In a congressional hearing Thursday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez laid out exactly how legal it is for a “bad guy” to make a ton of money by running for office on corporate funds. In a viral video published by NowThis, Ocasio-Cortez conducts what she calls a “lightning round game” in which she asks campaign finance law experts and ethics organization leaders a series of poignant questions.
“If I want to run a campaign that is entirely funded by corporate political action committees, is there anything that legally prevents me from doing that?” she asked Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. Of course, the answer is “no.”
Ocasio-Cortez then offered the hypothetical situation of being someone with “some skeletons in my closet that I need to cover up so that I can get elected.”
Oh my god. This is just sensational. Please watch and retweet. pic.twitter.com/ackPHwAUce— James Corden (@JKCorden) February 7, 2019
She then pointed to a piece written in the Washington Post by Institute for Free Speech Chairman Bradley A. Smith, who was present at the hearing, about the fact that politicians paying people hush money is not illegal. This, of course, includes Trump’s payments to various women to stay quiet about his affairs.
Having established that it’s legal to run entirely on corporate money and use that money to cover up any number of things, she then asks if there are limits to the laws that she can draft or influence as a politician elected with corporate dark money? The answer is a plain “no.”
If this wasn’t lethal enough, Ocasio-Cortez then imagines that she wants to “get rich with as little work as possible.”
“So, is there anything preventing me from holding stocks, say, in an oil or gas company, and then writing laws to deregulate that industry and cause, you know, that could potentially cause the stock value to soar, and accrue a lot of money in that time?”
“You could do that,” responds Rudy Mehrbani, fellow and senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice.
With that all laid bare, Ocasio-Cortez then the same experts testify that there are pretty much zero laws that apply to the president in terms of campaign finance ethics. Congress members are subject to some rules via ethics committees, but a sitting President can basically get away with whatever.
Liberal Twitter is loving this video as much as they hate corporate dark money strangling their democracy, and they’re asking the right questions.
Because @AOC was 100% grassroots funded, she took absolutely no PAC or corporate money, so she's not beholden to them.— Jason Boyd (@JasonBoydWrites) February 7, 2019
The only part of Ocasio-Cortez’s statements that were not 100% correct was perhaps when she said that “we have a system that is fundamentally broken.” Is it broken, or is it working as intended?
This video is so good that even those who don’t identify as being on the left are loving it.
This is obviously going to be interpreted as liberal. I think it is worth listening to and trying to hear the importance of what she is pointing out. Really isn’t about either party about a broken system.— Jeremy Post (@jeremypost77) February 7, 2019
Wow! I consider myself a centrist indipendent in National political view. But Ms. Ocasio hit it out of the park! It's amazing to see a Jr congresswoman school veterans showing the example we hope that our elected representatives reason and behave. #goodjob @AOC— Felito (@efflecha) February 7, 2019
No matter your political inclination, this is excellent.— Paul Luna (@lunacrisss) February 7, 2019
The video is also well worth a watch for the music NowThis plays over it. It’s like they knew that circus music would be too on-the-nose, so they went with something that sounds like it would play over some British slapstick comedy played at increased speed. The country right now really could be a Monty Python skit.