Freshman congresswoman and squad member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has claimed that she will refuse to pay the mandatory dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Fox News reported. Ocasio-Cortez has cited the fact that she does not feel that she or other outside challengers are “welcome” in the party.
“I don’t see the sense in giving a quarter-million dollars to an organization that has clearly told people like me that we’re not welcome,” Ocasio-Cortez explained.
The “people like me” comment referred to insurgents against long-standing Democratic incumbents. Ocasio-Cortez famously rose to fame after beating Rep. Joseph Crowley. Crowley, who had previously been hailed as having a bright future in the Democratic party, had not seen a challenger in over a decade.
Ocasio-Cortez added that the DCC “want(s) to take my money, but push me out, or push candidates like me out.”
Another factor that Ocasio-Cortez has cited in her decision to boycott the dues is the monumental sum requested by the DCCC. As a prerequisite for all Democratic lawmakers in the House, they can be as low as $150,000 for newer members and reach $1 million — like the fee paid by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“It’s pretty nuts — $250,000 for a freshman member. Can you imagine being 30 years old and getting a bill for $250,000? I still have $20,000 in student loan debt,” she said.
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
However, her decision to buck the rules has some members of her party deeply upset.
“Deadbeat Cortez should pay her bills,” complained a Democratic insider to Fox News. “She’s always whining about people paying their fair share and here she is leaving her friends with the bill.”
“Do you want to be part of a team?” added New York Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks.
However, the Boston University alumna has hit back against claims that she is not a team player, citing the fact that she has helped the Democratic party’s fundraising abilities substantially. Ocasio-Cortez estimated that she has helped raise over $300,000 for the party.
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A year ago I was waitressing in a restaurant while organizing my community. In a time and place where we had been burned by so many politicians, and had grown deservedly cynical of the sad, familiar cycle of campaign promises and governance excuses, I was asking them, just once, to believe. . It was really hard, because how do you make that case? How to ask someone whose trust has been violated over and over to believe you? To believe in the movement for justice and economic dignity? . You show up. You give unconditionally. You show up when no one is looking and the cameras are off. You offer support when it’s risky, but necessary. You do it over and over again, without a need for recognition or expectation that you are “owed” something for doing the right thing. You just… engage in the act of loving your community. . Never in my wildest dreams did I think that those late nights on the 6 & 7 trains would lead to this. All this attention gives me a lot of anxiety (my staff fought to get me to agree to this cover, as I was arguing against it), and still doesn’t feel quite real, which maybe is why I remain comfortable taking risks, which maybe is a good thing. . I believe in an America where all things are possible. Where a basic, dignified life isn’t a dream, but a norm. . That’s why I got up then, and it’s why I get up now. Because my story shouldn’t be a rare one. Because our collective potential as a nation can be unlocked when we’re not so consumed with worry about how we’re going to secure our most basic needs, like a doctor’s visit or an affordable place to live.
Republicans have a similar system, though their dues go to the NRCC. The purpose is to ensure a Democratic — or Republican — majority by helping give money to candidates in competitive races.
Despite the fact that Ocasio-Cortez has refused to contribute, the DNCC has already broken records with its fundraising, boasting an off-year record of $110 million through November of 2019.
Ocasio-Cortez has also emphasized the importance of grass roots fundraising and getting big money out of politics. That said, she recently received some heat after receiving the maximum donation from current Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.