Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D., N.Y.) campaign committee dished out more than $200,000 during the third quarter to Middle Seat Consulting, a firm established by a cofounder of Justice Democrats, the far-left group that propelled the freshman Democrat into office.
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign hauled in $1.4 million in contributions and reported $924,349.64 in operating expenditures between July 1 and Sept. 30, its filings show. Middle Seat Consulting, a firm that “supports campaigns, organizations, and causes fighting for racial justice, climate action, immigrant rights, intersectional feminism, economic justice, and more,” was paid $210,364.37 by the freshman representative’s committee during this time for email fundraising, digital ad commission, list rentals, and strategy. The disbursements are a major increase from the combined $89,000 it gave to Middle Seat during the first and second quarters. Ocasio-Cortez’s committee has now cut the group checks totaling $300,000 this year. Middle Seat is the campaign’s highest paid vendor.
Middle Seat’s leadership includes the same cast of characters as several other Ocasio-Cortez-linked PACs and groups, including those that have come under scrutiny by watchdogs.
Middle Seat was cofounded in 2017 by Zack Exley, a former senior adviser for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. Exley is one of four cofounders of Justice Democrats alongside fellow Sanders campaign alum Saikat Chakrabarti, who acted as Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff before departing from her office in August to work at New Consensus, a group pushing the Green New Deal that was also cofounded by Exley. – READ MORE