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Rightwing watchdog group files ethics complaint against AOC over her Met Gala appearance

With each ticket to the event costing $35,000, the American Accountability Foundation claimed she had violated congressional rules.

Rightwing watchdog group files ethics complaint against AOC over her Met Gala appearance
Image sources: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Aurora James and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attend The 2021 Met Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

A conservative watchdog group is claiming Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez violated congressional rules when she attended the Met Gala and has filed an ethics complaint against possible 'corruption.' Ocasio-Cortez donned a floor-length white gown with the words "Tax the Rich" emblazoned in red on the back of the dress designed by Aurora James. The New York Democrat was criticized for participating in a high-society event with a luxury designer while calling for the rich to be taxed. While progressives were divided on AOC's actions, the conservatives were unified against her. With each ticket to the event costing $35,000, the American Accountability Foundation alleged that she violated congressional rules, reported NBC News.



"There are serious questions about whether or not her ticket — donated or purchased with campaign funds — was permissible under the code of congressional ethics," read a statement by the group. "These rules exist for a reason. Without strict adherence, we run the risk of corruption in the halls of Congress and public officials serving others over their constituents. Government has a responsibility to its citizens, and integrity and accountability should be our foremost concern."


"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," read the statement.



Representative Ocasio-Cortez's office responded to the complaint, “We are confident we complied with all ethics rules." The New York Democrat explained that she wanted to challenge the institution at the event. “When Aurora and I were first kind of partnered, we really started having a conversation about what it means to be working-class women of color at the Met, and we said, 'We can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions,'” said Ocasio-Cortez. The event boasts of Hollywood celebrities and influencers. After many criticized her appearance and assuming she paid $35,000 for a ticket, she responded, "And before haters get wild flying off the handle, New York elected officials are routinely invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions for the public. I was one of several in attendance in this evening," she tweeted.



Many called out the conservative watchdog group, asking them if they had raised any objection to former President Donaldo Trump frequently visiting his own properties while in office and also questions the ethics of the former President hosting events on his properties. Trump's golf outings have alone cost taxpayers in excess of $100m with a majority of them going to his own properties, reported The Huffington Post. “As Trump promotes his golf courses through taxpayer-financed visits to his clubs, it’s an extra benefit for him that his properties are able to scoop up some taxpayer money directly,” said Robert Weissman, president of the group Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer rights group. 



Aurora James, the gown's designer backed AOCs' stance. "We can never get too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given,” said Aurora James, reported Vogue. “We must always continue to push ourselves, push our colleagues, push the culture, and push the country forward. Fashion is changing; America is changing. And as far as this theme goes, I think Alexandria and I are a great embodiment of the language fashion needs to consider adding to the general lexicon as we work towards a more sustainable, inclusive, and empowered future.”

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