When he challenged Rep. Joe Crowley in 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Do it Knocking on more than 100,000 doors in her New York City district, calling even more people, and still sending more text messages.
But it wasn’t just sweat equity that did the trick. Compared to most of the young activists and strategists who worked for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidency two years ago, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s technology team developed an innovative tool to find voters, perhaps in traditional door-knocking campaigns. I was missed.
After harassing Mr. Crowley in a landslide, his team gave him His new tool is named Reach, and he formed a company to help other progressive campaigns. But one place where he found that his services were not desired was at the very top: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
After Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, a progressive woman of color, defeated longtime Democratic members of Congress in 2018, DCCC Made an official policy: Any advisor or political group that supported a challenger in the House against an accomplished Democrat would be allowed to do business with the party’s official campaign arm.
The policy extinguished many left-leaning Democrats and some Worry that it will put a cold On challenges by women and people of color such as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Ms Pressley. In response, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez encouraged her supporters to stop donating to DCCC
But apparently the leadership of the committee – which has changed hands after the 2020 elections – is listening. Its new president, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, officially reversed the policy on Tuesday.
Chris Taylor, a spokesman for Mr. Maloney, said in a statement that the committee was opening its doors to a wide variety of advisors. “A change in this policy means that the only criteria for a vendor to be listed in the directory are our standards for fair trade practices,” he said.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said she believed the lifting of the ban would open the Democratic Party to some of the country’s best digital campaigners.
In an interview she said, “That ban really hurt the party.” “When I was sworn in for the first time, when one of the party’s first moves was to say, ‘We’re going to ban anyone that helps you get here,’ it was very personal.”
He said: “It felt like a very targeted message to say, ‘You are not welcome. And anyone who has helped you get here is not welcome.'”
Waleed Shahid, a spokesman for Justice Democrats – a rebel group that pulled out of Mr. Sanders’ 2016 campaign and supported the runs of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Ms. Pressley – also celebrated the move. In an interview, he said, “Because more than 70 percent of congressional districts do not hold competitive general elections, a lot of innovation is happening in competitive primaries.”
Mr. Shahid argued that the party was harming itself by shutting down devices such as the Reich to be used in any of its campaigns. “It happened to some of the best digital vendors in the country,” he said. “They work on many progressive primary campaigns, and they may not work for the party’s hand-held candidates.”
It has been a long-held political custom for parties to protect their incumbents, and the DCCC has long had an informal policy of shrewd groups that support primary challengers. But it is notable that party leaders decided to make that policy officially at a time when the progressive wing was gaining momentum – and lovers.
Justice Democrats immediately cried. It created a website, dcccblackkind, Listing all organizations that were officially banned from doing business with the party under this policy.
One such organization was Data for Progress, a left-leaning research and strategy firm that uses innovative techniques to test political messages and advice campaigns. The firm came out last year against the DCCC “blacklist”, after doing some voting work for the campaign of a progressive Julie Oliver, a progressive who ended up winning her Democratic primaries in Texas but lost the general election.
Since Data for Progress was also working with Justice Democrats with Corey Bush’s primary campaigns in Missouri and Jamal Bowman in New York – both of which eventually topped the long-term Democratic Incumbents – Ms. Oliver’s team had to make a decision.
“Once the party was formally involved, we were removed from the account,” Gustavo Sanchez, a head of Data for Progress, said in an interview. “It’s not because the campaign wanted us to leave. It was more that the campaign is forced to make a choice as to whether it wants to receive money from the party or use us as a vendor.”
“We didn’t really do much housework after that because we know where to choose the campaigns,” he said.
Both Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Shahid said they were overjoyed by Mr. Maloney’s decision to lift the ban – but they were still not expecting the party to openly welcome their rebellious spirit.
Mr. Shah said, “I would hate to see the DCCC go back to an informal blacklist that used to be their policy.” “But this is a step forward for not having a clear blacklist.”
Luke broadwater Contributed to reporting.
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