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Ocasio-Cortez Tells Small Donors to Cut Off DCCC Donations, Give Directly to Candidates Instead

"The DCCC's new rule to blacklist + boycott anyone who does business with primary challengers is extremely divisive and harmful to the party."

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Tuesday, January 29, 2019. (Photo: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/Instagram)

Denouncing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's new policy of cutting off firms that work with primary challengers as "divisive" and "harmful," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday advised small-dollar donors to stop giving money to the DCCC and instead donate to progressive candidates directly.

"The DCCC's new rule to blacklist + boycott anyone who does business with primary challengers is extremely divisive and harmful to the party," tweeted the congresswoman from New York. "My recommendation, if you're a small-dollar donor: pause your donations to DCCC and give directly to swing candidates instead."

Ocasio-Cortez went on to list three swing-seat House Democrats up for reelection in 2020: Reps. Katie Porter (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), and Lauren Underwood (Ill.).

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The New York congresswoman's call for small-dollar donors to "pause" donations to the DCCC comes amid a growing progressive revolt against the campaign arm's new policy, which states that the organization "will not conduct business with, nor recommend to any of its targeted campaigns, any consultant that works with an opponent of a sitting member of the House Democratic Caucus."

"We cannot credibly lay claim to prioritizing diversity and inclusion when institutions like the DCCC implement policies that threaten to silence new voices and historically marginalized communities."
—Rep. Ayanna Pressley

Progressives vowed to fight back against the rule, arguing it will disproportionately harm left-wing organizations looking to transform the party by ousting conservative Democrats.

As Common Dreams reported last week, leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus met with DCCC chair Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) to slam the policy and call for a change.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) called the DCCC's rule "a slap in the face of Democratic voters across the nation."

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who reached the House after a primary victory, warned that the DCCC's rule risks "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."

"I believe fiercely in the potential of our party, but we cannot credibly lay claim to prioritizing diversity and inclusion when institutions like the DCCC implement policies that threaten to silence new voices and historically marginalized communities," Pressley added. "The lesson of 2018 is that our party is made stronger by the inclusion of diverse, disruptive candidates and vendors who bring different perspectives and experiences."

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