by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A Washington, D.C.-based ethics group is claiming that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s social media usage violates House ethics rules against using taxpayer resources for political purposes.
Ocasio-Cortez’s political Instagram account contains direct links to her House Instagram account and includes a link for political contributions, alongside posts of official video footage on the House floor, according to a complaint Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) plans to file Thursday with the Office of Congressional Ethics. The group claims these actions violate House ethics rules.
“In a way, it’s a straight forward complaint,” Kendra Arnold, executive director of FACT, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Broadly speaking, the rules clearly define that politics and government works cannot overlap. There are reasons for that: mostly because we don’t want our taxpayer dollars going toward campaigns.” FACT is a nonprofit group whose past president was Matthew Whitaker, an attorney who served as President Donald Trump’s acting attorney general in 2018 and 2019.
“One is influencing the other,” Arnold said, referring to what she believes is the New York Democrat’s penchant for using Twitter as a form of cross promotion. “Once we elect … you cannot use whatever the government provides you for political purposes. Part of the issue is one violation stacked on another.”