Oh, the irony — at least on a small scale. The campaign for New York’s youngest House member and progressive darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got fined yesterday for failing to provide workers’ comp coverage to its staff for at least one month. The New York Post plays it straight in its report:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign was fined $1,500 by the state last year for failing to obtain workers’ compensation coverage, The Post has learned.
All employers are required under New York’s disability law to buy insurance to cover disability benefits for employees.
“The employer did not have the required workers’ compensation coverage from March 31, 2018, to April 30, 2018, and was issued a final penalty of $1,500, which was paid,” said Workers Compensation Board spokeswoman Melissa Stewart.
“This coverage is vital to ensuring workers are protected for on-the-job injuries.”
How progressive! The Daily News twists the knife a bit on the hypocrisy angle:
The campaign for new Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has made helping the working class and poor her top priority, was fined by the state for not carrying workers’ compensation coverage for a month last year. …
One Democratic campaign veteran scoffed that “it’s not a great look” for Ocasio-Cortez that her campaign received a fine for not carrying workers’ compensation coverage.
“This is basic stuff, especially if you hold yourself out to be the champion of workers,” the Dem said.
True enough, and it’s certainly fair game for Ocasio-Cortez’ political opponents. The Republican Party didn’t waste much time in sticking the landing:
GOP spokeswoman Jessica Proud told the outlet that the incident represented “hypocrisy at its finest.”
“The so-called champion of workers, when given her own responsibility, is not following the law. It’s unbelievable,” Proud said.
Unbelievable? Not really. It’s the kind of mistake that first-time business owners can make, part of a complicated set of regulations with which employers must comply at start-up. That’s just as true with amateur politicians, which is why it’s important to hire at least a few experienced hands to run the operation. Of course, this fine covers a period that at least seems to be rather far from Ocasio-Cortez’ announcement of her challenge to incumbent Joe Crowley in May 2017. Did the coverage lapse, or did the campaign never actually have workers’ comp coverage until a year later? Or perhaps did they not have enough money to hire full-time staff until March? Given the small amount of money her campaign raised in the primary, that may well be the case.
Speaking of amateurs, Ocasio-Cortez found out what it’s like to play dissenter in Washington DC. Despite launching grandiose notions of soak-the-rich tax policies, Ocasio-Cortez got passed over for a seat on Ways and Means:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t get a seat on the powerful tax writing committee where she sought to push her progressive agenda of Medicare for All, free college tuition and a green new deal.
Instead, the open downstate New York slot on the House Ways and Means Committee went to a moderate Democrat, Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi, a former CPA, attorney and county executive. …
Ocasio-Cortez sought a spot on the committee—which is usually off limits to freshman reps – with the backing of progressive groups that pushed for a slate of fresh-faced candidates to earn posh assignments.
Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib made a play for Appropriations, but she too was passed over.
Hmmm. Perhaps Nancy Pelosi wanted to maintain tradition — or send a message to the woman who has become the unfortunate face of the new Democratic House majority. If it’s the latter, it might be Whoopi Goldberg’s message that Pelosi is sending, which is to sit down, shut up, and learn the job. Or at least math.