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Without Dialing for Dollars or Lobbyist Meetings, Ocasio-Cortez Raised More Money Than Any Other House Democrat in Third Quarter

"While many try to belittle a progressive agenda that centers working people and the public good, in truth it's more powerful than ever."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) attends a House Financial Services Committee organizational meeting in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised more money for reelection than any other House Democrat in the third quarter of 2019, an achievement the New York Democrat touted as a testament to the power of grassroots fundraising over schmoozing with corporate lobbyists and wealthy executives.

"I intentionally built my campaign to rely on small-dollar grassroots support without any corporate money, because I felt that's the best way to be accountable to everyday people."
—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The New York Post reported late Tuesday that Ocasio-Cortez raised $1.42 million between July 1 through September 30 for her 2020 reelection campaign, topping all House Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose fundraising prowess is well known.

"While many try to belittle a progressive agenda that centers working people and the public good, in truth it's more powerful than ever," tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, the lead sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution in the House. "I haven't picked up a phone once this year to dial for dollars, and I don't meet with corporate lobbyists. That is the power of your grassroots support."

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According to the Post, $1.1 million of the $1.42 million Ocasio-Cortez raised in the third quarter came from donations under $200. Running a campaign fueled by grassroots support instead of corporate buckraking, said Ocasio-Cortez, opens up "much more time for me to be fully present at my job."

"I intentionally built my campaign to rely on small-dollar grassroots support without any corporate money, because I felt that's the best way to be accountable to everyday people," said the New York Democrat. "It has impacted how I work in Congress in powerful ways—ways I couldn't fully appreciate until I got here."

"Our political system's reliance on huge sums of money has many negative impacts, but one of the largest is that it takes lawmakers' time away from lawmaking," Ocasio-Cortez added. "That's a feature, not a flaw—the less time lawmakers have, the more special interests can slip in harmful provisions."

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