Despite the best efforts from some on the right, progressive politics continue to surge across the United States. A number of political figures pushed back against Amazon’s now cancelled plans to put a new campus in New York City, and now, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has responded to an angry set of billboards blaming her for those plans’ ultimate collapse.
‘Do you think the Mercers will eventually fund 8 JCN billboards, one for each of the 8 Bermuda offshore tax avoidance vehicles they’ve been linked to in the Paradise Papers?’
Do you think the Mercers will eventually fund 8 JCN billboards, one for each of the 8 Bermuda offshore tax avoidance vehicles they’ve been linked to in the Paradise Papers?https://t.co/nm2nrgVW51 https://t.co/euD9L7pk2b
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 23, 2019
The original Times Square electronic billboard targeting the Congresswoman specifies “25,000 Lost NYC Jobs,” “$4 Billion in Lost Wages,” and “$12 Billion in Lost Economic Activity for NY” that Ocasio-Cortez is supposedly responsible for. After she responded, calling it “wack,” more signage went up as if those behind it can’t just issue a text public statement like a normal, levelheaded organization.
The effort is funded by the Job Creators Network, a conservative advocacy group that sports the backing of figures ranging from angry Fox News talking head Laura Ingraham to the powerful Mercers, who have poured large sums of cash into the organization, although it’s unclear what exact portion of its most recent operating expenses the family covered.
The Mercers, as she notes, have been tied to a number of offshore accounts that they used to shield their income and assets from American tax authorities. Robert Mercer, a patriarch of the family, was listed as the director of a full eight front companies that were laid out in the “Paradise Papers,” which outlined a network of such institutions in Bermuda.
Besides the billboards, his family also has a stake in the rise of prominent Republican interests like the radically far-right media outlet Breitbart, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Donald Trump himself. They donated over $15.5 million to the not exactly subtle “Make America Number 1” Super PAC, which originally backed Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign (under a different name) before switching to a Trump vassal. They even funded Cambridge Analytica, the now defunct data firm that came down under revelations of their covert use of data from mass amounts of Facebook accounts to fuel their campaign efforts.
Considering these points, the Mercer-backed Job Creators Network’s claim of concern for the economic security of the “little guy” in New York is particularly ironic.
The original deal for a new Amazon headquarters in NYC that fell through would have included the state alone dishing out a whopping $1.525 billion to the organization — and even providing for the company’s head Jeff Bezos to have a helipad installed in NYC — which also makes the deal’s backers’ claims of concern for the economic security of everyday New Yorkers’ deeply ironic. They would have been expected to metaphorically cut off their limbs and then be thankful when they got a bit of that fed back to them.
After the plans cancellation, Ocasio-Cortez insisted of the situation:
‘It shows that everyday Americans still have the power to organize and fight for their communities and they can have more say in this country than the richest man in the world.’
Check out Twitter’s response to the Congresswoman…
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