Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wins Democratic Primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District

It’s a blowout win for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician, currently serving her first term as the U.S. Representative or New York’s 14th congressional district, handidly won her district’s Democratic primary, a victory that effectively ensures a second term in the heavily Democratic distrct.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez warded off three Democratic primary challengers, including Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor and self-described fiscal conservative who criticized the first-term progressive’s expensive agenda.

AOC was leading with 74-percent of the vote, compared to Caruso-Cabrera’s 19-percent, with less 2 percent of precincts reporting, accoridng to The Associated Press.

Ocasio-Cortez noted on social media Tuesday evening that her surprise upset in 2018 was not a “fluke.”

The Democratic socialist shocked political pundits after defeating 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley during the 2018 midterms. 

“Our win was treated as an aberration, or (because) my opponent ‘didn’t try,’” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet. “So from the start, tonight’s race was important to me. Tonight we are proving that the people’s movement in NY isn’t an accident. It‘s a mandate.”

Ocasio-Cortez has raised more than $10 million since 2019, and she spent more than $2.4 million on Facebook ads alone since January—far more than any other member of Congress has, The New York Times reported last week—as the COVID-19 pandemic effectively halted traditional campaigning in her district.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera to Run Against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is making a run for the U.S. House of Representatives… and she’s taking on a popular freshman Congresswoman.

The 53-year-old half-Cuban American journalist, business news reporter and CNBCcontributor has launched a campaign for the New York City Congressional seat currently held by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

Caruso-Cabrera, an outspoken critic of government excess, will be running as a Democrat in the district, which stretches across the Bronx and Queens, though her political views position her significantly to the right of Ocasio-Cortez. 

CNBC says she will go on leave from the network, where she has been a reporter and anchor for 20 years.

“I am the daughter and granddaughter of working-class Italian and Cuban immigrants,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a statement. “I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had. That’s why I’m running.”

Known by her initials, AOC, the 30-year-old political newcomer’s victory in 2018 was one of the high-profile wins as Democrats took control of the House of RepresentativesNetflix captured the win in the documentary Bringing Down the House. Ocasio-Cortez has since racked up more than 6 million Twitter followers. Along with other progressives new to the U.S.Congress, she has become a frequent target of conservatives’ attacks on Democratic leadership.

In her 2010 book, You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government, Caruso-Cabrera emphasizes themes like personal responsibility, fiscal conservatism and limited government.

Prior to joining CNBC, Caruso-Cabrera worked at Univision. She has appeared multiple times as a guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. In a 2011 episode’s “Overtime” segment onYouTube, she promoted her book and defended CNBC against charges that it took a political stance similar to that of Fox News’ opinion hosts. She also described President Barack Obama as “extremely liberal” and misguided because he “believes that government can solve so many problems that it can’t,” such as health care.

Carlos Maza Named to Time Magazine’s List of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet

Carlos Maza is making his influence felt…

Time has released the fifth annual roundup of the 25 most influential people on the Internet, with the Cuban-American Vox journalist/vlogger and video producer making the list of the personalities who have the biggest global impact on social media.

Carlos Maza

Maza is being recognized for speaking about being harassed online, and his quest to target the policy that empowered the culprits.

For two years, Maza was the focus of videos from popular right-wing commentator Steven Crowder, who repeatedly denigrated Maza’s sexual orientation and ethnicity—actions that appeared to violate YouTube’s terms of service. But when Maza reported Crowder, he says YouTube didn’t respond. So at the end of May, Maza went public with his struggles on Twitter. His thread quickly went viral, prompting a new wave of harassment from Crowder fans—and eventually, a pseudo-apology from Crowder and a response from YouTube, which demonetized Crowder’s channel. 

YouTube stopped short of banning Crowder outright, arguing initially that, while some of Crowder’s comments were hurtful, its policies were intended to protect free expression, which can include offensive opinions

In the days that followed Maza’s Twitter thread, YouTube did reveal plans to revisit its harassment policies. But Maza isn’t optimistic about systemic change. “Harassment is really good for engagement,” he tells Time.

But Maza isn’t the only Latino to make the list…

Cardi B’s rise to stardom can be traced back to Instagram, where she now has more than 47 million followers. 

As much as the 26-year-old half-Dominican American rap sensation’s life has changed since the success of “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B’s online presence has stayed consistent—confessional videos and memes between red carpet shots, concert footage and political commentary

In January, Cardi B made headlines for posting a video criticizing President Donald Trump for not funding the government, “all for a f-cking wall.” That clip went viral, and even came to the attention of Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen. Brian Schatz, who publicly debated whether they should retweet the video. In the end, the lawmakers chose not to, but the video still racked up 20 million views on Instagram. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be a junior member of the U.S. House of Representatives, but when it comes to social media aptitude, her superiority is practically unmatched. 

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican politician and activist, who is simply referred to by her Twitterhandle “AOC,” has nearly 4.8 million followers on the platform, more than most members of theU.S. Congress

In January, shortly after being sworn in as the youngest Congresswoman in U.S. history, Ocasio-Cortez co-hosted a session for her peers about social media best practices, explaining the importance of being “authentic.” And though she’s made some online missteps during her tenure on Capitol Hill— like identifying her Democratic colleague Rep. John Yarmuth as a Republican while slamming older male legislators — Ocasio-Cortez has also expertly harnessed viral tropes to draw attention to subcommittee hearings and granular policy debates that have typically been relegated to the confines of C-Span: an Instagram video of questions she asked at a hearing about cannabis in February has amassed over three million views. 

Germán Garmendia is being recognized for his personality…

Since uploading his first skit to YouTubein 2011, the 29-year-old Chilean YouTuber, comedian and writer has earned more than 13 billion views, making him the world’s most popular Spanish-language YouTuber. 

In his skits and over-the-top riffs, Garmendia mines humor from everyday topics; while describing how tough he is in a video about how to be sexy, for example, he noted that he only cried a little when Mufasa died in The Lion Kingand often pushes doors labeled “pull.” 

Production values have risen on YouTube in the years since he got his start, but despite competition from bigger-budget operations, Garmendia’s main draw as he comments on memes, viral videos, and video games is still his personality. 

As with many YouTubers, he has also provoked controversy, like when misogynistic comments he made in a 2014 gameplay video resurfaced in late 2018. But his subsequent apology was well-received, and his career hasn’t stalled: in fact, Garmendia released his first novel last year.

To see the complete list, click here.

Trailer Released for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Documentary “Knock Down the House”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezis in knockdown mode…

The first trailer has been released for the documentary film Knock Down the House, which looks at the women who made a mark in last year’s midterm elections, including the 29-year-old Puerto Rican politician and the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In all, three dozen women won U.S. House of Representatives seats, including ex-bartender AOC, as she’s now called, and Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlain.

The film had a high-profile premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Festival Favorite Awardafter Ocasio-Cortez — who had planned to visit Park City for the screening — but declined to attend amid a government shutdown, address the audience via video. 

Netflix payed $10 million to win a heated auction for the film, which followed the campaigns of four progressive women who ran against incumbents in the 2018 midterm elections. 

Of the quartet, only AOC won, but she has shaken up the status quo, bringing fresh blood into the U.S. Congress and grabbing the attention of liberal, conservative and social media audiences alike.

Las Vegas businesswoman and grieving mother Amy Vilela, West Virginia coal miner’s daughter Paula Jean Swearenginand St. Louis registered nurse Cori Bushare the film’s other subjects.

The documentary goes live May 1 on the streaming giant.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Becomes Youngest-Ever U.S. Congresswoman

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is bringing some young blood to U.S. Congress

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican politician and New York Democratic congressional nominee has won her general election race soundly, becoming the youngest woman ever in Congress.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez, who turned 29 last month, will inch out the previous holder of the distinction, New York Democratic Rep. Elise Stefanik, who was elected to Congress at age 30.

Ocasio-Cortez defeated New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowleyin the primary election earlier this year. The victory was considered a major upset and elevated Ocasio-Cortez onto the national political stage.

Crowley, the No. 4 Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, was seen as a potential speaker one day. His loss effectively handed the seat to Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina who has become a key left-wing voice.

Ocasio-Cortez ran unabashedly to Crowley’s left in the New York City district and previously worked as an organizer on Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ presidential campaign. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Handily Defeats 10-Term Incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York Primary

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has pulled up a major political upset… and will most likely become the youngest woman in the U.S. Congress.

The 28-year-old Latina activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America ousted 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district on Tuesday in the most shocking upset of a crazy political season.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez won over voters in the minority-majority district with a ruthlessly efficient grassroots bid, even as Crowley — the fourth-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives— outraised her by a 10-to-1 margin.

This was the first time in 14 years a member of his own party has attempted to unseat Crowley, who chairs the Queens County Democrats.

“This is not an end, this is the beginning. This is the beginning because the message that we sent the world tonight is that it’s not OK to put donors before your community,” Ocasio-Cortez told supporters on Tuesday night.

She cast her victory as the green shoots of triumph over the “deep midnight and darkness” of the political moment — and a message to fellow progressive organizers that their brand of activism could succeed on a grander scale.

“You have given this country hope, you have given this country proof that when you knock on your neighbor’s door, when you come to them with love, when you let them know that no matter your stance, you are there for them — that we can make change,” she said.

Even as Ocasio-Cortez ran defiantly to his left — with universal health care, a federal jobs guarantee and the abolition ofICEheadlining her demands — Crowley touted a formidable liberal record of his own. He was the first member of the House Democratic leadership to sign on in support of “Medicare for all” and has been a vocal advocate for immigrants’ rights. But he also stumbled, repeatedly, on the campaign trail, the likely residue of passing so many years without a primary test.

Citing scheduling conflicts, he missed a debate in the Bronx with Ocasio-Cortez, sending former city councilwoman Annabel Palma as a surrogate. The New York Times editorial board took note of his no-show, and warned the ambitious congressman against taking his constituents for granted.

“What are we,” the board asked on behalf of voters, “chopped liver?”

In an interview hours before the polls opened Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez called his absence that night “disrespectful, not just to me but to the entire community.” On Twitter after the debate, she noted that Palma, also Latina, bore a “slight resemblance to me.”

“I understand he hasn’t been challenged for 14 years,” Ocasio-Cortez said, “but that doesn’t mean that an election isn’t happening. In fact, what’s happening right now is historic and it’s an opportunity to show up for the community.”

She has also spent time at the front lines of the pitched battle over US border policy under the Donald Trump administration. Last weekend, just days before the primary, Ocasio-Cortez left New York to join protests at an ICE detention center in Texas.

“The reason I was able to do that is because we have built a legitimately strong grassroots movement of organizers here to hold it down for 24 to 48 hours,” she said, “and I think that’s reflective of the strength of what we have built here. It was an advantage, actually, because our community here really wanted to do something and they didn’t want to feel like they were choosing organizing the campaign over choosing to comment and organize around this moment.”

She also managed to tie that activism, along with her vocal, unapologetic demand for the full abolition of ICE to the interests of her district’s diverse population.

“We have families and communities here (in the 14th District) from Ecuador and Colombia, Bangladesh, Korea, Pakistan, and I see them every day, many of them are very scared about what’s going on,” she said. “With my campaign, in terms of immigration, we’re trying to say, ‘Hey, we’ve got your back.'”

Crowley also took some shots at ICE, calling it “fascistic,” but stopping short of demanding its elimination. During a televised debate with Ocasio-Cortez less than two weeks before the primary, Crowley argued that “simply abolishing the agency doesn’t take it out of the hands of (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions or this president.”

He then pivoted to what had been a driving theme of his campaign — the argument that, with Trump in office, Democrats should lean on experienced lawmakers, and away from more ideological firebrands, to navigate the opposition on Capitol Hill.

“It’s about making change in Washington,” said Crowley, who in his leadership role has raised money for Democrats around the country. “It’s about Democrats taking back control of the House of Representatives — and that’s what I’m about doing.”

But with Tuesday’s results, he will be doing it from the sideline.

“I want to congratulate Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on her victory tonight,” Crowley said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting her and all Democrats this November. The Trump administration is a threat to everything we stand for here in Queens and the Bronx, and if we don’t win back the House this November, we will lose the nation we love.”

Allende Among This Year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom Honorees

Isabel Allende
 is headed to the White House

The 72-year-old Chilean writer is among the 19 people chosen by President Barack Obama today to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Isabel Allende

Allende, best known for her novels La casa de los espíritus and La ciudad de las bestias, has written 21 books that have sold 65 million copies in 35 languages.

She’s been recognized with numerous awards internationally, including the prestigious National Literary Award in Chile, her country of origin.

Allende’s novels are often based upon her personal experience and pay homage to the lives of women, while weaving together elements of myth and realism.

Allende, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was granted American citizenship in 1993, having lived in California with her American husband since 1989.

But Allende isn’t the only Hispanic person to receive the honor this year…

The late Edward Roybal will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.

He was the first Mexican-American to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from California in nearly a century. In 1976, he founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, creating a national forum for Latino issues and opening doors for a new generation of Latino leaders.

Other honorees this year include Meryl Streep, Tom Brokaw, Stephen Sondheim, Marlo Thomas, Stevie Wonder and choreographer Alvin Ailey.

The awards will be bestowed at the White House on November 24.