Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was hit Thursday with another ethics complaint over her attendance at Monday night’s Met Gala, with a second conservative watchdog group claiming she violated House rules on accepting gifts.
The complaint from the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) to the Office of Congressional Ethics alleged that Ocasio-Cortez improperly accepted tickets from a table sponsor for herself and her boyfriend.
House rules allow members to take free tickets to charity events directly from event organizers, and The Post reported Tuesday that AOC and boyfriend Riley Roberts were directly invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
However, the NLPC argued that “it is the table sponsor who is gifting or underwriting a coveted seat to AOC at the Gala.
“And if … the table where AOC sat was one paid for by one of [the] corporations attending the event, such as Instagram or Facebook, AOC has received a prohibited gift from the corporation that also lobbies Congress.”
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The complaint further alleged that the borrowed white Brother Vellies gown worn by AOC — which featured the words “Tax The Rich” scrawled on the back in red lettering — constituted an impermissible gift because it was “directly related to AOC’s ‘position with the House’ as a highly visible and controversial Member.”
“If AOC had not been a Member, she would not have been invited to the Gala,” the document read, “and even if she would have been invited as a private citizen, the designer would not have made a special dress for her to wear at the event.”
The NLPC also claimed that the second-term lawmaker “may have violated” House rules by accepting “related gifts before, during, or after the event, including … limousine service, the use of the Carlyle Hotel, professional hair and makeup services, and any other related services or goods.”
The Office of Congressional Ethics can refer complaints to the House Ethics Committee for further review.
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Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance at the Met Gala, where individual tickets cost $35,000 and tables started at $200,000, prompted scorn and criticism from all sides of the political spectrum.
The conservative American Accountability Foundation was the first to file an ethics complaint Tuesday, with its founder Thomas Jones alleging that while the event is hosted by the Met, “the Museum has ceded control over the invitations to a for-profit company, specifically Condé Nast, and to its Chief Content Officer, Anna Wintour.”
Jones also claimed that Instagram, “was able to purchase access to Representative Ocasio-Cortez that is unavailable to average citizens” by sponsoring a table at the Gala.
Meanwhile, Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) proposed the Greater Accountability from Lawmakers for Americans (or GALA) Act, which would require lawmakers to disclose their participation in charity events where the ticket value exceeds $1,000.
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Even the congresswoman’s little brother Gabriel was forced to defend his sibling from left-wing critics on Instagram, at one point dismissing them as “f—king corny.”
Ocasio-Cortez herself has said that her attendance at the gala was part of her “responsibilities in overseeing our city’s cultural institutions that serve the public.” She has not publicly responded to either of the complaints.
Click here to read more on the New York Post.