'Deadbeat': Ocasio-Cortez Is Enraging Democrats By Refusing to Pay Party Dues and Funding Primary Challengers

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Posted: Jan 12, 2020 12:01 AM
'Deadbeat': Ocasio-Cortez Is Enraging Democrats By Refusing to Pay Party Dues and Funding Primary Challengers

Source: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has raised millions, more than any Democratic member of the House of Representatives. She’s going to be on the national stage for quite some time. She’s made a splash with her unabashed left-wing views. She’s going to run for president one day. Let’s resign ourselves to that fact. For now, she’s working on building a progressive counterpart to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)—and that is not making a lot of her colleagues happy. One straight-up called her a “deadbeat” for refusing to pay party dues to the DCCC (via Fox News):

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already topped the fundraising charts in her short time in Congress, but the liberal darling won’t donate a cent of her millions to Democrats' House campaign organization -- a position that has rankled some of her colleagues, Fox News has learned.

Instead, Ocasio-Cortez is building her own fundraising operation for fellow progressive candidates to bypass the official Democratic Party infrastructure. Already, she's actively funding primary challengers to oust certain Democratic colleagues.

[…]

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Cheri Bustos downplayed Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to shun dues and pointed to the record-breaking fundraising numbers the committee has notched without her.

“That's always up to individual members so I guess I don't think about it one way or another,” Bustos said when asked about Ocasio-Cortez's stance. “We’re raising record amounts of money from our members.”

The DCCC declined to comment further on the matter of Ocasio-Cortez and her dues.

Another Democrat was less diplomatic: “Deadbeat Cortez should pay her bills,” complained the Democratic source. “She’s always whining about people paying their fair share and here she is leaving her friends with the bill.”

Their gripe is that Ocasio-Cortez hasn’t given any money to the DCCC, the party arm with the sole job of electing Democrats to the House. Records obtained by Fox News show the New York Democrat has failed to pay any of her $250,000 in “dues” to the DCCC.

Her goose egg of a contribution is no accident. Ocasio-Cortez says she has beef with the DCCC and she'll withhold her money in protest of how the Democratic Party won't back insurgent progressive primary candidates, like herself, in the name of protecting incumbents.

“For me personally, I’m not paying D-trip dues,” said Ocasio-Cortez, using slang for the DCCC and citing a “myriad of reasons.”

“One, I don’t agree with the policy around blacklisting groups that help progressive candidates,” she said, referring to a DCCC effort to sideline vendors who assist challengers to members of Congress.

AOC was a long shot to win her primary challenge against heavyweight Joe Crowley but won. It was an upset. She is trying to export that across the country and root out what she thinks is the conservative wing of her party (i.e. the Joe Bidens of the Democrats). In what universe is Joe Biden or Obama a conservative is beyond me, but to AOC, these guys, the establishment, are a softer version of the Koch brothers I guess. The DCCC knows she can clinch some wins with this operation and make the map harder for them to either win back the House or maintain their majority. Those fears are not unwarranted. AOC’s agenda will not play well outside of New York City or California, so I do wish her much success in clipping more electorally friendly Democrats.

She’s a bull in a china closet, which is why a lot of her fellow party members want to see her gone. In New York, they’re projected to lose one seat in the House. New York Democrats are gunning to draw her out of existence; AOC knows this. At the same time, overall, it’s one of the reasons why Democrats threw a tantrum when the Trump administration tried to tweak the 2020 census to include a citizenship question. It strikes at the heart of their political power with the inclusion of non-citizens. That means more House districts in predominantly Democratic states represented by lawmakers of a similar ethnic or racial background. It’s why Democrats are pro-open orders and hate immigration officers. It’s why they cater to every demand of illegal aliens, even as they commit crimes against our citizens. They want the votes in the long run and the immediate expansion of congressional districts in the short term. It’s quite the model. 

For AOC, however, well, she can be a targeted exception, right? But as some have noted before, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who is up in 2022, might run interference on his state party’s plan to redraw AOC’s district, a quarter of which is made up of noncitizens. She might primary him.  AOC could easily run in another district and probably win again or she could take some time off, wait in the tall grass, and boot another senior Democrat in D.C. She wants higher office. She wants to remind people that she’s still here and can do damage. What better way to prove that then clipping Schumer? If there is one thing that is near and dear to these people, it’s winning re-election. Schumer might not want to take the risk. In the meantime, AOC is throwing up the middle finger to the DCCC and spending cash raised on opponents who will blow up the system, starting with those in her own party first.