by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Federal Election Commission is examining financial discrepancies at a political action committee that was run by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after an outside watchdog group raised questions about the group’s spending activities.
Justice Democrats PAC, a committee where Ocasio-Cortez served on the board until last summer, said in financial reports that it helped pay off candidate debts that did not appear to exist, according to a May 30 letter from the FEC cited by the Washington Free Beacon.
The FEC asked the PAC to explain the discrepancies, request refunds from the campaigns that allegedly received the payments, and update its financial statements, noting that the commission “may take further legal action regarding this impermissible activity.”
Justice Democrat PAC’s financial report for April 1, 2018, to June 30, 2018, “discloses one or more contributions to federal candidates for the retirement of debts incurred by the 2018 Primary election campaign,” according to the FEC letter.
“[H]owever, it appears that the recipient committee(s) had insufficient debts to warrant such a contribution,” said the commission. “Please note that a committee may only designate contributions to retire a candidate’s debts if those debts exist.”
The FEC questioned the PAC’s payments to 11 Democratic campaigns, including Texas congressional candidates Ricardo Jose Trevino and Jimmy Darnell Jones, and Illinois congressional candidate Sameena Mustafa.