Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and her former chief of staff to task over a variety of issues in a newly released interview.
In the interview with the New York Daily News, the 2007 Yorktown High School graduate was outspoken in her criticism of the governor, state Democrats and a tweet from Chakrabarti.
With Queens District Attorney hopeful Tiffany Caban’s concession in the Democratic primary, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that “voter disenfranchisement in the state of New York is a given. Our voting laws are horrifying in how they suppress the vote and how they disenfranchise voters on a regular basis."
Ocasio-Cortez was critical of Cuomo, who has not signed a bill into law that was passed by the state legislature earlier this year that would loosen requirements for affidavit ballots.
“I think that this legislation should have been signed as quickly as possible,” she told the Daily News. “Each day that these laws stand is a day when we allow injustice to persist.”
The Congresswoman added, “New York State historically has been just as bad as any deep southern state when it comes to voter disenfranchisement, whether it’s poll locations changes, whether it’s having your ballot tossed out over technicalities even though you’re a registered Democrat, which also happened in this race. But it was legal disenfranchisement so that disenfranchisement was within the bounds of the law.”
In response, Rich Azzopardi, a senior advisor for Cuomo said that “The Congress member should get her facts straight: no bill was ever sent to us to sign," in an email, adding, "Also, Amazon did not cost the state $3 billion but it leaving did cost us 25,000 jobs.”
Saikat Chakrabarti, who recently resigned as Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, sent out a since-deleted tweet on June 27 comparing members of the Democrats' Blue Dog Coalition to “Southern Democrats” who opposed desegregation.
“They certainly seem hell-bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s,” he posted in response to the Blue Dogs voting in favor of a border funding bill that didn’t include stronger language on the conditions the Temp administration has detained migrant children.
Ocasio-Cortez told the Daily News that she thought the tweet was divisive, noting, “I believe in criticizing stances, but I don’t believe in specifically targeting members.” She noted that Chakrabarti’s resignation was not tied to the tweet or the fallout from the tweet.
“We had been discussing this transition before that whole incident happened,” she noted about the resignation.
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