With the goal of unseating first-term Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist and member of the self-proclaimed “Squad,” some major Wall Street players are financially backing her Democratic primary opponent, former business journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, campaign records show.
Caruso-Cabrera, a Republican-turned-Democrat and the daughter and granddaughter of working-class Italian and Cuban immigrants, is challenging Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s primary in the 14th Congressional District, which encompasses neighborhoods in parts of The Bronx and Queens.
In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez catapulted from obscurity to an upset primary win over then-Rep. Joe Crowley, before an election win in November. Crowley had served in Congress since 1999 and was Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
Caruso-Cabrera is the author of the 2010 book, You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government. The book has a foreword by Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council director, and advocates for “fiscal conservatism, limited government and personal responsibility.” She served as CNBC’s Chief International Correspondent for eight years.
Caruso-Cabrera’s top donors feature Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon. They both contributed the maximum $2,800. Schwarzman briefly served as Chairman of President Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.
Her other key contributors include Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, a pro-Trump GOP donor, and his wife, Elaine. The couple gifted a combined $11,200 to the former CNBC host’s campaign. Ken and Elaine gave the maximum donation of $2,800 each for the primary and general election. By law, Caruso-Cabrera can only spend half of that total for the primary, which will be held on June 23.
Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Republicans have contributed to Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign, as well as an “anti-AOC” super PAC partly financed by her husband Stephen Dizard, an investment banker and GOP-donor.
Federal Elections Commission (FEC) reports show Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign has raised $10.5 million compared to Caruso-Cabrera’s $2 million. The first-time incumbent had $4.6 million in cash-on-hand to Caruso-Cabrera’s $1 million.
“It’s not surprising that Republicans would finance the campaign of a lifelong Republican in a Democratic primary,” Ocasio-Cortez’s spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, told the New York Post. “While we have pushed against corporate power with policies that favor everyday working Americans, those donors prefer to bankroll a candidate who answers to Wall Street over the needs of our constituents.”
Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign told the Post that she is the best candidate to create jobs in New York, a city that has been ravaged by homelessness, job loss and looting.
“New York businesses are supporting a Caruso-Cabrera because she wants to create jobs for people. What’s bad about that? Compare that with AOC, who chased 25,000 jobs out of New York,” Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign spokesman Hank Sheinkopf told the New York Post.
SaraACarter.com will continue to report on New York’s primary races.