Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Grow Yucca in NYC) defended ideological purity tests and railed against politicians “funded by billionaires” last weekend. Yet she herself has been funded by a billionaire — none other than former coal investor and current presidential candidate Tom Steyer.
AOC made her remarks after Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Not a Woman of Color) attacked one another for private fundraisers during the Democratic debate on December 19.
“For anyone who accuses us for instituting purity tests — it’s called having values,” AOC declared at a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-USSR), the candidate she has endorsed for 2020. “It’s called giving a damn. It’s called having standards for your conduct to not be funded by billionaires but to be funded by the people.”
For all her sermonizing about not being “funded by billionaires,” AOC is herself funded by a billionaire. In the 2018 cycle, she received a $2,700 donation from environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer, who made his billions at an investment firm investing in coal.
In November, former Vice President Joe Biden himself slammed Steyer for his history investing in coal. “While I was passing the first climate change bill — that PolitiFact said was a game-changer — while I managed the $90 billion recovery plan investing more money in infrastructure that relates to clean energy than any time we’ve ever done it, my friend was producing more coal mines and produced more coal around the world — according to the press — than all of Great Britain produces,” Biden jabbed. Yikes!
AOC’s hypocritical attack on billionaire funding came in the wake of revelations that Buttigieg had held a campaign fundraiser in a wine cave (where do I get one of those?).
During the December debate, Mayor Pete was ready to tackle the issue. “According to Forbes magazine, I’m literally the only person on this stage who’s not a millionaire or a billionaire,” he said.
Warren shot back: “We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States. Billionaires in wine caves shouldn’t pick the next president of the United States.”
AOC inserted herself into this debate, supercharging her ideological purity and outing herself as a tremendous hypocrite.
Tom Steyer may or may not have been in a wine cave when he wrote the check to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but the aspiring congresswoman didn’t return the cash. All the same, AOC wishes billionaires did not exist.
“I do think a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong,” Ocasio-Cortez said earlier this year.
I’m sure she wishes the record of that check from Tom Steyer didn’t exist, either.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.