On a recent out-of-district trip, freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continued to transfix audiences as she continued to drum up support for her controversial Green New Deal. Unfortunately for crowds smitten with the New York Rep, the aftermath of AOC’s trip has become mired in potential scandal.
Why Was She in Colorado?
At every moment in her trip, the New York rep continued her rampage against the oil and gas industry, taking time out from legislating on behalf of her constituents to complete a series of publicity stops in and around Boulder, Colorado. She visited families who claim their lives were negatively impacted by fracking. She gave speeches touting the dangers of the big, corrupt oil industry. She took immense pleasure invoking the words of FDR.
And audiences ate it up.
Too Bad About Those Facts, Though
Throughout, AOC stayed active on social media, tweeting out gems like this one:
I’m in Colorado w/ @JoeNeguse visiting communities whose air is being poisoned by fracking.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 21, 2019
What we’re seeing is appalling. Companies are building fracking sites on public lands, across the street from schools + homes.
Their toxic emissions are invisible. This camera sees them. pic.twitter.com/Kem0MT1lMj
Ocasio-Cortez claimed to see poison gas through a special forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera. As it happens, almost everything about that assertion was wrong. The site being filmed wasn’t actually fracking at all. What’s more, that specialized FLIR camera wasn’t picking up toxic gases, it was picking up heat signatures from mud bubbling up from below the earth.
From there, AOC tweeted out pictures of a woman’s benzene-heavy blood test while claiming the diagnosis was a result fo nearby fracking operations. In recent years, several anti-fracking interests have tried equating fracking with soaring benzene levels, only to find their theories debunked by people with, you know, medical degrees.
Not only are increased benzene levels a result of just your last few hours exposure, but heightened benzene levels can come from a ton of different places. You can get excess benzene levels from driving your car into your garage.
Add a Splash of Law-Breaking
In addition to her fact-free agenda, AOC may have also violated campaign law when she used campaign funds to bring an employee’s toddler along with her. As it stands, campaign laws do allow for covering childcare expenses, but only for the candidate or their family. The rules don’t apply to employees of the candidate.
As a result, AOC is now under scrutiny for a possible violation of the law.
Campaigning on the Edge
As the 2020 election season begins to pick up, AOC is going to be a hot commodity when it comes to garnering Democratic votes. In what will prove a particularly contentious election cycle, Ocasio-Cortez has chosen inflammatory tactics and misleading tactics to try and force her agenda through.
Even though her fans seem to care less for the truth and more for another Instagram post, it will remain important to stay vigilant when this freshman rep begins talking about the “facts.”