Politics

Odds improving that AOC could lose her seat in Congress

Her Democrat primary challenger has a solid shot.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

New York Democrat congressional candidate Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, given recent actions by her primary opponent Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Caruso-Cabrera’s fundraising haul, has a growing chance to beat the freshman firebrand in next Tuesday’s primary election.

AOC’s missteps as of late include ducking debates, failure to pay taxes, snapping at once-friendly reporters at press events, and voting for a salary increase for herself during the massive economic displacement due to the coronavirus. AOC also angered constituents with her hard campaign against bringing an Amazon regional headquarters to her district, in a move by her that cost the district thousands of good-paying jobs. Her opponent has pounced on those issues.

AOC has also alienated black and Latin voters (who tend to be conservative on social issues) with her advocacy of far-left social nostrums and policies. Thus seeing a chance to defeat the socialist member of Congress, many New York corporate luminaries are lining up to donate to her opponent. Caruso-Cabrera’s donors include Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon. Both gave the maximum $2,800 for the Democratic primary against AOC. Five other Blackstone employees and three other Goldman Sachs executives also donated to Caruso-Cabrera, according to the Financial Times.

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Home Depot co-founder and GOP stalwart Ken Langone and his wife, Elaine, kicked in a combined $11,200 to Caruso-Cabrera. They gave the maximum each for primary ($2,800) and general election ($2,800). Caruso-Cabrera can only spend half of that for the primary.

Caruso-Cabrera, a former business journalist and CNBC host, is becoming smart money in the 14th congressional district primary that takes in neighborhoods in parts of The Bronx and Queens. Ocasio-Cortez has raised $10.5 million in campaign cash to Caruso-Cabrera’s $2 million. The first-time incumbent had $4.6 million in cash on hand to Caruso-Cabrera’s $1 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. But as an incumbent, AOC was expected to be well-funded. No one expected her opponent to do that well, much less cross the campaign-motivating one million dollar threshold.

AOC spokeswoman Lauren Hitt commented, “It’s not surprising that Republicans would finance the campaign of a lifelong Republican in a Democratic primary. While we have pushed against corporate power with policies that favor everyday working Americans, those donors prefer to bankroll a candidate who answers to Wall Street over the needs of our constituents.”

If Caruso-Cabrera is a “life-long” Republican, then how is she running in a Democratic primary? The likely truth is that Caruso-Cabrera was recruited by Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrat leadership because of her telegenic presentation, her ethnicity, and her potential to rid Pelosi and her Democrat establishment colleagues of a major headache.

To make matters worse for AOC, Caruso-Cabrera has hired some of the best Democrat campaign operatives in the business. One of them comments here, “New York businesses are supporting Caruso-Cabrera because she wants to create jobs for people. What’s bad about that? Compare that with AOC, who chased 25,000 jobs out of New York,” said Caruso-Cabrera spokesman Hank Sheinkopf in reference to the failed Amazon deal.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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