Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is a “puppet congresswoman,” and “the people controlling her are very dangerous.”
It sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, acknowledges actor, writer and political commentator Christopher Patrick Kohls.
But the first-hand evidence is there for anyone to see, he contends in a video produced under his Mr Reagan moniker.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not really the congresswoman of New York’s 14th Congressional District,” he says provocatively as he opens the video. “She is essentially an actress. She’s merely playing the part of a New York congresswoman.”
Kohls explains that in 2017, a progressive group that formed in response to Trump’s election called the Justice Democrats held “auditions” for potential congressional candidates to run on their platform.
As evidence, he runs a clip from a Justice Democrats video.
“Back in 2016, we put out a call for nominations,” says the group’s executive director, Alexandra Rojas. “We got over 10,000 nominations. Out of those 10,000 nominations, we found Alexandria.”
Ocasio-Cortez herself, in another video, says her brother nominated her.
“My brother told me that he had sent my nomination in the summer, but I was, like, literally working out of a restaurant then. And I was like, there’s no way,” she says.
Kohls comments: “A casting call. They had a casting call. They cast Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the role of congresswoman. And they did this so they could promote their own agenda.
Justice Democrats, on its website, says it aims to reform the Democratic Party by running “a unified campaign to replace every corporate-backed member of Congress.”
In a feature on the group, the New York Times noted that in 2018, Justice Democrats endorsed 78 candidates and recruited 12 to run for office.
Of those 12, Ocasio-Cortez was the only one who won her general election.
However, six other endorsed candidates won, and among them are two other freshman House members who have joined Ocasio-Cortez in challenging the power of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Muslim Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Last week, their power was demonstrated when a House Democratic Party resolution originally intended to reprimand Omar for anti-Semitic remarks was watered down. Before it went to a vote, Omar’s name was omitted and a long list of other forms of bigotry were added.
Meanwhile, two Justice Democrats tenets, “Medicare for all” and the Green New Deal have become litmus tests for Democratic presidential candidates.
Ocasio-Cortez and her former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, one of the founders of Justice Democrats, are the targets of a Federal Elections Commission complaint by the National Legal and Policy Center alleging violations of campaign-finance laws.