Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised more than $1 million in January for her re-election campaign, making it her best fundraising month ever, according to her campaign.
The progressive firebrand crushed her monthly goal after Fox News reported Jan. 10 Ocasio-Cortez refused to pay her $250,000 in “dues” to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, upsetting her liberal colleagues who bashed her for trying to undermine their party.
Ocasio-Cortez successfully fundraised off her renegade stance against the establishment and even launched a new leadership PAC to build up her arsenal to take on the DCCC.
“We set a $1,000,000 goal at the beginning of the month, and our incredible supporters absolutely crushed it — a full 24 hours before the deadline,” Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign said in an email to supporters. “Our team is floored. The energy of this movement is at an all-time high, and that foreshadows a lot of great things for our future.”
The New York Democrat also posted impressive 2019 numbers on Friday. Ocasio-Cortez ended the year raising $5.5 million, including $1.98 million just in the final quarter. She ends the year with $2.9 million in cash on hand, new campaign finance records posted with the Federal Election Commission show.
Her fundraising haul rivals the top House Democrat, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who posted $5.9 million in total receipts for the year and $2 million for the final quarter, records show.
Pelosi had less money in the bank at the end of the year at $2.6 million. AOC, as she’s known, would have surpassed Pelosi in total 2019 fundraising if the speaker hadn’t transferred $1.4 million into her account from the "Nancy Pelosi Victory Fund,” a joint fundraising account with her leadership PAC and the DCCC.
Those transfer donations include checks from high-dollar backers like George Soros, Alexander Soros, Pat Stryker, Steven Spielberg, Kate Spielberg, Larry Silverstein, Jill Glazer and Peter Chernin.
Ocasio-Cortez owned her decision to refuse paying dues to the DCCC, bashing its policy to “blacklist” venders that help progressive primary challengers. She pledged to continue to support primary challengers to certain incumbents, a move that has angered her fellow Democratic members of Congress.
“I don't see the sense in giving a quarter-million dollars to an organization that has clearly told people like me that we're not welcome," Ocasio-Cortez said.
She’s raised money directly for certain swing-district members of Congress but has bucked the party establishment by also endorsing primary challengers for her Democratic colleagues.
In launching her new leadership PAC, on Jan. 11, AOC said the effort will allow her to fund her hand-picked candidates who may be shunned by the DCCC.
And again on Friday, her campaign took another dig at the DCCC.
“The DCCC is actively putting their hand on the scales in competitive primaries. They’re blacklisting consultants and vendors who work with progressive primary challengers, no matter who they’re primarying,” the note said. “That means the DCCC is siding with pro-life, pro-Trump, pro-corporate Democrats over human rights lawyers, middle school teachers, and other progressive community leaders who will fight for working-class folks.”