After the ’10 census, New York lost two congressional seats. Overpriced, lacking any growth industries except tourism and community organizing, the state just couldn’t keep up with the rest of the country.
New York had been bleeding congressional seats since the rise of the suburbs. After the massacre of ’10, its congressional delegation was the smallest since 1823. And it’ll lose more seats after the next census.
But the ’10 massacre also forced Rep. Joe Crowley out of the 7th Congressional District and into the 14th. The 7th became a gerrymandered a district built like a Frankenstein’s monster out of parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens that had nothing geographically in common except Puerto Rican populations who will keep voting for Rep. Nydia Velázquez, a Democrat, until the city sinks beneath the waves.
Crowley, who is paler than birch trees, had no shot at the new 7th. But he settled down comfortably in the 14th, winning 70% of the vote by just showing up, without the fuss of a primary challenge. While representing a Hispanic district in Queens, he was allegedly living comfortably in Arlington, Virginia.
That was never going to last.
New York City’s working class white population is an endangered species. If you’re not on welfare or earning well in the six figures, you can’t afford to live there. Crowley’s district was 46% Hispanic. It had the second highest share of Latino voters in New York. The machine pol was living on borrowed time.
It’s hard to imagine a more vulnerable politician than doughy Joe, the echo of a 19th century political establishment of barstools and crony government jobs, used to winning ¾ of the vote in safe districts and who had forgotten how to compete in an election (if he ever knew how) facing a Hispanic district.
Of course that’s not the story you see in the media.
Instead the media thrills to its own fake news of how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the “girl from the Bronx”, a Socialist candidate and “giant-slayer”, impossibly defeated Rep. Crowley. And that’s accompanied by analysis of how her victory is proof of the inevitable triumph of Socialism. The media has even begun trying to ‘Obamaize’ her with stories about her brand of lipstick selling out.
The fake news narrative has nothing to do with the truth about Cortez and the reality of the 14th.
The simple truth is that the Democratic Socialists of America and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put in time and money into a district that the Democrats hadn’t bothered to protect because Republicans couldn’t win it. The secret to Cortez’s victory wasn’t socialism. It was her last name.
Nor is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “girl from the Bronx”. She’s the daughter of an architect from a pricey suburb in Westchester County. Her father, a Pratt Institute grad, was a founder of KOR which stood for Kirschenbaum & Ocasio-Roman Architects. The Ocasio (rather than the Kirschenbaum) part of the name meant that it operated as a “certified minority business enterprise” which came with assorted privileges.
Read the full story from Front Page Mag
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