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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s House speech Friday accusing Israel of “genocide” is the latest evidence, her Democratic primary opponent tells the Sun, that the firebrand liberal is “not focused on her constituents.” 

Veteran banker Marty Dolan argues that the remarks show that “she’s running to be a champion of a cause that’s far away from congressional district 14,” calling the anti-Israel speech a “diversion.” 

“She’s made things worse in Queens and has ignored the Bronx,” Mr. Dolan adds. “If she wants to go work for the United Nations, she should go work for the United Nations.” 

The primary challenge to the liberal congresswoman comes six years after a Bronx native and little-known bartender, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, shocked the world with a grassroots campaign to win New York’s 14th congressional district. 

How have those six years gone?

“It’s been a while,” Mr. Dolan tells the Sun, since she “reinforced her contract with voters. And I think in the Bronx, they think that contract has just been broken completely, and in Queens, it’s worse than that.” 

The challenge to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez — an icon of the far-left segment of the Democratic party — could serve as a test more broadly of whether the party has become too radical. 

“AOC has had almost no presence in the Bronx,” Mr. Dolan says of what he has heard from the public during his campaign so far. While her core fan base supports her, there are lots of people who have turned on her because of the way her decisions have affected the district, he adds. Those include her campaign that ultimately ended in Amazon pulling out of its planned headquarters in Queens, which had been estimated to bring thousands of jobs to New York. 

“In the Bronx, there are very specific concerns that are completely different than Queens,” he says. In the Bronx, people are concerned about the traffic and the fact that “AOC is not there” and “nobody’s really paying attention to their concerns at all.” There’s more variety in Queens, he says, where recent immigration influxes have been “a major issue.” 

When asked about what he could do in the federal government on some of the state and local issues — like bail reform, retail theft, and subway crime — that he says are plaguing New York, Mr. Dolan says Congress provides leadership that trickles down. 

“You could argue that there’s nothing that a congressman can do about local issues, or you can argue that the congressman is the key leader on all these issues,” he says. “At the federal level, the first thing I would do is we should just stop all immigration now and take a break. We need a timeout.” 

That would allow time to figure out solutions, he says, which include securing the border. To say Americans need a break is “an understatement,” he adds. 

“If a congressman doesn’t stand for law and order, then what happens is that just permeates into the district, you set a bad example,” he says. “There’s no doubt that the City Council has followed the leadership in New York, the radical wing of the Democratic Party.”

“And that’s really what needs to be reversed,” he adds. And while the election is “first and foremost” about the district, he says it’s also about more than that. “The Democratic Party is going to signal to all of its elected leaders around the United States, and especially in the New York area, where are we going as a party? And there’s no further left they can go,  they have to go back to the center.” 

Mr. Dolan initially launched a campaign against Representative Jamaal Bowman — another member of the far-left group of eight congress members known as the“Squad” — in the 16th congressional district, but Mr. Dolan switched districts after the Westchester county executive, George Latimer, entered that race. 

In New York, he says, “the situation has been deteriorating over the years,” and he decided it was an opportunity to step in. 

“I made it clear when I started in against Bowman and also against AOC that I’m really not trying to run against any personality,” he says. “ It’s just that their policies are not even focused on the most important issues we face domestically as a country.”

The top issue facing the country, he says, is income inequality, both between income brackets and different states. “You’ve got a 14 percent income tax in New York and you have 500,000 people leaving to go to Florida or go to Texas,” he says. As New York sees a mass “northern exodus,” he adds, it also faces crippling pension costs as a huge chunk of New York tax dollars are paying out pensions to retirees who move to other states. 

“So it’s not even as though Florida has lower taxes than New York — Florida has lower taxes than New York and New York is paying retirees in Florida,” he says. 

These issues, along with the country’s $34 trillion in debt, are an opportunity for the federal government to reset taxes, he says, in a way that he believes should create new tax sources by adopting a value-added tax and a luxury goods tax. “You also need to raise enough tax so that you can give a break to the lower tax classes,” he says. 

When it comes to foreign policy, he says the radicals in the Democratic party have too often made it “a convenient distraction from their failures in their districts.” 

“She completely screwed up the Amazon deal, and then decided to talk about everything else except for the district,” he says of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. “I think what’s happened with the radicals, especially with AOC and Bowman, is their failure in their districts, has led them literally thousands of miles overseas to wave the flag about this issue and that issue.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not respond to a request for comment from the Sun.

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