. . . .”
  8. Brand New Con­gress also ben­e­fit­ing the Bernie Bots: ” . . . . A review of Brand New Con­gress PAC fil­ings demon­strate a sim­i­lar move­ment of fundrais­ing dona­tions into the pock­ets of ex-Bernie “con­sul­tants”. Of the $477,688 raised, no inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures to can­di­dates were made, yet $261,000 was paid to Brand New Con­gress LLC and over $100,000 was dis­bursed as salaries or pay­roll costs. . . .”
  9. A con­stel­la­tion of high­ly ques­tion­able activ­i­ties in con­nec­tion with AOC’s defeat of 10-term Con­gress­man Joe Crow­ley, such as the role of the “Blue Amer­i­ca” PAC, UK Eng­lish copy: ” . . . . The meme-heavy social media pages for the PAC’s var­i­ous web­sites pushed out vit­ri­olic blog and social media posts dur­ing the pri­ma­ry, using bud­get graph­ics with British-Eng­lish copy to pro­mote hash­tags like #Abol­ishICE #Berniewould­have­won and #Mob­Boss­Crow­ley. . . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • Review of key points of the fas­cist activ­i­ties of “Team Bose.”
  • Review of Naren­dra Mod­i’s fush­ion of Hin­dut­va fas­cism with Team Bose.
  • An overview of Cenk Uygur’s curi­ous resume.

1a. We note, for pur­pos­es of review and clar­i­fi­ca­tion:

  1. Naren­dra Mod­i’s net­work­ing with Surya Kumar Bose, Sub­has Chan­dra Bose’s grand­nephew, promis­ing to declas­si­fy files on Bose.
  2. Surya Bose’s pres­i­den­cy of the Indo-Ger­man asso­ci­a­tion” . . . . Surya, who has a soft­ware con­sul­tan­cy busi­ness in Ham­burg and is pres­i­dent of the Indo-Ger­man Asso­ci­a­tion . . . .”
  3. The gen­e­sis of the Indo-Ger­man asso­ci­a­tion in Ger­many dur­ing World War II. Note that this orga­ni­za­tion must, as a mat­ter of course, net­work with the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion” . . . . The DIG was set up on Sep­tem­ber 11, 1942, by Sub­hash Chan­dra Bose at Hotel Atlanta in Ham­burg.’ . . . . Bose recounts, adding that the DIG today is the largest bilat­er­al organ­i­sa­tion in Ger­many, with 27 branch­es. As a con­sul­tant he often guides Ger­mans keen on work­ing in the boom­ing Indi­an IT sec­tor. He is also a founder-mem­ber of the Ger­man-Indi­an Round Table, an infor­mal gath­er­ing that seeks to fur­ther mutu­al busi­ness inter­ests. . . .”
  4. Surya Kuma Bose’s net­work­ing with Alexan­der Werth, the Ger­man trans­la­tor for Sub­has Chan­dra Bose’s Ger­man forces, which were fold­ed into the Waf­fen SS at the end of World War II. ” . . . . Back in the day, Netaji’s stay in Ger­many had proved instru­men­tal in shap­ing his strug­gle. Decades lat­er, that lega­cy would play a piv­otal role in shap­ing his grandnephew’s career. Bose came to Ger­many on the advice of Alexan­der Werth, Netaji’s Ger­man inter­preter in the Indi­an Legion. . . .”
  5. The col­lab­o­ra­tion of Surya Kumar Bose, Alexan­der Werth and World War II asso­ciates of Sub­has Chan­dra Bose in both Ger­many and Japan in the com­pi­la­tion of a biog­ra­phy that fun­da­men­tal­ly revis­es the his­to­ry of “the Neta­ji.” ” . . . . Its six parts deal with his expe­ri­ences in India, Ger­many and Japan and have been co-authored by peo­ple who either worked with, or were close asso­ciates of, his dur­ing his stay in their respec­tive coun­tries. The aim of the biog­ra­phy is to place Sub­has Chan­dra Bose in a cor­rect his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive with regard to his much pub­li­cized rev­o­lu­tion­ary activ­i­ties, and to pro­vide an under­stand­ing of an extreme­ly com­plex man, much maligned by Britain and great­ly mis­un­der­stood by her allies. . . .”
  6. The true char­ac­ter of Saikat Chakrabar­ti’s appar­ent idol Sub­has Chan­dra Bose’s pol­i­tics is to be found in his 1935 net­work­ing with Mus­soli­ni: “. . . . Neta­ji Bose, by his own admis­sion in his book, ‘Indi­an Strug­gle’ (pub­lished in 1935 in Lon­don), believed India need­ed a polit­i­cal sys­tem that was a mix of fas­cism and com­mu­nism — some­thing that he called samyavad. Neta­ji made a spe­cial trip to Rome in 1935 to present a copy of his book to Ital­ian dic­ta­tor Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni, whom he great­ly admired and whose ideals he would fol­low for the rest of his life. . . .”
  7. Sub­has Chan­dra Bose’s pol­i­tics were the antithe­sis of what we would expect from the AOC camp: “. . . . In a speech the same year in Sin­ga­pore, Bose spoke about India need­ing a ruth­less dic­ta­tor for 20 years after lib­er­a­tion. Then Sin­ga­pore dai­ly, Sun­day Express (now defunct), print­ed his speech where he said, ‘So long as there is a third par­ty, ie the British, these dis­sen­sions will not end. These will go on grow­ing. They will dis­ap­pear only when an iron dic­ta­tor rules over India for 20 years. For a few years at least, after the end of British rule in India, there must be a dic­ta­tor­ship . . . . No oth­er con­sti­tu­tion can flour­ish in this coun­try and it is so to India’s good that she shall be ruled by a dic­ta­tor, to begin with . . . .”
  8. In addi­tion to Mus­soli­ni, Bose net­worked with, and got face time with: Adolf Hitler, Hein­rich Himm­ler, Emper­or Hiro­hi­to of Japan and Prime Min­is­ter Gen­er­al Hide­ki Tojo of Japan.

1b. Indi­an Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has fused his Hin­dut­va fas­cism with pro-Bose revi­sion­ism:

  1. Prime min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Sun­day announced the renam­ing of three islands of Andaman and Nico­bar arch­i­pel­ago as a trib­ute to Neta­ji Sub­has Chan­dra Bose. . . .The Ross Island was renamed as Neta­ji Sub­has Chan­dra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Sha­heed Dweep and the Have­lock Island as Swaraj Dweep. . . . “ ‘When it comes to heroes of the free­dom strug­gle, we take the name of Neta­ji Sub­has Chan­dra Bose with pride. The first prime min­is­ter of the Azad Hind gov­ern­ment Sub­hash Babu had made Indi­a’s inde­pen­dence res­o­lu­tion on the soil of Andaman,’ he said.”
  2. Modi began his speech by ask­ing the peo­ple in the ground to switch on the flash­lights of their mobile phones to hon­our Bose.
  3. Thou­sands of mobile flash­lights were then switched on pro­vid­ing a visu­al delight.
  4. Don­ning the Azad Hind Fauj (Indi­an Nation­al Army) cap, he addressed a pub­lic meet­ing at Neta­ji Sta­di­um on the occa­sion of the 75th anniver­sary of the hoist­ing of the Tri­colour by Bose.
  5. At the sta­di­um, the PM also released a com­mem­o­ra­tive stamp, its first-day cov­er and a Rs 75 coin.He also announced set­ting up of a deemed uni­ver­si­ty named after Bose.
  6. The Andaman and Nico­bar islands are not just a sym­bol of Indi­a’s nat­ur­al beau­ty, but are also like a place of pil­grim­age for Indi­ans, said Modi.Modi also vis­it­ed the Mari­na Park and hoist­ed a nation­al flag on a 150-feet high mast, besides pay­ing flo­ral trib­ute at Neta­ji’s stat­ue.
  7. On Decem­ber 30, 1943, Bose had sug­gest­ed that Andaman and Nico­bar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj Dweep respec­tive­ly.
  8. Dur­ing World War II, the Japan­ese had cap­tured the Andaman and Nico­bar Islands, and Neta­ji came here as the Azad Hind Fauz led by him was an ally of the Japan­ese force.
  9. “ ‘The his­tor­i­cal event of 30th Decem­ber 1943 has been com­plet­ed today after 75 years,’ Modi said. . . .”
  10. The 1943 renam­ing of the Andaman Islands was done dur­ing the bru­tal Japan­ese occu­pa­tion of that ter­ri­to­ry: ” . . . . [KR] Ganesh [the MP from the Andaman and Nico­bar Islands] Ganesh point­ed out to the House that the local peo­ple of the Andamans were impris­oned and tor­tured by the Japan­ese in the same Cel­lu­lar Jail in Port Blair where Neta­ji Bose raised the flag of a free India for the first time in Decem­ber 1943. [MP] Samar Guha was unaware of this, as were most oth­er mem­bers of Par­lia­ment. He want­ed to know if the atroc­i­ties by the Japan­ese occu­pa­tion forces on the local peo­ple had tak­en place before or after Bose’s vis­it. Ganesh’s reply was, “Before, dur­ing and after.” . . . .  ‘Japan­ese troops act­ed harsh­ly against local pop­u­la­tions. The Japan­ese mil­i­tary police were espe­cial­ly feared. Food and vital neces­si­ties were con­fis­cat­ed by the occu­piers caus­ing wide­spread mis­ery and star­va­tion by the end of the war.’ The sit­u­a­tion was the same in Port Blair and sur­round­ing vil­lages and near­by islands such as Neil Island and Have­lock Island. I have come across many sto­ries of the fear of the Kem­peitai, the Japan­ese mil­i­tary police – of the arrests, the beat­ings, the hunger, the fear and anx­i­ety that had gripped the peo­ple with hun­dreds in jail for sus­pi­cion of spy­ing for the British. . . .”

2a. “Sub­has Chan­dra” Chakrabar­ti has ignit­ed the war with­in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty that he has intend­ed. Note­wor­thy in his “funky resume” is the fact that he worked for Bridge­wa­ter Asso­ciates, the world’s largest hedge fund. James Comey was the fir­m’s chief legal coun­sel, before mov­ing to head the FBI, where his  “reopen­ing” into the Hillary Clin­ton e‑mail “non-scan­dal” just before elec­tion day helped give Trump the vic­to­ry.

“Top Oca­sio-Cortez Aide Becomes a Sym­bol of Demo­c­ra­t­ic Divi­sion” by Catie Edmond­son; The New York Times; 7/13/2009.

. . . . Short­ly after arriv­ing to Capi­tol Hill, her leg­isla­tive assis­tant, Dan Rif­fle, gave an inter­view in which he described fel­low Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­gres­sion­al aides as Ivy League “careerists” who “don’t think big and aren’t here to change the world.” . . . .

. . . . After grad­u­at­ing from Har­vard, Mr. Chakrabar­ti worked for a year as a tech­nol­o­gy asso­ciate at the hedge fund Bridge­wa­ter Asso­ciates, and then moved to Sil­i­con Val­ley to help found the tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny Stripe. He is pre­sumed to be rich, but has not filed a finan­cial dis­clo­sure form, lead­er­ship aides say.

Because Ms. Oca­sio-Cortez capped her senior aides’ salaries to ensure she could offer an entry-lev­el wage of $52,000, her employ­ees are below the income thresh­old that man­dates pub­lic finan­cial dis­clo­sure. Instead, a House ethics pan­el required her to com­pel at least one of her aides who can “act in the member’s name or with the member’s author­i­ty” to file a dis­clo­sure form.

Ms. Oca­sio-Cortez chose Mr. Rif­fle, the leg­isla­tive assis­tant, to sub­mit the dis­clo­sure, rather than Mr. Chakrabar­ti.

In March, a con­ser­v­a­tive group filed a com­plaint with the Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion say­ing that Mr. Chakrabar­ti improp­er­ly dis­closed the spend­ing of two polit­i­cal action com­mit­tees he helped estab­lish that paid more than $1 mil­lion in 2016 and 2017 to a com­pa­ny he ran.

The com­pa­ny, Brand New Con­gress L.L.C., was an arm of a group he helped found by the same name that recruit­ed com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ers as can­di­dates who would all adopt the same trans­for­ma­tive pro­gres­sive plat­form; in turn, the group would con­tract their staff out to help run the can­di­dates’ cam­paigns. To do this, Brand New Con­gress argued, the group had to be set up as a lim­it­ed lia­bil­i­ty com­pa­ny — which is not required to dis­close infor­ma­tion about its own­ers or spend­ing. . . .

2b. Fol­low­ing his res­ig­na­tion this past week, “Sub­has Chan­dra” Chakrabar­ti is now under inves­ti­ga­tion for his cam­paign finance activ­i­ties: ” . . . The inquiry cen­ters on two polit­i­cal action com­mit­tees found­ed by Saikat Chakrabar­ti . . . . The two PACs being probed, Brand New Con­gress and Jus­tice Democ­rats, were both set up by Chakrabar­ti to sup­port pro­gres­sive can­di­dates across the coun­try. . . . But they fun­neled more than $1 mil­lion in polit­i­cal dona­tions into two pri­vate com­pa­nies that Chakrabar­ti also incor­po­rat­ed and con­trolled, accord­ing to Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion fil­ings and a com­plaint filed in March with the reg­u­la­to­ry agency. In 2016 and 2017, the PACs raised about $3.3 mil­lion, most­ly from small donors. A third of the cash was trans­ferred to two pri­vate com­pa­nies whose names are sim­i­lar to one of the PACs — Brand New Con­gress LLC and Brand New Cam­paign LLC — fed­er­al cam­paign fil­ings show. . . .”

We sus­pect that the irreg­u­lar­i­ties in Chakrabar­ti’s activ­i­ties and the irreg­u­lar­i­ties in Oca­sio-Cortez’s resume and activ­i­ties were not only delib­er­ate­ly pre­con­ceived, but are part of an elec­toral “Psy-Op” that will get con­sid­er­able cov­er­age in the 2020 cam­paign, pos­si­bly hand­ing vic­to­ry to Trump.

“Team AOC” will of course cry “racism” via  Twit­ter.

AOC has already been hand­ed Mar­tyr Sta­tus by Don­ald Trump’s attacks, and we believe she may well become the face of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, as Team Trump wish­es.

“Feds Prob­ing AOC’s Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabar­ti After Sud­den Res­ig­na­tion” by Mary Kay Linge and Jon Levine; The New York Post; 8/3/2019.

The feds are look­ing into pos­si­ble cam­paign finance mis­deeds by Rep. Alexan­dria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff and lead rain­mak­er, who sud­den­ly resigned Fri­day, fed­er­al sources told The Post.

The inquiry cen­ters on two polit­i­cal action com­mit­tees found­ed by Saikat Chakrabar­ti, the top aide who quit along with Oca­sio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent, the sources said. Trent left to join the congresswoman’s 2020 re-elec­tion cam­paign.

The brash Chakrabar­ti, who mas­ter­mind­ed Ocasio-Cortez’s cam­paign and steered her pro­posed Green New Deal, had caused uproar in the halls of Con­gress with a series of com­bat­ive tweets that con­tributed to a rift between his rook­ie boss and House Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi.

“Peo­ple were not hap­py that he used his Twit­ter account to com­ment about mem­bers and the bills that he and his boss oppose,” a senior House Demo­c­ra­t­ic staffer said. “There was a series of col­lid­ing and cas­cad­ing griev­ances.”

The two PACs being probed, Brand New Con­gress and Jus­tice Democ­rats, were both set up by Chakrabar­ti to sup­port pro­gres­sive can­di­dates across the coun­try.

But they fun­neled more than $1 mil­lion in polit­i­cal dona­tions into two pri­vate com­pa­nies that Chakrabar­ti also incor­po­rat­ed and con­trolled, accord­ing to Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion fil­ings and a com­plaint filed in March with the reg­u­la­to­ry agency.

In 2016 and 2017, the PACs raised about $3.3 mil­lion, most­ly from small donors. A third of the cash was trans­ferred to two pri­vate com­pa­nies whose names are sim­i­lar to one of the PACs — Brand New Con­gress LLC and Brand New Cam­paign LLC — fed­er­al cam­paign fil­ings show.

While PACs must fol­low strin­gent fed­er­al rules on dis­clo­sure of spend­ing and fundrais­ing, pri­vate com­pa­nies are not sub­ject to the same trans­paren­cy.

The com­plaint filed by the Nation­al Legal and Pol­i­cy Cen­ter, a gov­ern­ment watch­dog group based in Vir­ginia, alleged that the LLCs appeared to have been set up to obscure those fed­er­al report­ing require­ments.

In March, when the FEC com­plaints were filed, a lawyer for the PACs, the LLCs and the Oca­sio-Cortez cam­paign told the Wash­ing­ton Post that the arrange­ment “ful­ly com­plied with the law and the high­est eth­i­cal stan­dards” and that Chakrabar­ti nev­er prof­it­ed from any of the polit­i­cal enti­ties he formed.

They may also have vio­lat­ed the $5,000 lim­it on con­tri­bu­tions from fed­er­al PACs to can­di­dates, accord­ing to the com­plaint. It is not known if any of that mon­ey flowed to Ocasio-Cortez’s cam­paign.

Fed­er­al author­i­ties are look­ing at new salary rules imposed by Oca­sio-Cortez when she took office ear­li­er this year, and whether they were put in place to let Chakrabar­ti dodge pub­lic finan­cial dis­clo­sure rules, accord­ing to sources.

Although Oca­sio-Cortez raised the salaries of junior staffers in her office to just over $52,000 a year, Chakrabar­ti took a mas­sive pay cut. The Har­vard grad­u­ate and tech mil­lion­aire agreed to an annu­al salary of $80,000 — far less than the $146,830 aver­age pay for his posi­tion.

Because his salary was less than $126,000, con­gres­sion­al rules exempt­ed the chief of staff from hav­ing to dis­close his out­side income.

The legal quag­mire comes on the heels of Chakrabarti’s attacks on fel­low Democ­rats.

In June and July, Chakrabar­ti accused Pelosi of being a weak leader and said that mod­er­ate Democ­rats were racists, “hell-bent to do to black and brown peo­ple today what the old South­ern Democ­rats did in the 40s.”

“Pelosi claims we can’t focus on impeach­ment because it’s a dis­trac­tion from kitchen table issues,” he post­ed July 6. “What is this leg­isla­tive mas­ter­mind doing?”

Four days lat­er, Pelosi rep­ri­mand­ed Oca­sio-Cortez and her “Squad” of young pro­gres­sives dur­ing a closed-door meet­ing, demand­ing they stop air­ing their griev­ances in pub­lic.

“So, again, you got a com­plaint? You come and talk to me about it,” Pelosi admon­ished, accord­ing to Politi­co.

But the next week, Pres­i­dent Trump kicked up the con­tro­ver­sy again with a series of Dem-needling tweets. That led to a July 26 clear-the-air meet­ing between Pelosi and Oca­sio-Cortez, one week before Chakrabarti’s depar­ture to join a non­prof­it think tank, New Con­sen­sus.

AOC did not show up at a Bronx event on her sched­ule Sat­ur­day. Her office would not com­ment on the staff depar­tures, and Chakrabar­ti did not return sev­er­al mes­sages. Trent declined com­ment.

2c. Cenk Uygur’s pro­fes­sion­al resume is sim­i­lar­ly fishy. A scream­ing right-winger and denier of the Armen­ian geno­cide (until the age of 46), sud­den­ly he decides, “Wow, we need social­ism.”

“Cenk Uygur;” wikipedia.org

. . . . In col­lege and law school, Uygur espoused polit­i­cal­ly con­ser­v­a­tive views dur­ing the pres­i­den­cies of Ronald Rea­gan and George H. W. Bush. He wrote a col­umn in The Dai­ly Penn­syl­van­ian crit­i­ciz­ing the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­ni­a’s prac­tice of affir­ma­tive action.[9] He was pro-life on abor­tion, crit­i­cized fem­i­nism, and argued that Supreme Court Jus­tice Clarence Thomas was treat­ed unjust­ly dur­ing his Sen­ate con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings.[14]

In 1991, Uygur wrote an arti­cle in The Dai­ly Penn­syl­van­ian in which he pro­mot­ed Armen­ian Geno­cide denial.[15] He reit­er­at­ed his posi­tion in a let­ter to the edi­tor of Salon in 1999.[16] In a blog post in April 2016, he rescind­ed the state­ments. He went on to claim that he does not know enough today to com­ment on it.[17]

Uygur slow­ly tran­si­tioned away from the Repub­li­can Par­ty and has said that the deci­sion to invade Iraq was a “sem­i­nal moment” in that tran­si­tion.[3] He is now a pro­gres­sive.[18][19] . . . .

3. A blog post from The Medi­um notes the fishy ele­ments of AOC’s CV, the ques­tion­able activ­i­ties of the Chakrabar­ti enti­ties and the indi­ca­tions that “Team AOC” has more in com­mon with the very right-wing ele­ments and indi­vid­u­als that they decry than any­thing that could be called “pro­gres­sive:” ” . . . . inde­pen­dent research into her back­ground and fund­ing has revealed ‘Demo­c­ra­t­ic Social­ist’ Oca­sio-Cortez is nei­ther a pro­gres­sive Demo­c­rat nor a good faith can­di­date. And for some­one with an eco­nom­ics degree — one of the only claims on her resume that checks out — the 28-year-old can­di­date has a lot to learn about cam­paign finance and elec­tion law. At any oth­er time, Oca­sio-Cortez’ myr­i­ad red flags — her unlike­ly vic­to­ry, antag­o­nis­tic rhetoric, nation­al ampli­fi­ca­tion, and shady fund­ing — would beg media scruti­ny. . . .This new breed of sup­posed “pro­gres­sives” — with their rad­i­cal­ized, anti-estab­lish­ment fer­vor — appear to have more in com­mon with that far-right insur­gency [the Tea Par­ty] than either group has with main­stream Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. . . . But we are not liv­ing in ordi­nary times — a sit­u­a­tion Oca­sio-Cortez and her “pro­gres­sive” posse are all too will­ing to exploit to accom­plish their destruc­tive goals. As nat­ur­al as any evo­lu­tion, the “Bernie or Bust” influ­ence oper­a­tion that infect­ed our 2016 elec­tion is alive, well, and adapt­ed for sur­vival. It’s new use­ful idiots are Oca­sio-Cortez and the murky entan­gle­ment of two new Polit­i­cal Action Com­mit­tees (PACs)— found­ed by The Young Turks’ scan­dal-plagued host Cenk Uygur and a group of tech-savvy ex-Bernie cam­paign staffers. . . .”

Ques­tion­able aspects of Team AOC include:

  1. Her entre­pre­neur­ial pre­tense, which appears to be illu­so­ry.
  2. Her ele­va­tion of undergraduate/internship activ­i­ties to be polit­i­cal posts.
  3. The dubi­ous fab­ric of her Bronx work­ing class cache: ” . . . . Oca­sio-Cortez has claimed to be a ‘third-gen­er­a­tion Bronx­ite’ from a ‘work­ing class’ fam­i­ly. . . . She grad­u­at­ed from the pre­dom­i­nate­ly white York­town High School locat­ed in York­town Heights, NY, where the aver­age house­hold income is $141,254 and aver­age house­hold net worth is $1,192,838. . . .”
  4. The fact that she appears to have vet­ted her­self as a can­di­date: ” . . . . A review of the core staff reveals sig­nif­i­cant crossover and a musi­cal chairs of board mem­bers between the two [PACs]. Oca­sio-Cortez assumed a lead­er­ship role with Jus­tice Democ­rats some­time in 2017 — there­by effec­tive­ly vet­ting her­self for the role of can­di­date. . . .”
  5. Brand New Con­gress recruit­ing can­di­dates to run as Repub­li­cans in red dis­tricts: ” . . . . Brand New Con­gress, the PAC we now see Oca­sio-Cortez criss-cross­ing the coun­try help­ing to pro­mote, has the per­plex­ing mis­sion of ‘attempt­ing to recruit Con­gres­sion­al can­di­dates to run as Repub­li­cans in red dis­tricts.’ . . .”
  6. The con­tra­dic­to­ry nature of Team AOC’s activ­i­ties is encap­su­lat­ed in the fol­low­ing ana­lyt­i­cal syn­op­sis: ” . . . . An analy­sis of FEC fil­ings shows that their net­work of PACs, LLCs, board and staff nav­i­gate in the same legal and eth­i­cal grey area their entire ‘anti-dark mon­ey’ plat­form is based on com­bat­ting. Begin­ning with Jus­tice Democ­rats, the PAC has raised $2,100,399 over the course of the 2017–2018 elec­tion sea­son. Yet over that same time peri­od, the PAC has made zero inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures in sup­port of any can­di­dates. In fact, dozens of can­di­dates have instead made pay­ments to Jus­tice Democ­rats. . . .”
  7. The cen­tral role of the “Bernie Bots” in this unsa­vory activ­i­ty: ” . . . . A review of dis­burse­ments reveals that of the $2,026,298 spent to date, over $600,000 for “strate­gic con­sult­ing” ser­vices was direct­ed to Brand New Con­gress LLC — a busi­ness enti­ty con­trolled by Chakrabar­ti. Anoth­er $1 mil­lion in con­tri­bu­tions has been direct­ed to ex-Bernie staffers or their firms. This includes $222,000 to Mid­dle Seat Con­sult­ing LLC, run by Brand New Con­gress co-Founder Zack Exley, and about $800,000 in salaries and pay­roll costs. Because those LLCs have not dis­closed finan­cial reports, the pub­lic has no way of know­ing what that mon­ey was used for. . . .”
  8. Brand New Con­gress also ben­e­fit­ing the Bernie Bots: ” . . . . A review of Brand New Con­gress PAC fil­ings demon­strate a sim­i­lar move­ment of fundrais­ing dona­tions into the pock­ets of ex-Bernie “con­sul­tants”. Of the $477,688 raised, no inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures to can­di­dates were made, yet $261,000 was paid to Brand New Con­gress LLC and over $100,000 was dis­bursed as salaries or pay­roll costs. . . .”
  9. A con­stel­la­tion of high­ly ques­tion­able activ­i­ties in con­nec­tion with AOC’s defeat of 10-term Con­gress­man Joe Crow­ley, such as the role of the “Blue Amer­i­ca” PAC, UK Eng­lish copy: ” . . . . The meme-heavy social media pages for the PAC’s var­i­ous web­sites pushed out vit­ri­olic blog and social media posts dur­ing the pri­ma­ry, using bud­get graph­ics with British-Eng­lish copy to pro­mote hash­tags like #Abol­ishICE #Berniewould­have­won and #Mob­Boss­Crow­ley. . . .”

“NOT HERE FOR PROGRESS: Meet the Tea Par­ty-esque Insur­gency Seek­ing to ‘Rebuild the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty from Scratch’ ” by Portlus Glam; The Medi­um; 8/6/2018.

Over a few short months, a media blitz has trans­formed lit­tle-known Bronx con­gres­sion­al can­di­date Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez into the fresh new face of pro­gres­sive pol­i­tics in Amer­i­ca. How­ev­er, inde­pen­dent research into her back­ground and fund­ing has revealed “Demo­c­ra­t­ic Social­ist” Oca­sio-Cortez is nei­ther a pro­gres­sive Demo­c­rat nor a good faith can­di­date. And for some­one with an eco­nom­ics degree — one of the only claims on her resume that checks out — the 28-year-old can­di­date has a lot to learn about cam­paign finance and elec­tion law.

At any oth­er time, Oca­sio-Cortez’ myr­i­ad red flags — her unlike­ly vic­to­ry, antag­o­nis­tic rhetoric, nation­al ampli­fi­ca­tion, and shady fund­ing — would beg media scruti­ny.

Sub­has Chan­dra Bose

After all, the pat­tern eeri­ly fol­lows that of the Tea Par­ty move­ment that began in 2010 as a “con­ser­v­a­tive” back­lash to Repub­li­can loss­es. This new breed of sup­posed “pro­gres­sives” — with their rad­i­cal­ized, anti-estab­lish­ment fer­vor — appear to have more in com­mon with that far-right insur­gency than either group has with main­stream Amer­i­can pol­i­tics.

But we are not liv­ing in ordi­nary times — a sit­u­a­tion Oca­sio-Cortez and her “pro­gres­sive” posse are all too will­ing to exploit to accom­plish their destruc­tive goals. As nat­ur­al as any evo­lu­tion, the “Bernie or Bust” influ­ence oper­a­tion that infect­ed our 2016 elec­tion is alive, well, and adapt­ed for sur­vival. It’s new use­ful idiots are Oca­sio-Cortez and the murky entan­gle­ment of two new Polit­i­cal Action Com­mit­tees (PACs)— found­ed by The Young Turks’ scan­dal-plagued host Cenk Uygur and a group of tech-savvy ex-Bernie cam­paign staffers.

Who vet­ted Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez?

Sub­has Chan­dra Bose Meets Hitler

There are only three qual­i­fi­ca­tions to become a Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the Unit­ed States Con­gress: be at least 25 years old, a cit­i­zen for sev­en years, and reside in the state at the time elect­ed. Still, Amer­i­cans have come to expect a cer­tain lev­el of pro­fes­sion­al accom­plish­ment from their can­di­dates. A fact check of Oca­sio-Cortez’ biog­ra­phy reveals that much of her back­ground as a “young entre­pre­neur” appears entire­ly con­trived.

(A) For instance, Oca­sio-Cortez lists her­self as Founder of “Brook Avenue Press” on Finan­cial Dis­clo­sure Reports. In media cov­er­age, the com­pa­ny is described as a pub­lish­ing house that devel­ops urban lit­er­a­ture for chil­dren. In real­i­ty, the ven­ture was an idea then 22-year-old Oca­sio-Cortez had in 2012, when she rent­ed a $195/month work­space from the now-defunct Sun­shine Bronx Busi­ness Incu­ba­tor. The cor­po­ra­tion was dis­solved or annulled in Octo­ber 2016 due to inac­tiv­i­ty, the web domain is for sale, and no pub­lished lit­er­a­ture by the com­pa­ny could be found.

(B) In her Boston Uni­ver­si­ty alum­ni bio, Oca­sio-Cortez also bills her­self as Lead Edu­ca­tion­al Strate­gist for GAGEis. A study of this Delaware LLC is a pandora’s box of bizarre rev­e­la­tions. The com­pa­ny is owned by Cheni Yerushal­mi, an Israeli “ser­i­al entre­pre­neur” who also owned the failed Sun­shine Bronx Busi­ness Incu­ba­tor. Accord­ing to Yerushalmi’s LinkedIn pro­file, the self-described “vision­ary” leads a “col­lec­tive of pro­fes­sion­als, entre­pre­neurs, artists and stu­dents of life” who gath­er on a com­mune in Bridge­wa­ter, Ver­mont called “The PYNK Com­mu­ni­ty.” The town news­pa­per reports that Ver­mont locals have not been thrilled with the “par­ty house,” which “sits on 21 acres and has four bon­fire pits, a house they call ‘the Cab­in’, a giant 22-foot ‘sacred’ teepee and a sep­a­rate farm­house. The prop­er­ty is worth about $825,000.” While her asso­ci­a­tion with Yerushal­mi sug­gests Oca­sio-Cortez is a dis­ci­ple of this busi­ness “guru”, it is unclear what real work GAGEis does — the web­site archives to an error and his $30/hr Upwork pro­file has no hours billed.

Sub­has Chan­dra Bose (left) net­work­ing with Hein­rich Himm­ler.

© The incon­sis­ten­cies don’t end there. In Oca­sio-Cortez’ New York City Cam­paign Finance Board pro­file, she claimed to have been a “For­eign Affairs & Immi­gra­tion Liai­son” for Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009 when Oca­sio-Cortez was 19 years old. This has been described else­where as a col­lege intern­ship. She also lists pre­vi­ous occu­pa­tions as “Micro­fi­nance Prac­ti­tion­er and Mater­nal Health Study— Niger, West Africa” and “Met­rics & Social Design — The Pur­pose Econ­o­my; Imper­a­tive”, both of which appear to have been under­grad expe­ri­ences.

The only claim that does check out is Oca­sio-Cortez’ work with the Nation­al His­pan­ic Insti­tute. She lists her­self as an “Edu­ca­tion­al Direc­tor” on her Finan­cial Dis­clo­sure with a 401K but no report­ed income. Recent­ly, she was named “2017 Per­son of the Year” by the orga­ni­za­tion. A fea­ture arti­cle on their site sug­gests she has had a rela­tion­ship with the orga­ni­za­tion since high school and that her posi­tion is a vol­un­teer one.

All said, Oca­sio-Cortez only earned income from her food ser­vice posi­tions in 2016 and 2017, total­ing around $43,000 and $27,000 respec­tive­ly.

Is Oca­sio-Cortez real­ly from the Bronx?

(D) It’s dif­fi­cult to con­firm more about Oca­sio-Cortez’ back­ground since the candidate’s pre­vi­ous twit­ter account appears to have been delet­ed, her LinkedIn pro­file is essen­tial­ly blank, and web archives for her cam­paign show a chang­ing sto­ry over time. But res­i­den­cy infor­ma­tion can be gleaned by fact-check­ing her cur­rent cam­paign bio against pri­or state­ments.

Oca­sio-Cortez has claimed to be a “third-gen­er­a­tion Bronx­ite” from a “work­ing class” fam­i­ly. An enor­mous part of her aggres­sive rhetoric against incum­bent Joe Crow­ley con­cerned the 10-term con­gress­man liv­ing out­side his dis­trict. Yet in the pro­file Oca­sio-Cortez used to launch her can­di­da­cy, she wrote: “we start­ed our jour­ney in the Bronx, but were forced to leave our neigh­bor­hood in search of pub­lic schools with more to offer than a 50% dropout rate.” She grad­u­at­ed from the pre­dom­i­nate­ly white York­town High School locat­ed in York­town Heights, NY, where the aver­age house­hold income is $141,254 and aver­age house­hold net worth is $1,192,838.

(E) In 2016, Oca­sio-Cortez was quot­ed in a Think Progress arti­cle where she was described as a “Westch­ester Coun­ty vot­er.” The arti­cle ref­er­enced a Red­dit post where she wrote of her 2012 post-Hur­ri­cane Sandy vot­ing issues: “I was stuck in NYC and vot­ed out­side my precinct, and appar­ent­ly when I signed that affi­davit my par­ty affil­i­a­tion was waived.”

It is also uncer­tain whether run­ning in the Bronx 14th dis­trict was Oca­sio-Cortez’ first choice. Her ini­tial State­ment of Can­di­da­cy sub­mit­ted to the Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (FEC) list­ed her run­ning in the 15th. It was amend­ed short­ly there­after.

So who vet­ted Oca­sio-Cortez?

After serv­ing as a vol­un­teer field orga­niz­er for Bernie Sanders 2016 Cam­paign, Oca­sio-Cortez was recruit­ed by Jus­tice Democ­rats — a hos­tile and shady PAC launched in Jan­u­ary 2017 by The Young Turks’ scan­dal-plagued cre­ator Cenk Uygur and Saikat Chakrabar­ti, the for­mer Direc­tor of Orga­niz­ing Tech­nol­o­gy for Sanders’ cam­paign. Jus­tice Democ­rats are close­ly affil­i­at­ed with Brand New Con­gress, anoth­er PAC launched by Chakrabar­ti in April 2016 along­side for­mer senior Sanders advis­er Zack Exley and for­mer Sanders cam­paign coor­di­na­tor Corbin Trent.

Both Jus­tice Democ­rats and Brand New Con­gress were found­ed with the goal of har­ness­ing the momen­tum and fundrais­ing mus­cle of the Sanders cam­paign. A review of the core staff reveals sig­nif­i­cant crossover and a musi­cal chairs of board mem­bers between the two. Oca­sio-Cortez assumed a lead­er­ship role with Jus­tice Democ­rats some­time in 2017 — there­by effec­tive­ly vet­ting her­self for the role of can­di­date.

Keep­ing it in the fam­i­ly — two new pig­gy bank PACs

Until July, Oca­sio-Cortez was list­ed as one of two board mem­bers for Jus­tice Democ­rats, whose PAC mis­sion at the time of launch stat­ed:

“The solu­tion is not uni­ty with the cor­po­rate-backed Democrats…It’s time to rebuild the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty from scratch.”

Oper­a­tional­ly, the PAC sought to recruit, train, and run can­di­dates across the coun­try to pri­ma­ry incum­bent Democ­rats — not because they them­selves were Democ­rats, but because “it is next to impos­si­ble for a third-par­ty can­di­date to win a nation­al elec­tion.” Jus­tice Democ­rats web­site includes the dis­claimer it is “not autho­rized by any can­di­date or candidate’s com­mit­tee.” (F) Yet Oca­sio-Cortez held legal con­trol over the dubi­ous fundrais­ing enti­ty while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly run­ning as a PAC-endorsed can­di­date — even fil­ing her Statement(s)ofCan­di­da­cy from their Knoxville, TN address.

(G) Brand New Con­gress, the PAC we now see Oca­sio-Cortez criss-cross­ing the coun­try help­ing to pro­mote, has the per­plex­ing mis­sion of “attempt­ing to recruit Con­gres­sion­al can­di­dates to run as Repub­li­cans in red dis­tricts.” And while Oca­sio-Cortez’ has been crit­i­cized for her post-pri­ma­ry nation­al cam­paign­ing, that appears baked into the strat­e­gy with Brand New Con­gress. In a 2017 inter­view, Trent explained:

“our goal is to nation­al­ize those races and to real­ly frame a nar­ra­tive around these rep­re­sen­ta­tives that they aren’t just rep­re­sent­ing their dis­trict, which is a very big part of it, but they’re also rep­re­sent­ing the rest of Amer­i­ca with their votes. So I think that our abil­i­ty to organize…and dis­trib­ute in an effec­tive way is going to allow us to nation­al­ize more effec­tive­ly.”

Where did all the mon­ey go?

The nation­al spot­light may be great for fundrais­ing efforts, but may prove unwise for a group of polit­i­cal novices inex­pe­ri­enced in fed­er­al finance reg­u­la­tions. (H) An analy­sis of FEC fil­ings shows that their net­work of PACs, LLCs, board and staff nav­i­gate in the same legal and eth­i­cal grey area their entire “anti-dark mon­ey” plat­form is based on com­bat­ting. Begin­ning with Jus­tice Democ­rats, the PAC has raised $2,100,399 over the course of the 2017–2018 elec­tion sea­son. Yet over that same time peri­od, the PAC has made zero inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures in sup­port of any can­di­dates. In fact, dozens of can­di­dates have instead made pay­ments to Jus­tice Democ­rats.

(I) A review of dis­burse­ments reveals that of the $2,026,298 spent to date, over $600,000 for “strate­gic con­sult­ing” ser­vices was direct­ed to Brand New Con­gress LLC — a busi­ness enti­ty con­trolled by Chakrabar­ti. Anoth­er $1 mil­lion in con­tri­bu­tions has been direct­ed to ex-Bernie staffers or their firms. This includes $222,000 to Mid­dle Seat Con­sult­ing LLC, run by Brand New Con­gress co-Founder Zack Exley, and about $800,000 in salaries and pay­roll costs. Because those LLCs have not dis­closed finan­cial reports, the pub­lic has no way of know­ing what that mon­ey was used for.

(J) In-kind con­tri­bu­tions direct­ed towards PAC-endorsed can­di­dates were found to total less than $29,000 for ser­vices like Face­book ads, phone banks, oper­at­ing costs, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions soft­ware. Yet at the same time, about $35,000 was paid to Jus­tice Democ­rats by these can­di­dates and reg­is­tered as either “oth­er receipts: oper­at­ing costs” or “off­sets to oper­at­ing expens­es: reim­burse­ment of oper­at­ing costs.”

(K) Due to this lack of inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures to can­di­dates, the FEC reject­ed the PACs fil­ing for Mul­ti-Can­di­date Sta­tus at the end of 2017. In its let­ter, the FEC alleged Jus­tice Democ­rats had erro­neous­ly claimed con­tri­bu­tions to five can­di­dates in Texas.

(L) A review of Brand New Con­gress PAC fil­ings demon­strate a sim­i­lar move­ment of fundrais­ing dona­tions into the pock­ets of ex-Bernie “con­sul­tants”. Of the $477,688 raised, no inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures to can­di­dates were made, yet $261,000 was paid to Brand New Con­gress LLC and over $100,000 was dis­bursed as salaries or pay­roll costs.

(M) Oca­sio-Cortez’ cam­paign com­mit­tee fil­ings show dis­burse­ments to Brand New Con­gress LLC and Jus­tice Democ­rats, along­side oth­er seri­ous issues. On July 19th, the FEC sent a let­ter to Oca­sio-Cortez’ cam­paign com­mit­tee trea­sur­er out­lin­ing mul­ti­ple account­ing inac­cu­ra­cies and request­ing “infor­ma­tion essen­tial to full pub­lic dis­clo­sure of your fed­er­al elec­tion cam­paign finances.” The FEC has request­ed response by August 23rd and is con­sid­er­ing “audit or enforce­ment action.”

What’s the bot­tom line?

The entire premise of the Jus­tice Democ­rats and Brand New Con­gress anti-estab­lish­ment plat­form is a dri­ve to remove cor­po­rate, lob­by­ist, and dark mon­ey from pol­i­tics. The PACs blame the “cor­po­rate wing” for “break­ing” the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. Every can­di­date is asked to take a “No Cor­po­rate PAC Pledge.” But this con­ve­nient­ly obfus­cates anoth­er prob­lem relat­ed to mon­ey in pol­i­tics — scam PACs that use fundrais­ing as a vehi­cle for per­son­al prof­i­teer­ing.

Open Secrets, a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that tracks mon­ey in pol­i­tics, recent­ly wrote about the inci­dence of scam PACs that claim to raise mon­ey for polit­i­cal cam­paigns but spend lit­tle to none of the pro­ceeds to that end:

“A scam PAC would be a polit­i­cal com­mit­tee that rais­es funds with the pur­pose of sup­port­ing can­di­dates or a par­tic­u­lar cause, but then instead of spend­ing the mon­ey raised to sup­port can­di­dates or caus­es, the polit­i­cal oper­a­tives run­ning the PAC pay them­selves,” Bren­dan Fis­ch­er of Cam­paign Legal Cen­ter said.

The par­ties prof­it­ing from Jus­tice Democ­rats and Brand New Con­gress are not naive to the per­cep­tion issues their use of funds has cre­at­ed. For this rea­son they’ve sought to clar­i­fy, in increas­ing­ly con­vo­lut­ed ways, the tan­gled finan­cial struc­tures and rela­tion­ships between the PACs, LLCs, board, and staff. Their expla­na­tion can be gen­er­al­ly sum­ma­rized as this: the groups struc­tured them­selves as a PAC in order to fundraise, but with the inten­tion to oper­ate as a cam­paign ven­dor to avoid work­ing with the DCCC.

“By cre­at­ing a scal­able infra­struc­ture that can­di­dates can use to run their cam­paigns, we are able to start cre­at­ing a par­ty-like infra­struc­ture that not only endors­es and fundrais­es for can­di­dates, but also pro­vides them with the tools and peo­ple nec­es­sary to run a suc­cess­ful cam­paign.”

(N) Which begs the ques­tion — if the goal is to cre­ate a “par­ty-like infra­struc­ture”, what is the pur­pose of run­ning as Democ­rats in the first place? It appears access to vot­er data is the pri­ma­ry moti­va­tor.

What real­ly hap­pened in the Bronx?

(O) Oca­sio-Cortez has talked a big game about her “upset” vic­to­ry over Joe Crow­ley, a ten-term con­gress­man on the short list to become next Speak­er of the House. In real­i­ty, she cap­i­tal­ized on an extreme­ly low pri­ma­ry turnout to eek out a 57% vs. 43% (15,897 vs. 11,761) vic­to­ry. And while it is true that the young can­di­date deployed an impres­sive grass­roots can­vass­ing strat­e­gy, the dev­il is in the details— includ­ing dirty local pol­i­tics, vit­ri­olic cam­paign rhetoric, far left agi­ta­tors, and an inten­sive Face­book adver­tis­ing blitz in the lead up to the pri­ma­ry.

℗ Part of the local con­tro­ver­sy revolved around the involve­ment of dis­graced ex-Queens politi­cian Hiram Mon­ser­rate. A domes­tic abuser who spent time in prison on a cor­rup­tion con­vic­tion, Mon­ser­rate has feud­ed with Crow­ley for years. Dur­ing their con­tentious pri­ma­ry, Crow­ley accused Oca­sio-Cortez of seek­ing sup­port from the ex-con, even speak­ing at an event held at a Demo­c­rat Club he runs in Queens.

In her trade­mark racial iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics offen­sive against Crow­ley, Oca­sio-Cortez denied the accu­sa­tion, say­ing she had sought the sup­port of the club “not Hiram Mon­ser­rate” and “was at the only Lati­no Demo­c­ra­t­ic Club in East Elmhurst and Coro­na. That’s where I was.” Yet after Oca­sio-Cortez secured the nom­i­na­tion, Mon­ser­rate told the New York Post “there were a group of us, in the (club) and oth­er com­mu­ni­ty activists I have been work­ing with for years who under­stood that we would do our part to get rid of Joe Crowley…We were in sup­port of Alexandria’s cam­paign.”

(Q) The sen­ti­ment to “get rid” of Joe Crow­ley was not just a local one, as far left agi­ta­tors from across the coun­try ral­lied online in sup­port of Oca­sio-Cortez. In fact, the vast major­i­ty of Oca­sio-Cortez cam­paign dona­tions have come from out-of-dis­trict and out-of-state. Of par­tic­u­lar note is Blue Amer­i­ca PAC, a “col­lab­o­ra­tion between the authors/publishers of DownWithTyranny.com, Hullabaloo.com and CrooksandLiars.com.” The PAC made an $11,000 inde­pen­dent expen­di­ture in oppo­si­tion to Joe Crow­ley, cre­at­ing the web­site QueensAgainstCrowley.com.

While Oca­sio-Cortez may claim this was an inde­pen­dent or unen­dorsed endeav­or, her NYC Cam­paign Finance Board pro­file lists Blue Amer­i­ca as an affil­i­at­ed orga­ni­za­tion. The meme-heavy social media pages for the PAC’s var­i­ous web­sites pushed out vit­ri­olic blog and social media posts dur­ing the pri­ma­ry, using bud­get graph­ics with British-Eng­lish copy to pro­mote hash­tags like #Abol­ishICE #Berniewould­have­won and #Mob­Boss­Crow­ley. It could not be deter­mined how much of this con­tent was pro­mot­ed through Face­book adver­tis­ing to tar­get spe­cif­ic demo­graph­ics liv­ing in the 14th dis­trict.

® And there is still the mys­tery of what exact­ly hap­pened in the 15th dis­trict. As pre­vi­ous­ly described, Oca­sio-Cortez sub­mit­ted her first State­ment of Can­di­da­cy to run in the 15th. She was “shocked” to learn that two weeks after the New York pri­ma­ry, she had won the dis­trict as a “write-in can­di­date on the Reform line.”

Since the Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent in the 15th faced no chal­lenger, there is a legit­i­mate ques­tion as to whether vot­ers in that dis­trict were can­vassed and/or tar­get­ed online as a back­up strat­e­gy to los­ing the 14th. As it was, Crow­ley was con­front­ed with what he described as “Trump-esque” accu­sa­tions of elec­tion rig­ging in the lead up to and day of the pri­ma­ry.

‘What is the point of a blue wave?’

It is a ques­tion Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez posed on Twit­ter in the month before the pri­ma­ry. It’s also a haunt­ing­ly famil­iar sen­ti­ment that echoes the hos­tile, anti-Demo­c­rat rhetoric that defined Sanders’ 2016 pri­ma­ry cam­paign. . . .

(S) . . . . For any­one engag­ing with Oca­sio-Cortez’ social media posts, the for­eign bot and troll activ­i­ty is notice­ably syn­chro­nized and per­va­sive. There’s no bet­ter exam­ple than the #Abol­ishICE cam­paign she cham­pi­oned as her num­ber one pri­ma­ry issue and has helped take nation­al. Much of her social media con­tent has focused on the “Abol­ish ICE solu­tion” to immi­gra­tion reform while accus­ing “Boss Crow­ley” and oth­er Democ­rats of being “Pro-ICE”. In the one month lead up to the June pri­ma­ry, Oca­sio-Cortez’ cam­paign spent over $80,000 on Face­book adver­tis­ing — the largest of her expen­di­tures. . . .

 

 

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