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July 20, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rails against ‘broken’ political finance laws, takes aim at Trump and ‘bad guys’

February 6, 2019
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) arrives at the U.S. Capitol with her guest, Queens activist Ana Maria Archila, to hear President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. (Carolyn Kaster / AP)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t buying into big money politics.

The Bronx-born democratic socialist blasted U.S. campaign finance laws as “fundamentally broken” during a congressional hearing Wednesday, charging that the current state of political spending permits “bad guys” to “do all sorts of terrible things.”


Ocasio-Cortez, who has dominated the headlines since she took office as the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress, took several indirect jabs at President Trump during the House Oversight Committee hearing on “ethics rules for the executive branch” and the role of money in politics.

“Let’s play a game,” the 29-year-old congresswoman opened, speaking before a panel of government watchdogs, including former White House ethics czar Walter Shaub. “Let’s say I’m a really, really bad guy, and let’s say I have some skeletons in my closet that I need to cover up so that I can get elected.”

In a thinly-veiled reference to Trump’s pre-2016 election payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, Ocasio-Cortez continued, “Green light for hush money, I can do all sorts of terrible things, it’s totally legal right now for me to pay people off and that is considered speech.”

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer and personal attorney, has pleaded guilty and will serve prison time as a result of those hush payments, but Ocasio-Cortez consulted Shaub on why it is that the President appears insulated from repercussions.

“There are almost no laws at all that apply to the President,” Shaub responded matter-of-factly.

“So,” Ocasio-Cortez interjected, pointing to her fellow Oversight members and spectators in the room, “every person in this body is being held to a higher ethical standard than the President of the United States.”

Concluding that train of thought, Ocasio-Cortez added, “We have a system that is fundamentally broken.”

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