Several vulnerable House Democrats were surprised after receiving $5,000 from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This happened as the midterm campaign’s first fundraising deadline approached this week.
To keep the House majority Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s staff transferred $5,000 to many House Democrats. This transfer was an unwelcome surprise to some who received the funds.
This appears to be an error in part caused by Cortez’s effort not to appear that she is not working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). In January of 2020, she voiced that she would not be paying her ‘dues’ to the DCCC. The dues are redistributed to other Democrats’ campaigns that are deemed in need.
DCCC Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and his top staffers were questioned by some members whose campaigns got unexpected Ocasio-Cortez cash. DCCC aides gave lawmakers’ wire transfer information to Ocasio-Cortez’s aides without the approval of more senior officials, according to multiple people familiar with the contributions.
Even if imperilled House Democrats refund her contribution now, Ocasio-Cortez’s name is almost certain to show up on their Federal Election Commission reports when they’re due this month — creating a liability for members of her party who have to win reflection in districts where her political brand is poisoned thanks to years of unrelenting Republican attacks.
Reps. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, initiated to decline the initial transfer and said they would return the money. While some members are grateful for the infusion of cash
Several people involved with the episode described it as an unforced error by the DCCC, with the staff of its campaign arm failing to anticipate the political ramifications of putting their party’s most polarizing figure on their donor rolls of vulnerable members known as frontliners.
Chris Hayden, a spokesman for DCCC declined to comment on the details but said: “We appreciate Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s ongoing commitment to a Democratic majority. Due to a miscommunication, some transfers were made in error, but that has been addressed.”
Marisa Schultz tweeted, “SCOOP: @AOC withholding $250,000 in “dues” from the Democratic party in protest and building her own grassroots fundraising for progressives instead AOC riles Dems by refusing to pay party dues, bankrolling colleagues”. AOC responded, “I give quite a bit to fellow Dems – we’ve fundraised over $300,000 for others (more than my “dues”), w/ over 50% going to swing seats. DCCC made clear that they will blacklist any org that helps progressive candidates like me. I can choose not to fund that kind of exclusion. I’m also not the only one. Expanding a House majority is critical, which is why I regularly (and happily) fundraise sizeable amounts for fellow members. I also believe that a Dem majority should be transformative, which is why I give strategically. Seems fair, no?”
I give quite a bit to fellow Dems – we’ve fundraised over $300,000 for others (more than my “dues”), w/ over 50% going to swing seats.
DCCC made clear that they will blacklist any org that helps progressive candidates like me. I can choose not to fund that kind of exclusion. https://t.co/qqwdwPAqek
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 10, 2020
It seems that not paying her dues she is still working with the DCCC to keep the Democratic House majority. According to Politico, “DCCC aides gave lawmakers’ wire transfer information to Ocasio-Cortez’s aides without the approval of more senior officials, according to multiple people familiar with the contributions.” These causing those who want no association with AOC to have her name appear as a listed donor.
So it seems in her effort to keep her word and not donate to DCCC she is still working with them. Politico also reported this round of donations totals 160,000. Many Democrats probably welcome the extra funds, however, for those in moderate districts they want nothing to do with AOC’s progressive brand. These donations give more than just money they show that the representative is willing to accept money from a stalwart of progressive ideas that don’t hold so well in their districts.
While Democrats maintained control of the house in the 2020 election they had a net loss of 7 seats which slimmed down their majority. This put them in a more vulnerable position for the next election. As a Democratic consultant who works for swing-seat members put it to Politico, “The GOP has spent four years saying the front liners are all socialists. Now they’ve got the receipts to prove it. Anyone telling themselves this won’t be in campaign ads is in denial.”