Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brandished quite the (easily provable) falsehood amid an online spat with Twitter CEO Elon Musk, where the Democratic socialist asserted the proceeds from her online merch store go toward “community acts” such as tutoring underprivileged youths and the sort. But in reality, these proceeds from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s merch store are nothing more than campaign donations – a fact proven by her merch store’s online disclaimer, no less.
On November 2nd, the New York congresswoman seemed to get a bit peeved after Musk merely shared a screenshot to Twitter from the “Official AOC Team Shop” depicting a generic periwinkle-colored crew sweatshirt emblazoned with a logo bearing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s namesake that is priced at $58.
Musk had captioned the post showcasing the aforementioned screenshot with an emoji depicting a pondering-like expression, which, given the context, could be construed as a bit of a jab against Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s frequent criticisms of capitalism whilst she’s actively peddling generic sweatshirts for nearly $60 a pop.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez opted to quote Musk’s post within hours after it went live, captioning it with, “Proud of this and always will be. My workers are union, make a living wage, have full healthcare, and aren’t subject to racist treatment in their workplaces. Items are made in the USA. Team AOC honors and respects working people. You should try it sometime instead of union-busting.”
Image Credit: Twitter
The Twitter tirade from the New York congresswoman didn’t stop there either, as she commented on her own post with a follow-up reading, “Not to mention all proceeds go to community organizing like our Homework Helpers program, which gives private tutoring to kids who’ve needed learning support since COVID: Check out our shop! Support our workers and our communities,” along with providing a link to her merch store.
Image Credit: Twitter
Not long after promoting her merch store amid her online diatribe, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez went on to allude that her Twitter interface was somewhat glitchy as a result of her responding to Musk, writing, “Also my Twitter mentions/notifications conveniently aren’t working tonight, so I was informed via text that I seem to have gotten under a certain billionaire’s skin. Just a reminder that money will never [buy] your way out of insecurity, folks.”
Image Credit: Twitter
Never missing an opportunity to beat a dead horse, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez went back to Musk’s original Twitter post to again claim a sort of moral high ground with respect to her merch store, commenting with, “My workers are union, have full healthcare + benefits like childcare help, and [everyone] is paid a living wage. Proceeds go to community acts like tutoring underserved kids. You’re a union buster with an ego problem who pockets the change from underpaying and mistreating people.”
Image Credit: Twitter
This happened to serve as the second instance where Rep. Ocasio-Cortez alleged the proceeds from her online merch store go directly to funding philanthropic endeavors in the community.
But there’s a bit of a glaring caveat with the congresswoman’s aforesaid altruistic proclamation: It’s a lie, and the congresswoman’s very own merch store is the source of the fact-check.
Whether someone ventures to the Official AOC Team Shop’s FAQ page or their help page, therein lies the standard details about returns, shipping, and the sort – and a rather peculiar section about “Can I make a purchase?” which goes on to explain who is allowed to buy products from the merch store.
One may be wondering, “Why would there need to be such a question regarding a simple merch store,” and said pondering is quelled immediately after the congresswoman’s website reveals that everything bought on the site equates to a campaign contribution.
Image Credit: Official AOC Shop
The disclaimer from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s merch store website is a word-for-word recitation of what is featured on her direct campaign contribution disclaimer through ActBlue. Nowhere on Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s merch store is there any information about the funds going anywhere else except toward the congresswoman’s campaign.
So, then what was Rep. Ocasio-Cortez going on about with respect to “Proceeds go to community acts like tutoring underserved kids,” exactly? Well, the congresswoman did launch something during the peak of COVID in 2020 called the Homework Helpers program – which called for volunteers to help tutor New York students adversely impacted by the sudden introduction of remote learning.
Keyword there being “volunteers,” – meaning people donating their time and not being compensated one single bit. Not only were the tutors not being paid, but even the organizers for the Homework Helpers program were brought on a volunteer basis.
And after the COVID fear campaign died down, this Homework Helpers charade transformed into some weird indoctrination summer program in 2022 (again, being all volunteer-based) where volunteers could serve as tutors for young kids via “in-person sessions with Start Lighthouse’s Woke Activists curriculum.”
Boy, it certainly sounds like hardly any money, if any at all, earned from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s merch store was going toward the kind of philanthropy she boasted about on Twitter.
Yet the beautiful thing about campaign contributions is that it is relatively easy to see where the money goes, thanks to the transparency of Federal Election Commission campaign expenditure reports.
When taking a peek at Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign expenditures over the past couple of available months (July and August as of this writing), there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of charitable spending going on there – unless someone were to consider YouTube TV subscriptions, Grub Hub orders, Lyfts and Ubers, Google ads, Amazon orders, and payroll falling under the “community acts like tutoring” realm.
And on a rather hilarious note, while Rep. Ocasio-Cortez loves to spout off and talk about Facebook like the platform is a horrible cesspool of “misinformation” and a monopoly – she certainly had zero issue giving the company nearly $10,000 this past July in exchange for her ads to play on the platform.
Nonetheless, the New York congresswoman’s attempt to ‘own’ Musk on the very platform he controls is laughable in light of her blatant lie being outed by her very own website.