Progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is infuriating other House Democrats by not paying her party dues and funding progressive primary challengers, a Fox News report says.
According to fundraising records, Ocasio-Cortez out-raised all other House Democrats in the third quarter — including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) — amassing $1.42 million between July and Sept. 30.
Yet, none of those funds have found their way back into Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee coffers, a reality that has rankled some of her Democratic colleagues in the House, according to Fox News:
"Sometimes the question comes: 'Do you want to be in a majority or do you want to be in the minority?'" Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) told Fox News when asked about Ocasio-Cortez's stance. "And do you want to be part of a team?"
Another Democrat was less diplomatic: "Deadbeat Cortez should pay her bills," complained the anonymous Democratic source. "She's always whining about people paying their fair share and here she is leaving her friends with the bill."
Records obtained by Fox News show that Ocasio-Cortez has yet to pay $250,000 in dues owed to the DCCC, which is the party organization charged with helping elect Democrats to the House.
But Ocasio-Cortez's failure to pony up for party dues is no accident; it's by design. She is deliberately bypassing the Democratic Party infrastructure en route to building her own funding operation for progressive candidates.
"For me personally, I'm not paying D-trip dues," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"I don't agree with the policy around blacklisting groups that help progressive candidates," she added as a reason, referring to a DCCC effort to stifle primary challengers to incumbent representatives. "I think we need to evolve as a party and make room for that."
"I want to help frontline members by putting that money straight into their pocket," Ocasio-Cortez added.
As such, Ocasio-Cortez has led online fundraisers for at least two progressive candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Democrats.
According to Fox News:
She solicited nearly $18,000 in donations for Marie Newman, who is taking on current Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, a conservative Democrat who opposes abortion. She also gave Newman an additional $5,000 directly from her campaign account. Ocasio-Cortez also raised nearly $35,000 in online donations for progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros, who is trying to defeat Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.