Dissent in the Ranks: Vulnerable Democrats Revolt Against DCCC Over AOC Cash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a news conference in the Queens borough of New York, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. Ocasio-Cortez was talking about a federal program that will help families pay for funeral costs during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Multiple vulnerable Democrats received surprise donations last week from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to support their reelection campaigns against their wishes, Politico reports.

Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign wired $5,000 directly into the campaign accounts of several vulnerable Democrats after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) provided wire transfer information and account numbers to her team. The DCCC and Ocasio-Cortez apparently did not check with the vulnerable Democrats who got the cash before giving out the wire transfer account information. Now several of those Democrats are giving the money back fearing that Ocasio-Cortez’s financial support could be more politically damaging to them than the money is worth.

Politico reported that “some swing-district Democrats fret over whether to return her money before the GOP can turn it into an attack ad.”

The report shows Democrat members are who received some of the contributions from Ocasio-Cortez are asking questions directly to the new DCCC chair, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and to his staffers. Lawmakers are seeking to find the answers to why the DCCC aides would release the bank transfer information to Ocasio-Cortez with their prior knowledge or approval.

On the newest contribution records with the Federal Election Commission, the New York Democrat’s name will show up regardless of the money that the members gave back to her. This can pose a big advantage for the Republican’s campaign arm, the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC), which is looking for ways to tie vulnerable Democrats to the Ocasio-Cortez and her views.

Members like Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA),  Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA), and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) declined the initial transfer, Politico reported.

Chris Hayden, a spokesman for DCCC, declined to comment on the details of the transfers but told Politico but told them: “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.”

In March, the NRCC announced new ads targeting the very same vulnerable Democrats they place on their “Exit List.” In addition to their previously released list of 47 “offensive opportunities,” which included 29 Battleground Democrats. Battleground Districts are where “President Biden lost the district or where the 2020 presidential or congressional margin was within 5 percent.”

The House GOP campaign arm already put out multiple ads targeting some vulnerable Democrat members who could be tied to some of the radical actions and ideas of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), like overturning a state-certified house seat which failed this past week.

In a poll released by the NRCC in late February looking at the vulnerable Republicans and their battleground districts, Pelosi’s poll numbers are down 20 percent, showing her at a 58 percent unfavorable rating. Of the unfavorable, over half (51 percent) find her very unfavorable.

The poll said, as “Pelosi pushes her partisan, socialist agenda, the Republican advantage will grow because, in ticket-splitting districts, 52% want a Republican who will be a check-and-balance to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.”

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