U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14) at SXSW in 2019. The progressive firebrand has drawn criticism for passing on donations she solicits from small dollar contributors to Corporatist Democrats, who act against the campaign promises she has made to her constituents. CC BY-SA 2.0 by nrkbeta. Image was cropped from the original.

DSA mum after AOC began regifting small dollar donations from supporting a progressive agenda to Corporatist Democrats

Is AOC taking from the poor to give to the rich, as one YouTube critic wrote ?

By Progress New York Staff

The New York City Democratic Socialists, who have claimed credit for electing a wave of progressive politicians to Government offices, are keeping tight-lipped over the latest controversy to engulf their biggest pet project, the political career of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14). The sophomore Congressional member representing parts of The Bronx and Queens received an onslaught of social media criticism after POLITICO reported that she had plans to donate up to $160,000 to her Democratic Party peers in Congress, many of whom were derided as Corporatists, centrists, or worse — “CIA Democrats.” Several donations had already been made.

“So, do you know what’s going on ?” asked political commentator Jimmy Dore in a recent video of his YouTube talk show, adding that, “You give money to AOC,” as the self-styled progressive politician is known, “And then she takes that money you gave her, and then she gives it to right wing, Corporate Democrats — people, who oppose the minimum wage ; people, who oppose Medicare For All ; people, who oppose student debt relief.”

Publicly, the NYC DSA have proclaimed a goal of minimising the economic inequalities in society. “We work to elect socialist representatives who will use their votes and the powers of their office to lift up the demands of the working class,” the Getting Our Endorsement page of NYC DSA’s Web site revealed, in relevant part. Despite the NYC DSA’s proclamation, they refused to say whether they condoned the reusing of small dollar donations collected by U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for politicians, who oppose a progressive agenda. Some of the recipients of U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign cash include U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI 08) and Conor Lamb (D-PA 17), according to a report published by the World Socialist Web Site. U.S. Reps. Slotkin and Lamb are former intelligence and military officers, respectively, and they have been described as White moderates by the media. For this report, the NYC DSA refused to answer a request for an interview.

AOC is caught between expectations that she must support a neoliberal Democratic Party and promises she’s made to fight for progressive causes.

The donations by U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez were made directly to various Congressional Democrats and followed a period of hostility between the upstart firebrand and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party organ that collects dues from each House member and then donates those monies to members facing electoral challenges. In the past, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez reportedly boycotted making her dues payments to the DCCC over its policy of blacklisting campaign consultants, who worked for challengers, according to a report published by USA Today. The bad blood with the DCCC was also the reported reason that the former small money donations advocate formed her own political action committee, according to a report published by the Washington Post.

Because U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has since become a political lightening rod, some recent recipients of her campaign largesse have explored whether to return the donations before the Republican Party used the campaign cash as the subject of political attack ads, according to the POLITICO report.

This is not the first time the NYC DSA have ignored a reported betrayal by U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez of her promised progressive sensibilities. As reported by Progress New York, U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez refused to listen to critics, who called on her to withhold her speaker vote for U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 12) in exchange for a full-floor vote on a Medicare For All bill, a strategy that the NYC DSA once advocated.

For this report, the office of U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not answer an interview request.

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