Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined the chorus of Democrats railing against “billionaire donors” and moneyed influence in elections on Saturday, attacking South Bend mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg over a recent “wine cave” fundraiser held in his honor in California’s wine country.
There’s just one problem with Ocasio-Cortez’s newfound hatred of the wealthy and elite: like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who also eschews “billionaire donors,” Ocasio-Cortez has taken money from mega-donors, including Buttigieg’s competition for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Tom Steyer.
Warren has been after Buttigieg for weeks over his “big money donors” and high-priced fundraisers in an effort to curb her own steep polling decline. Buttigieg has been a darling of left-leaning tech magnates, and did, in fact, reap the rewards of a recent fundraiser in Napa Valley, held in a “wine cave” event space at a vineyard that sells bottles in the neighborhood of $300.
But what Warren failed to disclose was that she, too, has been the guest of honor at high-priced fundraisers, and that the money she collected from them — as recently as 2018 — is now going to fund her presidential campaign, even though she claims she hasn’t taken a dime from the wealthy.
Ocasio-Cortez is similarly hypocritical, it seems. According to the New York Post, Ocasio-Cortez made the maximum allowable contribution — $2,700 — to Ocasio-Cortez’s own campaign in 2018, meaning she, too, is funded by at least one billionaire. Steyer made the donation through his family LLC.
Steyer doesn’t deny his support for Ocasio-Cortez and his representative told the Post he was happy to give to the “Green New Deal” co-author in order to support the freshman Congresswoman’s commitment to halting global climate change.
“Tom’s proud to support Congresswoman Ocasio Cortez, a champion for working families in the Bronx and all across our country,” his spokesperson told the Post. “She’s a leader in the fight to make the wealthy pay their fair share, provide a living wage for all workers, and pass a Green New Deal that combats climate change and helps reinvent the American economy.”
Steyer, of course, is a bit of a walking irony. The billionaire made his money by investing, in part, in foreign fossil fuel companies and private prisons through his hedge fund, Farallon Capital — two things the far-left Ocasio-Cortez has expressed severe opposition to. And when it comes to bankrolling political campaigns, Steyer is, quite literally, second to no one. Steyer, who, himself, rails against “corporate influence” and “billionaires” has donated a staggering $23 million to Democratic campaigns, including his own, in 2019, easily dwarfing the next top 14 political donors (including perennial leftist bogeymen, the Koch brothers).
“Steyer, a consistent mega-donor to Democrats cycle after cycle, is leading efforts to impeach President Donald Trump and to combat climate change by pumping millions of dollars into races and advertising efforts through his PAC, Need to Impeach, and nonprofit organization NextGen America,” according to Open Secrets. “He leads every other liberal donor, including Michael Bloomberg and George Soros, contributing almost $248 million cumulatively to candidates, PACs and other political organizations. Much of that cash goes toward PACs and organizations that spend money independently of candidates, including attack ads on Republicans.”
Most of that money has gone to two of Steyer’s own priorities: anti-climate change legislation and impeaching President Donald Trump. If his campaign is also considered, he’s donated well over $70 million; Open Secrets says he’s self-financed his bid for the presidency to the tune of nearly $50 million (and, technically, that’s a billionaire trying to influence Federal policy).