This is one of those stories that will bring a smile to even the most hardened left winger.
In New York the fourth ranked House senior democrat, someone tipped as a possible next speaker in the House of Representatives, has lost a primary to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young Latino woman who has a decidedly left wing policy platform and who describes herself as a Socialist.
Her policy platform was clearly not only popular but very progressive.
This was @Ocasio2018's platform, taken from her office in Elmhurst, Queens —> pic.twitter.com/w9KqwRl00x
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) June 27, 2018
And her campaign video was outstanding:
She described the campaign very simply but very evocatively in four simple tweets:
I have spent today criss-crossing the district my family has called home for generations. I have met strangers who knew my dad, and knew stories about my loved ones.
I have touched the hands of people who have felt ignored and invisible for a long, long time. And they felt seen.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 27, 2018
But I knew that in refusing to engage with non-voters, we were churning a cycle of neglect and cynicism.
So I reached out. And we have been embraced. We have built power. We have organized.
What we have built is permanent. No. Matter. What.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 27, 2018
She was a Bernie Sanders supporter and clearly has been influenced by his politics and his world view.
She refused to accept corporate money for campaigning purposes and was outspent by her opponent by a factor of ten.
And she won.
There is more detail from the Guardian (h/t Sanctuary):
Just one year before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated a powerful 10-term New York congressman to have a chance at becoming the youngest person in Congress, she was mixing cocktails at Flats Fix tacos and tequila bar in Manhattan.
“Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office,” Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old progressive and member of the Democratic socialist party, says in a campaign ad.
But, at the urging of progressive activists, Ocasio-Cortez not only ran – she won.
Her victory is part of a larger story of a Democratic party in revolt. A wave of first-time female and progressive candidate are storming the ramparts of an establishment that has not only seen its power recede at every level of government – but also failed to keep Donald Trump out of office.
In an interview on cable channel MSNBC this morning she said. “Our campaign was focused on just a laser-focused message of economic, social and racial dignity for working-class Americans, especially those in Queens and the Bronx.”
Her win was all the more remarkable for having been outspent by Crowley during the campaign by 10 to 1. “I started this race out of a paper bag. I had flyers and clipboards and it really was just nonstop knocking on doors and talking to the community,” she said.
She did not hold back on criticising her opponent. Again from the Guardian:
“We’ve got people – they’ve got money,” she said in a campaign ad, adding: “It’s time we acknowledge that not all Democrats are the same.”
Ocasio-Cortez ran a grassroots campaign, blanketing the borough with canvassers who pounded the pavement and courted young, black and Latino voters who make up the constituency.
She argued that Crowley was out of touch with the working-class people of his district and was beholden to Wall Street and corporate interests.
Last week, Crowley sent a Latina surrogate to debate Ocasio-Cortez, citing a scheduling conflict. Ocasio-Cortez ridiculed the decision, accusing him in a sharply-worded tweet of sending someone with a “slight resemblance to me”.
“The way the Queens Democratic party machine has worked, they operate on a politics of exclusion,” Ocasio-Cortez told WNYC after she launched her campaign.
And she is hard line on global warming. From the Huffington Post:
Ocasio-Cortez outlined plans to transition the United States to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035. It’s a goal hailed by environmentalists as the last best hope of staving off the most catastrophic effects of human-caused planetary warming, and it’s one already adopted by a coalition of mayors representing 42 percent of U.S. electricity use and representing major cities such as Atlanta and St. Louis.
What sets Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal apart is her plan to meet the target by implementing what she called a “Green New Deal,” a federal plan to spur “the investment of trillions of dollars and the creation of millions of high-wage jobs.” Though the slogan harks back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1930s New Deal program of infrastructure spending and labor reforms, she compared the program she envisions to the tens of billions of dollars spent on armaments manufacturing and the rebuilding of Europe after World War II.
“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she told HuffPost by email last week. “We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy.”
Crowley took the defeat remarkably well and played Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” for Ocasio-Cortez at his election night gathering. Pure class.
— katie honan (@katie_honan) June 27, 2018