She arrived dressed in what looked from afar like a large Chick-Fil-A bag, but up close, you could read the words “Tax the Rich”. Now, she’s facing an ethics charge after accepting a $35,000 gift to attend this week’s Met Gala.
Thomas Jones of the American Accountability Foundation has slapped limousine socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with an ethics complaint after accepting such a large and generous gift.
The complaint reads:
The American Accountability Foundation is writing today to request that you immediately open an investigation of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) for accepting an impermissible gift to attend the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala (the Met Gala). If during your investigation you discover any possible violations of campaign finance law, we urge you to share that information with the Federal Elections Commission.
Specifically, we believe Representative Ocasio-Cortez has violated clause 5 of Rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives (commonly known as the Gift Rule) by accepting admission to the Met Gala, an event whose per seat costs is reported to range from $35,000 to $50,000, without having a permissible exemption to allow the acceptance of the lavish gift. If Representative Occasion-Cortez has used campaign funds to pay for this ticket, she has also violated FEC prohibitions on campaign funds being used for entertainment purposes.
The House of Representatives has long had a gift rule in place to govern the conduct of Members and prevent the Members from accepting gifts that result only from their position of public trust and are not widely available to the public.
According to the House Ethics Committee, a gift is something with monetary value for which you do not have to pay. Gifts include gratuities, favors, discounts, entertainment, hospitality, loans, forbearances, services, training, travel expenses, in-kind contributions, advanced payments, and reimbursements after the fact.
The Congressional rule on gifts is clear, Jones said.
A Member, officer, or employee may not accept any gift, except as the rule specifically provides. Thus, unless a gift falls into one of the categories of acceptable gifts, it may not be accepted. In addition to the prohibition on lobbyists and foreign agent gifts under the general gift rule provision, the rule also expressly prohibits the acceptance of certain other gifts from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.