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AOC Defends Not Paying Dues, Cites DCCC Policy Regarding Organizations That Help Primary Challengers

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is fighting back against criticism of her failure to pay her $250,000 “dues” to the Democratic Congress Campaign Committee (DCCC) — an organization focused on getting Democrats elected to the House.

According to a report by Fox News, Democrats are livid that Ocasio-Cortez has not given to the DCCC despite raising massive amounts of cash.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) suggested that by not giving to the DCCC, Ocasio-Cortez could endanger the Democrats’ majority in the House.

“Sometimes the question comes: ‘Do you want to be in a majority or do you want to be in the minority.'”

She is not the only representative who had not paid their dues to the DCCC. According to Fox, by the end of October 97 members had yet to pay. However, it is possible that some of those members met their obligation by the end of the year.

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On Friday, Ocasio-Cortez responded to the criticism by noting that she has helped fundraise for candidates.

“I give quite a bit to fellow Dems – we’ve fundraised over $300,000 for others (more than my ‘dues’), [with] over 50% going to swing seats.”

Additionally, she accused the DCCC of blacklisting organizations that help progressive candidates get elected, “DCCC made clear that they will blacklist any [organization] that helps progressive candidates like me. I can choose not to fund that kind of exclusion.”

She added that she donates “strategically” instead of just to the DCCC to help ensure that the majority is “transformative” and candidates who share similar views to her get elected.

“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?”

She also announced that she had launched her own Super PAC called Courage to Change, which is designed to help candidates who “reject lobbyist money, fight for working families, [and] welcome newcomers.”

Last year, the DCCC announced it would not hire private political firms that provide services to primary challengers, saying it is responsible for “protecting and growing our House majority.”

Some commentators claimed the move was designed to prevent future progressive candidates from launching primary challenges to more establishment candidates.

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This isn’t the first time she as bucked the party, as USA Today reports, last year Ocasio-Cortez —who won her seat after a primary challenge — encouraged donors to give directly to candidates instead of the DCCC to prevent the organization from blocking primary challengers.

Despite the progressive star’s appeal to donors, the DCCC said it raised $125 million in 2019, a record amount for a non-election year, according to CNN.

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