New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (AOC) has invested $1.4 million into political merchandise since the beginning of 2021.
AOC’s merchandise includes slogans like “Tax the Rich” and “Fight for our Future.” Campaign disclosures to the Federal Election Commission reports AOC’s campaign paid $1.4 million dollars on the merchandise and other apparel on her website store. Reuters states how “that is more than many lawmakers spent on their entire re-election during the period, and nearly double her payments made over the prior two years to Financial Innovations, a Cranston, Rhode Island firm that specializes in political merchandise for Democrats.”
This comes as an effort to build her brand within not only the Democratic Party but to build a much larger influence, while she already has over eight million followers on Instagram. She continues to build her fame on the political spectrum but also in other areas of lifestyle, such as her Vogue appearance showcasing her makeup and skincare routine.
According to Reuters, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy of Stetson University and researcher of political branding states, “There’s the campaign finance aspect of it and, for a lack of a better term, there’s the cult of personality of it.”