Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted a fundraiser for her Queens constituency Saturday — but many thought the “Family Fun Run” was all about the Green New Deal and saving the environment.
Since children also participated after parents paid their $20 fun run fee, the event might have violated campaign finance laws, the New York Post reported.
Ocasio-Cortez invited everyone to join her for a 5k jog that was billed as an event “supporting U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New on the Saturday following Earth Day,” the Post reported.
Many participants told the Post that they had no ideas that their $30 registration fee was a direct campaign donation. (RELATED: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Instructs Americans To Eat Fewer Hamburgers)
“We’re getting together for our own health, for our planet’s health … and to fight for the Green New Deal together,” Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd of 400 runners as they prepared to run through the district’s Astoria Park. Many of the joggers who joined the congresswoman were under the false impression that the money raised was going to benefit some environmental or Green New Deal fund.
“It’s going to help raise awareness and educate people,” a female runner told the Post.
“I think it’s really for this particular New Green Deal,” Brian Schwartz of Long Island told the Post. “No question.”
Ocasio-Cortez is already facing a FEC complaint that she and her campaign chief of staff siphoned money from one political action committee to another, while both were controlled by the campaign. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez And Her Chief Of Staff ‘Could Be Facing Jail Time’ If Control Over PAC Was Intentionally Hidden)
Ocasio-Cortez has denied wrongdoing. “There is no violation,” she told Fox News.
Although Ocasio-Cortez was anything but clear about the fun run’s connection to her campaign when discussing the event on her Facebook page, she was more specific on another website that confirmed “registration fees are contributions to AOC for Congress.”
“It was a campaign fundraiser,” Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent confirmed to the Post.
The event raised about $11,000 for the congresswoman, but because some parents paid $20 for their children to participate in a 1k “kids run,” the event might have violated federal election laws — which state that parents cannot use their own funds to donate to a political campaign on behalf of their children, the Post noted.