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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Spills The Tea On How Freshman Lawmakers Are Taught To Take Corporate Money

Incoming Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused the Harvard Kennedy School’s freshman lawmaker orientation session—a gathering that has welcomed each new Congress since 1972—of being a “pro-corporate lobbyist project”

According to the Huffington Post, the three-day Harvard orientation was done “in collaboration with” the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the nonpartisan foreign policy-focused Center for Strategic International Studies. Though Harvard funded the entire event and did not take funds from either think tank, the outlet points that a lack of a similar liberal group is striking, considering how “the overwhelming majority of new members of Congress are Democrats.”

Ocasio-Cortez voiced concerns about the bipartisan gathering, arguing that it is made up of lobbyists and bankers and questioning the lack of labor leaders and grassroots activists.

Last Thursday, the congresswoman-elect tweeted out how the orientation included several corporate CEOS, yet zero labor leaders.

On Sunday, AOC doubled down on her criticism of the orientation, explaining how the incoming lawmakers “heard things like ‘the $2T tax cut was great’ and ‘$15 wage is a bad idea.'”

“No labor reps were there,” she wrote. “Was this a multi-decade, pro-corporate lobbyist project the entire time?”

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to the Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein, who tweeted that he had gotten his hands on a copy of the 2014 Harvard orientation schedule and that it “looked very similar.”

“At least 8 lobbyists are listed as panelists, several listed w/o disclosing ties to lobbying firms,” Stein said on Twitter. “CEOs of Xerox, American Express were there — no apparent labor leaders/activists.”

Rashida Tlaib, newly elected Democratic congresswoman and fellow Democratic Socialists of America member retweeted AOC, singling out former Trump White House economic advisor Gary Cohn for his patronizing remarks to the freshman lawmakers.

“Gary Cohn, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: ‘You guys are way over your head, you don’t know how the game is played,'” tweeted Tlaib.

“No Gary, YOU don’t know what’s coming – a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits.”

Many on Twitter appreciated Ocasio-Cortez’ candor and transparency, thanking the congresswoman-elect for sharing her “inside view” of Congress’ inner workings.

It makes sense that the youngest person ever elected to the House of Representatives is using social media to interact and converse with voters. Still, AOC’s dedication to connect with Americans, even on a mass scale, is impressive—what other politician has recorded themselves making mac and cheese while discussing policy issues?

AOC’s frequent live videos resonate with many of those who had previously felt unimportant and ignored.

Leading many to finally feel justified in hoping that transparency within politics becomes the new normal.

h/t Huffington Post