Met Gala 2021: Not an ethics violation for politicians
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been criticized for attending the 2021 Met Gala. But she wasn’t the only politician attending, and it’s not an ethical violation.
A conservative watchdog has condemned New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for attending the 2021 Met Gala on September 13, saying it could be an ethics violation.
American Accountability Foundation, the watchdog group, declared that they had lodged a complaint calling for the immediate opening of an investigation against Ocasio-Cortez. The group claims that Ocasio-Cortez may have broken ethics laws of Congress for accepting a ticket to the “$ 35,000 per plate” event.
Is it a violation of ethics for politicians to attend the Met Gala?
No, it is not an ethical violation for politicians to attend the Met Gala
WHAT WE FOUND
The Met Gala is a fundraiser for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The annual event is co-chaired by VOGUE editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who is the museum’s administrator.
Three New York City officials attended the gala: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Representative Carolyn Maloney.
As members of Congress, Maloney and Ocasio-Cortez must adhere to guidelines set by the United States House of Representatives Ethics Committee, while De Blasio is bound by the New York City ethical codes.
According to the code of the city of New York, the mayor cannot accept gifts totaling more than $ 50 over a 12-month period from a business or an individual. For members of the House of Representatives, the cap is $ 100.
A spokesperson for the Museum of Metropolitan Art told VERIFY that the Met offers tickets to select government officials each year.
In a Twitter thread, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: âAnd before enemies run wild, New York City politicians are regularly invited to and attend the Met because of our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions for the public. I was one of the many participants in [sic] this evening.”
The Met spokesperson said elected officials who attended the 2021 gala were “museum guests.” This means that “the tickets have ‘no value, they are offered free to government officials,” “the spokesperson told VERIFY.
According to the New York City code, the mayor can attend a charity event as long as there are no contracts being reviewed by the organizing party. A spokesperson for the museum told VERIFY that no contracts are currently under review, so there is no violation.
According to House rules, a charitable event must meet the following criteria:
- They are invited directly by the event organizer and the event organizer is the organization hosting the event, not a monetary sponsor or table sponsor.
- The main purpose of the event is to raise funds for the benefit of an eligible organization, with at least half of the proceeds being tax-deductible charitable contributions.
So, since the tickets were donated to politicians by the Met and according to the Met, “the event is a fundraiser for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its primary source of annual funding,” politicians accepting tickets are not. in violation of House or New York City policy.
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