What do you gain from a loved one running for public office? If you’re Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend Riley Roberts, the answer is ‘around $3,000 a month’, according to allegations from Luke Thompson, a Republican pollster.
Thompson was flamethrowered by AOC and her acolytes last Friday for pointing out that she had granted Roberts a government email address, hinting at impropriety:
Actually this cal designation is a permission so he can have access to my Google Cal. Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time.
Next time check your facts before you tweet nonsense.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 15, 2019
It seems Thompson is not the giving up sort. He has spent the last week digging into AOC, her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti and the PACs they were involved in.
Thompson’s central allegation concerns Brand New Congress in 2017, an organization set up by Chakrabarti in 2017 which doubles as a PAC and an LLC.
‘Indeed, while Brand New Congress PAC’s ten largest expenditures were paid to Brand New Congress LLC for “strategic consulting,” a sum that totaled $261,165.20 over the course of the campaign, its eleventh and twelfth largest expenditures were paid to Riley Roberts.
‘Brand New Congress PAC paid Roberts $3,000 on August 9th:
‘Eighteen days later, AOC’s campaign paid Brand New Congress LLC $6,191.32:
‘A month later Brand New Congress PAC then turned around and paid Riley Roberts another $3,000.’
Thompson also notes that it’s strange how AOC then selected Chakrabarti as her chief of staff, which he characterizes as ‘taking money from a rich guy, trying to hide it by passing it through a PAC, and then giving her benefactor a government job.’
The congresswoman responded, as usual, on Twitter, saying that ‘the conspiracy machine is in full effect.’
The conspiracy machine is in full effect & it’s been disappointing to watch professionals get duped + amplify unvetted Medium posts as truth, treating journalism like it’s a high school Livejournal rumor mill or something.
No, I don’t shadily pay my boyfriend. Come on & VET. ⬇️ https://t.co/EY28Elj6aG
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 21, 2019
Thompson followed up with a second Medium post, including replies from AOC’s team and admitting he’d screwed up by omitting ‘uncategorized contributions from my total for AOC’s fundraising haul.’
But he maintains the initial point of his post: ‘Here’s what hasn’t changed: Saikat’s PAC paid AOC’s boyfriend six grand bookending a six grand payment from AOC’s campaign to Saikat’s LLC. AOC then made Saikat her Chief.’
Cockburn talked with a spokesperson for AOC on Friday, the day of Thompson’s initial tweet, who explained that the email account was just a formality to grant Roberts access to his girlfriend’s official calendar. ‘So he’s not on payroll? He’s not on staff?’, Cockburn asked. ‘No,’ said the press rep.
That response is technically correct. But given what, thanks to Mr Thompson, we now know about Saikat Chakrabarti and his PAC/LLC, doesn’t it seem a touch disingenuous? For at least a couple of months last summer, AOC and her beau had the same sugar daddy. Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just another swamp creature, albeit cloaked in the virtue garb of a social (media) justice warrior?