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Ocasio-Cortez Linked to 'Enemy to Democracy' Dark Money Group

Democrat socialist has ties to shady PAC that trains progressive organizers

 on 15th March 2019 @ 5.00pm
ocasio cortez is linked to dark money she once described as an  enemy to democracy © press
Ocasio-Cortez is linked to dark money she once described as an 'enemy to democracy'

Radical New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has ties to a shady "dark money" group that trains progressive activists, according to reports.

Ocasio-Cortez once described dark money groups as an "enemy to democracy" before her own ties were revealed.

The revelations run counter to the Democratic socialist's ongoing calls to increase transparency and tackle the influence of "dark money" in politics.

Dark money is funds given to nonprofit organizations that can receive unlimited donations from corporations, individuals and unions that is then spent on influencing elections, without the requirement to disclose their donors.

In this latest bombshell, in a series of financial scandals involving the freshman congresswoman, it has been revealed that Ocasio-Cortez has ties with a dark money group that trains progressive organizers on how to lead grassroots political campaigns across the country.

ocasio cortez once described dark money as  very real danger  to america s democracy © press
Ocasio-Cortez once described dark money as 'very real danger' to America's democracy

According to the Daily Caller, the group, Organize for Justice, is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, meaning it can raise unlimited sums of money without having to disclose the identity of its donors to the public.

Organize for Justice’s website states that it is the “sister organization” of Justice Democrats, the PAC that, according to corporate filings, Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff have held control over since December 2017.

Ocasio-Cortez has frequently decried the use of dark money in politics.

During her primary campaign, she said dark money was an “enemy to democracy” and that it poses a “very real danger” of silencing grassroots candidates.

Organize for Justice was founded by former Ocasio-Cortez campaign volunteers in November, according to corporate documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Justice Democrats’ executive director, Alexandra Rojas, also serves on the board of the dark money group.

In February, the group launched Movement School, a 10-week training program tasked with “incubating cohorts of highly skilled professionals to lead grassroots political campaigns across the country,” according to its website.

The dark money group doesn’t charge its participants tuition fees, according to a frequently asked questions page on its website.

It requests graduates “prioritize working for campaigns that live the values of Movement School.”

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for Movement School during its launch event in the Bronx.

Ocasio-Cortez’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Ocasio-Cortez has served on the board of the dark money group’s “sister organization,” Justice Democrats, since December 2017.

Her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, has also been a Justice Democrats board member since December 2017, and also served as the political action committee’s executive director until February 2018, according to his LinkedIn.

Ocasio-Cortez’s attorney told Snopes on March 8 that she left Justice Democrats’ board in June 2018, but the PAC’s corporate filings with Washington, D.C., currently list her and Chakrabarti as “entity governors” of the group.

ocasio cortez and her chief of staff saikat chakrabarti are listed as governors of justice democrats © press
Ocasio-Cortez and her Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti are listed as governors of Justice Democrats

Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the Federal Election Commission that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled Justice Democrats while it simultaneously supported her primary campaign.

If the FEC finds that her campaign and the PAC were operating in affiliation, it could result in “massive reporting violations,” former FEC commissioner Brad Smith previously told TheDCNF.

Former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky said in a Fox News op-ed Sunday that he believes there’s sufficient evidence to “justify opening a criminal investigation” into Ocasio-Cortez’s alleged campaign finance violations.

Neither Justice Democrats nor Organize for Justice returned requests for comment.

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