How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Setting Up Her Democrat Colleagues For Political Trouble

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Some of Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s House Democratic colleagues reportedly weren’t too happy to receive an unexpected $5,000 donation from her.

Ocasio-Cortez has reportedly been giving Democrats in danger of losing their seats $5,000 for their reelection campaigns. Ocasio-Cortez, widely regarded as a talented fundraiser, reportedly dolled out $160,000 in total for these recent donations, Politico reported.

While some of her House colleagues were reportedly happy to get the money, some moderate Democrats believed donations coming from a democratic socialist candidate would backfire and actually harm their chances for reelection come 2022, according to Politico.

Ocasio-Cortez’s donations could harm the reelection prospects of Democratic Maine Rep.Jared Golden and Democratic Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin; both moderates who have worked hard to disassociate from the far left. While Golden comfortably won reelection in 2020, edging challenger Dale Crafts 53% to 46.9% according to The New York Times, the Cook Partisan Voting Index shows he represents a R+2 district. The donation could galvanize Republican voters enough to vote him out come 2022. Slotkin also won by a comfortable margin, but represents a R+4 district, the Cook Partisan Voting Index shows.

Thus far, Slotkin, Democratic Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and Democratic Georgia Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux have pledged to either return the funds or declined the transfer altogether, sources told Politico.

Even if these lawmakers were to return Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign gift, Politico reported that the donation would still most likely appear on the Federal Election Commission reports due later this April. The disclosures could open these moderates up to Republican attacks ads claiming that these members are ideologically aligned with the most progressive members in the Democratic Party. (RELATED: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Demands ‘Reparations’ For Families Separated At The Border Under Trump)

It’s not uncommon for a party that holds the White House and the House of Representatives to lose seats during a midterm election, Ballotpedia has noted. Democrats picked up 40 seats in 2018 and was the largest midterm election gain for Democrats without control of the White House since 1974. The Democrat jubilee was short-lived, however. Republicans picked up 15 seats in the House and cut Democrats’ majority to just 9 seats from 17 seats, the slimmest majority in the House since the 1940s, according to Fox News.

Ocasio-Cortez reportedly circumvented the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in order to deliver the funds, Politico reported. DCCC staff reportedly gave Ocasio-Cortez’s team wire transfer information without the approval of more senior officials or the midterm candidates, unnamed sources told Politico. As such, the money came in without warning from the New York representative’s team or the DCCC, Politico reported.

Sources described the transfers as an unforced error by the DCCC because of their failures to consider the possible political ramifications of tying Ocasio-Cortez’s brand to moderate Democrats, according to Politico. 

DCCC spokesman Chris Hayden didn’t divulge details, but told Politico “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.”