Update: A spokesman for Ocasio-Cortes’ PAC, Frank Llewelyn, told the New Jersey Globe that the contribution to Malinowski’s campaign never went through. He is amending the Courage to Change filing with the Federal Election Commission. “We did not issue a contribution. No money ever left her account. It should never have been on her report.”
A political action committee run by progressive icon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes contributed $5,000 to Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in March, but the two-term Democratic congressman didn’t disclose the donation on reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
A spokesperson for Malinowski’s campaign told the New Jersey Globe that they never received a contribution from Courage to Change, the Ocasio-Cortes PAC.
According to reports filed with the FEC, Courage for Change donated $5,000 to Malinowski for Congress on March 28, three days before the end of the first fundraising quarter.
Malinowski’s most recent report doesn’t show any contributions from the Ocasio-Cortes PAC and didn’t include any returned contributions.
A contribution from Ocasio-Cortes could be an issue when Malinowski seeks re-election to a third term next year in New Jersey’s 7th district – a race he won in 2020 by just 1% of the vote.
“Malinowski broke the law when he failed to disclose his pandemic profiteering and now he conveniently has a story for not reporting a contribution from AOC,” said Harrison Neely, a Republican campaign consultant who worked on Tom Kean, Jr.’s campaign against Malinowski last year. “Choosing to break the rules to avoid politically conspicuous situations is a pattern for him. His deceptions boil down to a lack of respect for his constituents.”
On a national level, the contributions created some controversy from Democrats who didn’t necessarily want Ocasio-Cortes money in their districts.
The Ocasio-Cortes PAC also contributed $5,000 each to two other New Jersey Democrats: Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) and Andy Kim (D-Moorestown).
In a Republican-leaning district, Sherrill has taken steps to avoid being tied to the progressive wing of the national Democratic party.
Sherill was one of 15 House Democrats who did not support Nancy Pelosi for re-election as House Speaker in January, and the only one in the New Jersey delegation.
One Democrat, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan), received the contribution and then returned it. Slotkin was one of the 15 who opposed Pelosi.