J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats are publicly attacking the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after the group announced it will blacklist firms that work with candidates challenging sitting Democrats.
- They urged the DCCC to retract its policy and welcome challengers, particularly in safe blue districts.
- Ocasio-Cortez told her supporters to "pause" their donations to the DCCC and instead give directly to candidates they support, including those in swing districts.
Progressive Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, are publicly attacking the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after the group announced it will blacklist political strategists and vendors that work with candidates challenging sitting Democrats.
The DCCC’s new policy applies to both swing districts, which paved the path to the Democrats’ current House majority, and deeply Democratic districts, like those Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley represent. Critics argue that the policy is a transparent attempt to squash candidates who threaten the party’s status quo.
Ocasio-Cortez called the move "extremely divisive" and urged her supporters to "pause" their financial support of the DCCC and instead give directly to candidates and elected officials, particularly those from swing districts.
"The @DCCC’s new rule to blacklist+boycott anyone who does business w/ primary challengers is extremely divisive & harmful to the party," she tweeted on Saturday. "My recommendation, if you’re a small-dollar donor: pause your donations to DCCC & give directly to swing candidates instead."
Pressley argued in a series of tweets on Saturday that the DCCC’s new policy will shut out potential candidates, particularly women and people of color, who are underrepresented in politics and whose ideas will help shake up the status quo.
"If the DCCC enacts this policy to blacklist vendors who work with challengers, we risk undermining an entire universe of potential candidates and vendors — especially women and people of color — whose ideas, energy, and innovation need a place in our party," Pressley tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley both won their seats by defeating longtime Democratic incumbents — both older white men — in their diverse, progressive districts.
Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus held a heated meeting with the DCCC last Wednesday, during which DCCC chair Rep. Cheri Bustos refused to reverse the controversial policy.
"Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan, and I met with Cheri Bustos to make it clear that we strongly oppose her new policy that stifles competition and blackballs any consultant who works for a challenger," CPC member Rep. Ro Khanna told The Intercept. Khanna added that the policy was the most "heavy-handed" the DCCC had implemented in recent years.
The DCCC insisted that it will focus heavily on increasing the diversity of the Democratic caucus while protecting its majority in 2020.
"Our voters are diverse, we are actively recruiting candidates to ensure their elected officials better reflect them, and we have a responsibility to do our best to ensure the political professionals we work with do so as well," DCCC Executive Director Allison Jaslow said in a statement to HuffPost.
- One of the Republican Party’s rising stars says if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is so good then New York City should try it out
- Wayne Messam, a mayor in Florida, joins the 2020 Democratic race as a big-time underdog
- ‘People are dying’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez passionately defends her Green New Deal resolution as Republicans bring it up to fail in the Senate