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Tipsheet

The Issue That Is Bringing Ocasio-Cortez and Matt Gaetz Together

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) may be the biggest thorn in the side of establishment Democrats. She's pursued a radical environmental agenda to the chagrin of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the form of her Green New Deal. Pelosi has already told her the measure is not a top priority, yet the freshman has been telling constituents the opposite and helping protest outside Pelosi's office. Her latest campaign against the status quo has to do with the primary campaign process. 

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Ocasio-Cortez is in Congress thanks to her successful primary challenge against Rep. Joe Crowley, so she was unsurprisingly irked at the Democrats' recent effort to protect incumbents. A new policy from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee prevents consultants and pollsters from working with Democrats who are seeking primary challenges. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), the chairwoman of the campaign arm, is leading the effort.

Ms. Bustos’s rule prohibits Democratic consultants and vendors working for a primary challenger to an incumbent from receiving work from the committee. It comes as ardent liberal organizations like Justice Democrats, emboldened by a pair of high-profile wins in 2018 — Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez — are aggressively gearing up to challenge centrist or old-line Democrats with liberal candidates.

The freshman from New York is so opposed to the move that she told her large Twitter following to join the resistance.

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After that she listed several candidates and their campaign websites for her followers' reference.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a conservative lawmaker who has little in common with AOC ideologically, appreciated the freshman's effort to "Keep Primaries Great."

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