Dan Backer is no novice to political action committees (PAC): he is the founder of a law firm specializing in just that.
When you visit the PAC’s website, you are greeted by a “STOP,” stamped in red, leading to the three initials of New York’s 14th District representative.
Backer, like many others, has called Ocasio-Cortez’s policies “unrealistic” and harmful—such as her proposed and rejected Green New Deal. Potential candidates believe that the democratic socialist does not represent the district’s interest, but Backer believes the problem goes further than that.
— political.law (@political_lawDB) April 24, 2019
“Because the warm, fuzzy socialism of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is fundamentally un-American and dangerous for our country,” responded the lawyer when asked why he started the PAC. “I think her ideas are the same evil that is destroying Venezuela as we speak.”
It’s a similar point that’s been made by other conservative groups.
New York lost 25,000 job opportunities after Amazon withdrew from the HQ2 deal—which Ocasio-Cortez and other politicians are often blamed for. Since then, her name and the number of lost jobs have been coupled on Times Square billboards by Job Creators Network.
We asked New Yorkers what they thought of @AOC‘s role in Amazon’s departure from NYC. Guess what, AOC, New Yorkers aren’t buying your ‘bologna’ either. #socialismtakescapitalismcreates pic.twitter.com/0hIaTwMZU6
— Job Creators Network (@JobCreatorsUSA) March 4, 2019
Spreading Word of Lost Jobs
To inform New Yorkers of her actions, the PAC spent $32,000 on digital adds, television adds, and a two-person team that will pass out flyers in the 14th District, according to the New York Post. The district is home to nearly 700,000 people, but Backer explained that many are not represented.
In late February, he conducted polling in the district, and IJR reported that 61 percent said they felt they would have been better off if Amazon would have stayed. In addition, 50 percent of her supporters felt the same way.
“Those are people in her district that aren’t gonna get a raise, aren’t gonna get a new opportunity,” explained Backer. “That’s what she did to her people—to the people that voted for her.”
‘This is America’
Rich Valdes is one of the potential candidates who may run against Ocasio-Cortez. Like Baker, the podcast host of This is America also believes that there isn’t enough accurate representation in the district.
— Rich Valdes ???????? (@richvaldes) April 22, 2019
“So many people in Queens, and in Throgs Neck, and the Bronx … they’re just not satisfied with what they got,” said Valdes at a Republican club gala. ” She’s in Washington … chanting abolish ICE, while MS-13 gang members are literally killing people on the subway, in the daytime—in her district.”
Although these groups feel the same way about the Democratic Socialist, Baker clarified his purpose.
“The function that I see playing here is not to try to support any particular candidate—it’s to help her district realize that she’s not the candidate for them,” he said.