Saikat Chakrabarti, The Brain Behind Ocasio-Cortez To Leave Office
“Saikat [Chakrabarti] has decided to leave the office of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to work with [nonprofit group] New Consensus to further develop plans for a Green New Deal,” Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez director of communications, said Friday.
Saikat Chakrabarti, was the chief of staff and also managed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upstart 2018 campaign. He is leaving office after a series of controversies, and high profile fights with other democrats in the house of representatives.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for his service to advance a bold agenda and improve the lives of the people in NY-14. From his co-founding of Justice Democrats to his work on the Ocasio-Cortez campaign and in the official office, Saikat’s goal has always been to do whatever he can to help the larger progressive movement, and we look forward to continuing working with him to do just that,” Corbin Trent continued.
Chakrabarti has also been at the center of legal controversy. In April, he and Ocasio-Cortez were named in a Federal Election Commission complaint accusing them of overseeing a “shadowy web” of political action committees (PACs) that allowed them to raise more cash than they could have legally. The complaint also alleged that a limited liability company (LLC) was created to avoid federal expenditure requirements by offering Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic candidates political consulting services at a price so low that the company apparently shut down before the election was even over.
The complaint centers on Brand New Congress LLC, a now-defunct company owned by Chakrabarti that aimed to recruit up to 400 left-wing candidates for national office. Dan Backer, the conservative attorney behind the complaint, said Brand New Congress LLC was guilty of providing campaign contributions known as “in-kind” expenditures by only charging candidates for a portion of the total cost of the service. Essentially, Backer claimed the company operated at a loss to provide its approved candidates with campaign services on the cheap.
Backer said Chakrabarti “was on all sides of the scheme.” He owned Brand New Congress LLC, sat on the board of the Justice Democrats PAC and co-founded the Brand New Congress PAC — all while serving as Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign manager.