The four freshmen “squad” members have united in a new joint fundraising effort to help each other win another term and elect more like-minded progressives to disrupt Congress.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., announced their new “Squad Victory Fund” Wednesday on social media and urged their supporters to give money to keep their fight for bold, progressive change alive.
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The squad, on the forefront of the defunding the police movement, said they will ban taking any money from the police union in an apparent effort to further stand their ground on calls to dismantle police departments in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“Our movement is for justice,” Omar tweeted in announcing the fund. “Our movement is for equality. Our movement is for peace. And our movement is for a better future. Proud to partner with my sisters in service to launch the Squad Victory Fund.”
Ocasio-Cortez has already become a fundraising phenom for a freshman member, even rivaling Speaker Nancy Pelosi in donations. Combining the forces of the nation’s progressive darlings could set the groundwork for a formidable vehicle to challenge the traditional power structures in Washington.
“When you speak truth to power, power fights back. Lobbyists & conservatives have been pouring millions of dollars against our sisterhood’s re-election campaigns. Why? Because we’re effective,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Wednesday in rolling out the fund.
The four reps have been at forefront of liberal policies and have regularly sought to push House Democrats to the left to embrace their agenda. Their priorities include “Medicare for all,” a Green New Deal, abolishing ICE and defunding the police. During the COVID-19 crisis, they pushed for a much more robust government response with regular direct payments of $2,000 to all Americans, including undocumented immigrants, and cancelation of rent and student loan debt. They have been frequent targets of President Trump who accuses the Democratic Party of pushing a radical socialist ideology with the squad calling the shots.
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According to their website, donations to the Squad Victory Fund will be divided among the four candidates’ individual campaign committees and their leadership PACs, which are set up to raise money for their endorsed candidates and to fund campaigning activities. In some cases, they’ve endorsed primary challengers to sitting Democratic members of Congress in an effort to bring more liberal voices to Washington.
The Squad Victory Fund wants to focus on grassroots individual donations and put out a blacklist of entities that are not welcome to donate, including fossil fuel executives and the police union.
The website says: “In addition to what’s legally required, The Squad Victory Fund does not accept contributions from: (1) corporations, associations, or their PACs; (2) individuals registered as federal lobbyists or under FARA; (3) from the PACs, lobbyists, or SEC-named executives of fossil fuel companies; or (4) from the Fraternal Order of Police.”