When you report on the business of politics, you run into all sorts of “Gross but not unusual” events. And it’s important to clarify that sometimes. Politicians figuring out ways to funnel campaign cash through consultancy work to friends and family members is GBNU.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong. It just means that Rep. Ocasio Cortez appears to be pulling one of the oldest tricks in the book.
During the 2018 election, her campaign made several payments to Brand New Congress LLC for “strategic consulting,” and then Brand New Congress PAC made payouts to her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, who is billed as a “marketing consultant,” according to Federal Election Commission filings compiled this week by GOP operative Luke Thompson. As if that weren’t ethically dubious enough already, both the LLC and the PAC, which carried Ocasio-Cortez’s fledgling campaign to victory, were co-founded by her campaign chairman and current chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti.
Saikat Chakrabarti is already at the center of some shady Cortez stuff beginning with the early days of her campaign. And Saikat Chakrabarti likely knows how to game the system while the only thing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez knows is how to whine on social media and turn her narcissism into stardom. But behind every Instagram star is somebody who knows how to monetize narcissism. Cortez is no different.
But it’s typical.
Every edgy new political revolutionary eventually turns out to be pulling the same old tricks. Take Bernie Sanders, please.
The Bernie Sanders Institute, which employs Bernie’s wife and stepkids, makes Brand New Congress look downright clean. It’s also a reminder that GBNU is the way that it works in Washington D.C.
And the first thing that the revolutionaries do is put their spouses on the payroll.
The analogy between Bernie and Young Female Bernie becomes even clearer when you recall that Bernie’s ethically challenged spouse was allegedly involved in his ad sales.
The revolution will be brought to you by the same old grifters.
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