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Ocasio-Cortez Says Tweet by Aide Was a Bad Idea

Chief of staff compared lawmakers to Dixiecrats before resigning
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2019 4:05 PM CDT
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her then-chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti walk to the Capitol last November.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she was not happy with a tweet from her chief of staff comparing a group of House members to segregationists of the early 20th century. And she says she told him so. "I think it was divisive,” the New York Democrat told the Daily News. "I believe in criticizing stances, but I don’t believe in specifically targeting members." Saikat Chakrabarti had likened the current Blue Dog Coalition to the Dixiecrats of the past in a June tweet that has since been taken down. He had criticized the group for supporting a $4.6 billion emergency border funding bill that lacked greater constraints on the Trump administration's detention of migrant children at the border. "They certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s," Chakrabarti posted. One member said last year that "the makeup of our coalition has changed. It’s not your Southern Democratic Blue Dog Coalition anymore," per the Washington Post.

And Chakrabarti is not Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff anymore. He resigned last week, saying he's now with a nonprofit. That nonprofit, New Consensus, is working on Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal proposal, per NBC. Chakrabarti is also under investigation. The Federal Elections Commission is looking into allegations that two political action committees that Chakrabarti founded moved more than $1 million in political donations to two private companies that he controlled, per the New York Post. Ocasio-Cortez said Wednesday that the investigation is politically motivated; it was prompted by a complaint from the conservative National Legal and Policy Center. Chakrabarti is working with the FEC on the complaint, she said. (Read more Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stories.)

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