You may have missed the most vile moment of the third 2020 Democratic presidential debate


A vile super PAC ad featured an image of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) burning up to reveal disturbing images of human remains.

During a break from Thursday's Democratic debate, some ABC affiliates aired an advertisement showing a photograph of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) set aflame, followed by graphic images of human remains.

The 30-second spot is narrated by Elizabeth Heng, an unsuccessful 2018 House candidate and onetime staffer to former Rep. Edward Royce (R-CA), who in the ad blames "socialism" for starving her parents and requiring them to enter into a forced marriage in Cambodia.

"Mine is a face of freedom," Heng then told the camera. "My skin is not white. I'm not outrageous, racist, or socialist. I'm a Republican."

A disclaimer at the end states that it was paid for by New Faces GOP PAC, a super PAC registered in March.

Ocasio-Cortez quickly denounced the attack, tweeting, "Republicans are running TV ads setting pictures of me on fire to convince people they aren't racist."

She added that the ad's "pretense" was to appeal to "young conservatives of color" but was really "a love letter to the GOP's white supremacist case."

Heng responded not long after, claiming the ad was not run by "Republicans," but herself, and that she is not a racist.

But while Heng's implication was that the spot was hers and hers alone, a quick review of the super PAC's funding reveals that the real money behind the effort is not hers, but a group of conservative venture capitalists.

Five-figure donors include Paul J. Martino, a venture-fund investor whose River Horse PAC made just one donation last cycle (to Heng), anti-regulation metals billionaire Andrew Sabin, and real estate investor Norman Metcalfe. Each is a regular GOP donor and none appear to be a young conservative of color.

No donations from Heng are listed as of the super PAC's most recent filing.

Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) tweeted Friday morning that attacks like this are an act of violence and put their safety at risk. "The mere act of burning her image is a display of violence," Tlaib observed.

Heng, who worked on Donald Trump's inaugural committee, ran for Congress last year as a pro-Trump Republican. She lost her race to Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) by a 15 point margin.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.