Sometimes trouble follows you, and sometimes you bring it upon yourself. Both happened to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday in Astoria.
First, the trouble she could have avoided. Ocasio-Cortez hosted an event that was billed as “a Family Fun Run supporting U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal” in Astoria Park.
Nearly 400 runners ponied up $30 to take part in the event, with kids paying $20 each to run in a kids’ 1K. More than $11,000 was raised.
What was apparently not clear to runners was that the event was actually a campaign fundraiser for Ocasio-Cortez, with many participants under the impression their money was going to be used to help save the planet.
A legal disclosure on a website promoting the fun run informs participants that the registration fees are contributions to “AOC for Congress” and subject to Federal Election Commission rules.
Which means some people may have inadvertently broken election laws, which prohibit parents from contributing their own funds in their child’s name. So unless that three-year-old running the kids’ 1K paid their entry fee from their allowance, their parents may have – technically – broken the law.
All of which could have been avoided if the campaign had made it more clear that is was a fundraiser for AOC, and not necessarily for her Green New Deal directly.
Needless to say the story made national headlines, and AOC continues to find herself in the middle of the spotlight.
And then there’s the kind of trouble that follows you. A disheveled Anthony Pappas showed up at the event looking to speak with the freshman congresswoman.
Pappas, you probably don’t remember, ran as a Republican against AOC in the general election after her stunning primary defeat of then-congressman Joseph Crowley. Pappas only received about 13 percent of the vote.
The 72-year-old St. John’s professor was carrying a Green New Deal bag and distributing copies of an eight-page manifesto he penned outlining his issues with the judicial system, primarily a lack of accountability for sitting justices.
That was a central theme of his campaign. When our editorial board sat down with him last year to discuss the issues, that was primarily all he wanted to talk about. Obviously, he feels like some judge done him wrong at some point in the past and won’t let it go.
Staffers blocked Pappas from speaking with Ocasio-Cortez, and he was eventually escorted away by two police officers.
Just another day in the life of AOC!