"Let's play a lightning-round game. I'm going to be the bad guy, which I'm sure half the room would agree with anyway." So said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as she kicked off questioning about current US campaign-finance laws Wednesday at a House committee hearing on government ethics, Vox reports. Video of the rapid-fire Q&A, which since gone viral, shows the new Congress member saying she wants "to get away with as much bad things as possible, ideally to enrich myself and advance my interests." She asks three experts in US democracy and government ethics whether her plan is possible. "I have enlisted all of you as my co-conspirators, so you're going to help me legally get away with all of this," she says.
Her questions are simple: Can corporate PACs entirely fund her campaign? Can she use the funds to pay people off on the side and get in office? Can she then write laws that help those who gave her money? And can she own stocks in companies that may be helped by her new legislation? The answers—from Karen Hobert Flynn of Common Cause, Walter Shaub of CREW, and Mehrbani Spitzer of the Brennan Center for Justice, per Newsweek—are all affirmative. And the US president is apparently even less encumbered than Congress members by ethics rules. "And it's already super legal, as we've seen, for me to be a pretty bad guy," says Ocasio-Cortez. "So, it's even easier for the president of the United States to be one, I would assume." Shaub answers simply: "That's right." (Ocasio-Cortez has also unveiled a "green new deal.")